FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Rev. Al Sharpton and the Democrats

by THE BLACK COMMENTATOR

Forget about the smoke and fog spewed by corporate media and chattering consultants of all colors. Let us begin with a stark forecast: The Democratic Party primaries must result in a national ticket that is fit for Black participation. If the party cannot loosen the fatal grip of the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC)–the Republican wing of the party–it will die. Black voters and their allies will either purge the DLC from national influence this primary season, or leave the Democrats to spiral into deserved oblivion.

That is what the polling data actually foretell–not an incipient Black conservatism, but levels of frustration with the national Democratic Party so high among Blacks that one more betrayal will likely spark a massive exit, even if the destination is… nowhere, the negative alternative that has already been chosen by a huge chuck of younger African Americans.

First and foremost, Black participation hinges on denying the presidential nomination to the dreadful, racist Senator Joseph Lieberman (CT), the DLC’s champion. He will soon be recognized as wholly unacceptable to Black voters, who are the progressive mass base of the party, and to anti-war voters, a majority sentiment within the ranks at this time, nationwide.

Lieberman and the DLC spell electoral non-participation by Blacks. Therefore, he and his ilk are the enemies of all those who seek the broadest, most intense political involvement of African Americans in national life. There can be no compromise with people who poison the political well. Cohabitation with Rightists and racists means death to the Party.

Ninety percent of Black voters participate in national elections as Democrats. Therefore, the Democratic Party and its primaries are the field of national electoral expression for Black people as a whole. It is where the bulk of the people are–for now. In a fundamental sense, African Americans work out their political yearnings and programs through the mechanisms of the Democratic Party. If the political house is unwholesome, polluted with the unmistakable odors of white supremacy and Black sycophancy, African Americans recoil as one body.

To believe otherwise is to misread history–which is the norm in a society that prefers to operate on a succession of lies. No group turned more quickly and dramatically to the promise of Democratic liberalism than Black Americans. It is on the residual strength of the promise of inclusive, progressive Democratic politics that Blacks have remained solidly Democratic since completing the transition en masse and in the political blink of an eye four decades ago.

Black loyalty to Democratic Party structures has been misinterpreted as inertia–a racist conclusion that implies laziness of thought and action. This false reading of African American motives and intelligence has led whites in the Party–and some Black operatives–to miscalculate the cumulative effects of the savage compromises that have been foisted on Black Democrats since Jimmy Carter’s “New South” term in the White House. Assuming that Blacks will “stay” simply because they have nowhere else to “go,” national Democrats refuse to understand that Rev. Al Sharpton’s support derives from deep anger and heartfelt disappointment, not with Trent Lott and the White Man’s Party, but with them. Sharpton is dismissed as a mere showman, in effect relegating Black voters to the status of an Apollo Theater crowd on amateur night. The expectation appears to be that Sharpton and his supporters will make a lot of noise, attain emotional release, and return meekly to the fold.

The Democratic Party and its consultants grossly underestimate Black capacity for decisive action, ignoring the sea changes that have swept over the Black body politic in the past. More specifically, they underestimate Rev. Sharpton, who has no personal stake in the Democratic Party’s institutionalized structures of Black mollification and is the sworn foe of the Democratic Leadership Council.

When Sharpton tells Village Voice writer Thulani Davis, “Many people who are running, in my judgment, are to the right of Republicans,” he is speaking most directly about Sen. Joseph Lieberman and the DLC. When Sharpton declares that he is in a battle for “the soul of the Democratic Party” he means he is running against the existing structures that have brought the Party “to the right, not the center.” And when polls show that Sharpton will capture Black majorities in the primaries, that means masses of African Americans agree with his assessment of the Party and are as anxious as he is to disassemble its racist components. Huge numbers will follow Sharpton despite his perm, because they know that he “speaks truth to power,” an esteemed quality among African Americans, the most sophisticated electorate in America.

Al Sharpton will not tolerate the influence, much less nomination, of Lieberman, the standard bearer for all that is wrong with the Democratic Party. Sharpton will treat Lieberman as the Republican that he is, methodically “outing” the devious crypto-racist in terms that no amount of corporate media ridicule and distortion can obscure. It is at that point, in the heat of foreign conflict and domestic anxiety, that the Black public will approach a sea change in their perception of the Democratic Party.

The future of the Party will then be in the hands, not of Rev. Al Sharpton who does not seek to destroy it, but of the men and women who have disrespected Black voters for the better part of a lifetime. They can have a Party crippled by Lieberman’s DLC, or they can retain a Sharptonized Black electorate. But they can’t have both.

THE BLACK COMMENTATOR is one of CounterPunch’s favorite websites. We encourage all of you to bookmark the site and become regular visitors. The editors can be reached at: publisher@blackcommentator.com

 

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

March 01, 2017
Sharmini Peries - Michael Hudson
The Fictitious Economy: Hiding How the Economy Really Works
Joseph Natoli
The Fourth Estate vs. the Trump Regime
Kim C. Domenico
A Deconstruction of Whiteness: Unsafe Among My Own Kind
Yoav Litvin
American Dystopia – A Future of Racists, Snitches and Outcasts
Dan Glazebrook
From Kissinger’s Playbook: Flynn is Gone, His Russia Policy Lives On
Peter Mayo
Storming “Fortress Europe” in Search of a Social World
Sam Gordon
The Audacity of Sacrilege
Arnold August
Fidel, Political Power and the New Culture of Communication
Linn Washington Jr.
Black History in Cyberspace: British 3D App Game Features Forgotten Facts
Norman Pollack
Trump’s Neo-Fascist Discourse: CPAC Revisited
Nyla Ali Khan
Women in Conflict Zones: Escaping Masculine Socialization and Generating a Transformative Vision
Sam Husseini
Questioning Pelosi and Schumer
Jesse Jackson
Private Prisons Slam the Door on Justice
February 28, 2017
Behrooz Ghamari Tabrizi
A Paradigm Shift in the Middle East: Iran as the Solution, Not the Problem
Paul Street
Big Brother Capitalism Strikes Back
Stephen Cooper
Trump’s Pusillanimous Immigration Policy Imperils the Public and the Police
Vincent Emanuele
The Madness of U.S. Empire
Michael Sainato and Chelsea Skojec
We Need the Endangered Species Act Now More Than Ever
David Underhill
Oops, They Did It Again: Crowd Bowls Over Rep in Beery Alley
John Eskow
Jimmy Kimmel is a Total Dick and Other Reflections on the Oscars
Steve Horn
Trump’s Top Energy Aide, Mike Catanzaro Peddled Climate Change Denial
Jack Random
The Trump Diaries: Week Five
Robert Fisk
The Education of Marine Le Pen
Pauline Murphy
Felicia Browne’s Fight Against Fascism
Mary Lynn Cramer
Fearing the Trump Impeachment
Mel Gurtov
While Our Attention is Elsewhere, Climate Change Worsens
Dan Bacher
Extinction 2017: California Edition
Abel Cohen
The Trojan President: America Never Saw It Coming
February 27, 2017
Anthony DiMaggio
Media Ban! Making Sense of the War Between Trump and the Press
Dave Lindorff
Resume Inflation at the NSC: Lt. General McMaster’s Silver Star Was Essentially Earned for Target Practice
Conn Hallinan
Is Trump Moderating US Foreign Policy? Hardly
Norman Pollack
Political Castration of State: Militarization of Government
Kenneth Surin
Inside Dharavi, a Mumbai Slum
Lawrence Davidson
Truth vs. Trump
Binoy Kampmark
The Extradition Saga of Kim Dotcom
Robert Fisk
Why a Victory Over ISIS in Mosul Might Spell Defeat in Deir Ezzor
David Swanson
Open Guantanamo!
Ted Rall
The Republicans May Impeach Trump
Lawrence Wittner
Why Should Trump―or Anyone―Be Able to Launch a Nuclear War?
Andrew Stewart
Down with Obamacare, Up with Single Payer!
Colin Todhunter
Message to John Beddington and the Oxford Martin Commission
David Macaray
UFOs: The Myth That Won’t Die?
Weekend Edition
February 24, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Exxon’s End Game Theory
Pierre M. Sprey - Franklin “Chuck” Spinney
Sleepwalking Into a Nuclear Arms Race with Russia
Paul Street
Liberal Hypocrisy, “Late-Shaming,” and Russia-Blaming in the Age of Trump
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail