| Norman Kelley penned the OpEd below for the New York News Day. His premise is that “Black Politics” are suffering from an inability to affect policy and advancement of a race. I can’t argue with his position that the “Black Leadership” is “bankrupt.” |
I would use the Al Sharptons, Jesse Jacksons, and myriad “Vote or Die” type entertainment figures as a basis for that position. I would throw in the Cornel Wests, and the Sheila Jackon Lees in support. In fact, his entire posture of discontent seems to hold the goal of singling out, segregating and defining boundaries. So, if Norman Kelley, a film maker, could be considered part of a “black leadership,” I would include him as a propagator of the “void.”
People are people. That’s always been my philosophy. Singling out a race and judging statistical successes via quota, or who wins an election, or whatever, in my opinion, is just as racist as those who would use skin color in any decision making process.
Kelley says that there is a “resurgent phenomenon of white nationalism” as a result of the “black leadership” bankruptcy. White nationalism? Spoken like a true compartmentalizing, segregation promoting, treat me like everyone else while I work my ass off to highlight skin color jackass. Ponder that while I point out the primary truism that Kelley uses to emphasize the perceived woes. He points to the re-election of George W. Bush as proof positive of this “resurgence.”
However, he fails to mention a couple of other folks in his OpEd. Dr. Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, Rodney Paige, Margaret Spellings. But, more important than the skin shades of the previously mentioned individuals is something more telling and resolute. When President Clinton took office he, virtually, issued a press release that stated that his cabinet was going to “look more like America.” Then he set off to pick his cabinet thusly. For blatantly promoting his process of choosing high level officials based on how they look he was given the honorary label of the "first black president." President Bush made no such announcement. He just hired the folks that could best perform the position. That sure doesn’t sound like a “resurgent of white nationalism.” It sounds like a “resurgent of just plain nationalism.”
BLACK POLITICS ARE IN A BLACK HOLE
A leadership void since Martin Luther King Jr.’s death has allowed the loss of civil rights gains
BY NORMAN KELLEY
Norman Kelley is currently producing a documentary film based on his book, "The Head Negro in Charge Syndrome: The Dead End of Black Politics."
January 14, 2005
If the black political agenda of the post-civil rights era has been to influence the machinery of the federal government to black advantage, going from protest to politics, the re-election of George W. Bush has shown that agenda has failed.
A greater failure, however, is black leadership's inability and unwillingness to confront this as a problem and devise something new; this underscores how utterly bankrupt the leadership is.
Perhaps that should not be too surprising. As Robert C. Smith wrote in "We Have No Leaders," "Black leaders are integrated but their core community is segregated, impoverished and increasingly in the post-civil rights era marginalized, denigrated and criminalized." Put another way, black leaders' "core community" exists in virtual segregation, while the black middle class enjoys virtual equality and the black elite, which includes most black leaders, are truly integrated.