iLocal News Archives

Americans that are black – from my master to my leader

john_skippings2By John Skippings From Caribbean News Now

Back in the days of slavery, blacks were controlled by [slave] masters. Today, in the most modern of times, they have leaders. And while it would be unfair to compare one with the other, in terms at least of their potential severity, they are both rooted in the assumption that black people need someone to guide them, to speak for them, even to the extent of telling them what do.

African Americans, a la President Barack Obama – actually a Kenyan American to be precise – whose late father was African and late mother American, was foisted upon blacks as their designated ethnicity by their leaders; they were previously at different times coloreds, negroes and blacks.

Unlike Mr Obama though, most American blacks are centuries removed from any direct connection with Africa. And unless Africa is another word for black, they are not African Americans. No more, that is, than white Americans are Euro-Americans; and should be constantly referred to as such.

The term African-American is actually a denial of one’s American-ess; which not only makes no sense, unless someone chooses personally to do so, but also gives strength to those that choose not to see black Americans as real Americans, because of their now centuries-old African heritage. The most obvious being their skin colour.

Blacks have no more to be constantly reminded that their forebears came from Africa, than white Americans need to be constantly reminded that their forebears came from Europe. Those that remain of the original Americans (Indians), have only to look at both to tell that one originated from Africa, and the other from Europe.

So except for a few black Americans of recognition that have endorsed Bernie Sanders for president, e.g. Benjamin T. Jealous, a prominent black American and former NAACP president, among other things because Sanders has committed to combat institutional racism, and has “the best plan for ending mass incarceration and improving community policing”, black leadership stand firmly behind Hillary Clinton; who Sanders is convinced by the way, is now mimicking his campaign spiel in her own campaign speeches.

Rappers like Killer Mike, Scarface and Bun B have also endorsed Bernie Sanders for president. A young 21-year-old Bernie Sanders, a student at the University of Chicago at the time, was arrested August 12, 1963, charged with resisting arrest, and found guilty. His actions were in protest against a decision to put black students in aluminum trailers in their neighborhoods to ease overcrowding, and keeping schools segregated.

And former Ohio state senator and minority whip Nina Turner is a strong supporter of candidate Bernie Sanders, because she believes that he seems better poised to address issues of concern to black Americans than does Hillary Clinton.

And yet, thanks in great part no doubt to certain black “leaders”, Hillary walked away with 86% of the black vote, and 39 delegates in South Carolina’s primary, contributing to her huge victory there. And is likely to do as well at least throughout the remaining southern states, where the black populations are substantial. In perhaps the strangest alliance of all, black Americans along with whites over 65 and making more than $200,000 a year, are Clinton’s support bases. The Odd Couple.

And with Donald Trump and the Republican establishment dissing each other, Hillary Clinton could also wind up being Wall Street’s candidate. They have certainly hedged their bets with her. Then there we have it: the white elites – “I call you my base”, said President George W. Bush – blacks and Wall Street. The Odd Triple. All for one – and the same person.

Leadership in my opinion has denied us blacks of their individuality, making them, for example, the “black vote”. Clinton and Sanders, for good or bad, do not have to worry about how John, James, Sue and Mary – all blacks – will vote; which of the four, that is, will give them their vote. This is of course, because they are in actuality the “black vote”, and whoever gets the “black vote”, will get all four, or at least three. Thanks in great part to black leaders – unelected as such to boot.

And in the end, if the candidate that gets the black vote wins, the leaders are guaranteed access, or more accurately entry to the halls of power and perhaps some goodies. What do blacks get? Well, note that everything promised during this election cycle has been promised in the previous ones, meaning that they were empty promises; and will be promised in the next, and the next election cycles. Black Americans actually will have gained nothing for their “black vote”.

And if blacks did not support the winning candidate, they are owed and would most likely not get anything. Seems it would therefore be best if blacks would each assess the positions and promises of each candidate, and make up their own minds which candidate is more likely to act on their behalf. As I believe, for the better part, their leaders in great part do for themselves when delivering the black vote.

Advocates? Yes! Leaders? No! Let leaders go the way of masters, and blacks be seen as individuals, and not risk being delivered en masse by their leaders, as the black vote. Just as whites.

John Skippings is a former Director of Tourism and Chief Marketing Officer for the Turks and Caicos Tourist Board 1999-2003; and Tourism Marketing Consultant with the Montserrat Tourist Board 2004 – 2006. And has had a career in banking in The Bahamas and the US; he holds a Bachelor of Science in Public Administration from Southeastern University in Washington, DC. Email: [email protected]
Especially politically, though in rather subtle ways. Black leaders might not expressly tell their followers – leaders have followers – to vote for a certain candidate. But in addition to their leaders endorsing someone, they go on to semi-deify that person making it quite clear to their followers that that individual is best for them.

For more on this story go to:—from-my-master-to-my-leader-29639.html


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *