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Harry C. Alford, NNPA Columnist
Published: 07 February 2011

"In my career I guess I saved 1,000 slaves.  I could have saved 1,000 more had they only known they were slaves." Harriet Tubman at her retirement ceremony.


It is incredible how Black power has gone in reverse in terms of political empowerment. Gone are the days when we had mayors in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Denver, Chicago, New York, New Orleans, etc. As we rose up, we soon turned around and started going in reverse. The Democratic Party has masterfully engineered us into a slave mentality which many of us can't realize or gain enough courage to fight against. We are put into a subservient role and smile. It is as if we want this role versus moving ahead with progress.

To paraphrase G. Carter Woodson's The Miseducation of the American Negro:  If the colored door becomes closed and all can go through a main door, the Negro will feel uncomfortable and try to reopen the colored door.  He will ram and bump that colored door in the back of the building trying to reopen it.  If he surmises that the door can't be reopened he will then bring a saw and hammer and build a new colored door as he is convinced that his destiny is servitude and indignity.

What is happening now in cities where we have the demographics to gain political power is a servitude to the White operatives of the Democratic Party.  They are picking the candidates for us and most times they are not of our ilk or race.  Woe to a people who let another entity pick their leaders.

The best example of this is Chicago. Chicago had one of the best mayors in history, the Honorable Harold Washington. They have not had the organization or courage to come up with an equivalent since. The demographics of this city tell the story. There are 601,674 Black registered voters in Chicago which is 52.2 percent of the total. Hispanics have 200,000 registered voters and Whites have 350,000 registered voters so Blacks could defeat them even if they combined their votes together. In addition to that, the greatest growth in registered voters is coming from Blacks with a growth of 5.25 percent. That seems like a slam dunk for Black political empowerment in Chicago. However this city cannot get itself to vote in a Black mayor since the early 1990s. They await the anointment from the White Democratic Party and bow to it. They are indeed volunteer slaves. They cry about low contracting with Black businesses and terribly high unemployment but yet don't seem to realize that the solution is right in their own hands. They are building that door in the back.

Gone are the days when giants like Willie Brown, Thomas Bradley, Wellington Webb, Harold Washington, Coleman Young, Michael White, David Dinkins, Marion Berry, Maynard Jackson and other great mayors made it imperative to create Black millionaires that would provide thousands upon thousands of jobs to our communities. Their legacies are locked in. I can take a business trip starting at the Baltimore Thurgood Marshall Airport directly going to the Thomas Bradley LAX airport. From there I can go to the Maynard Jackson airport in Atlanta and then decide to visit some family in Mississippi via the Medgar Evers Airport in Jackson, MS. That is testimony to our heroes of the Civil Rights Movement. What is lacking is the follow up to all of this courage, blood, sweat and tears. We have turned it over to one political party and they have assigned "party punks" to placate us. My people, we are no longer slaves and it is long overdue for us to act accordingly. We must select our own leaders and put them in office and hold them accountable. The Chicago example is replicated throughout our nation. If we don't wake up then it is on us.

There is another poison that is going around. They are trying to mold our opinions. Yes, trying to influence our thoughts through printed press. The first thing they want is to kill our own media. Our radio, TV and printed media are the lifeblood of our culture. Thus, they want to destroy them and replace them with "front" entities who try to substitute as our media. They bought out BET along with Emerge magazine. Now they want to kill all of the Black newspaper publications. The weapons of choice are coming from publications sponsored by NBC, the Washington Post, and the Huffington Post. These purely White corporations are trying to mold our opinions and control our thought via parading as "Black" publications. Don't go for it. If they aren't of our kind they cannot rule our mind. Support our Black press – the real Black press as the others are of ill intent. Stop being a volunteer slave as we have been free for 150 years. Fight the power!


Mr. Alford is the co-founder, President/CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce.  Website:  www.nationalbcc.org. Email: [email protected] www.twitter.com/nationalbcc

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