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

 

February 09, 2016
Andrew Levine
Hillary Says the Darndest Things
Paul Street
Kill King Capital
Ben Burgis
Lesser Evil Voting and Hillary Clinton’s War on the Poor
Paul Craig Roberts
Are the Payroll Jobs Reports Merely Propaganda Statements?
Fran Quigley
How Corporations Killed Medicine
Ted Rall
How Bernie Can Pay for His Agenda: Slash the Military
Neve Gordon
Israeli Labor Party Adopts the Apartheid Mantra
Kristin Kolb
The “Great” Bear Rainforest Agreement? A Love Affair, Deferred
Joseph Natoli
Politics and Techno-Consciousness
Hrishikesh Joshi
Selective Attention to Diversity: the Case of Cruz and Rubio
Stavros Mavroudeas
Why Syriza is Sinking in Greece
David Macaray
Attention Peyton Manning: Leave Football and Concentrate on Pizza
Arvin Paranjpe
Opening Your Heart
Kathleen Wallace
Boys, Hell, and the Politics of Vagina Voting
Brian Foley
Interview With a Bernie Broad: We Need to Start Focusing on Positions and Stop Relying on Sexism
February 08, 2016
Paul Craig Roberts – Michael Hudson
Privatization: the Atlanticist Tactic to Attack Russia
Mumia Abu-Jamal
Water War Against the Poor: Flint and the Crimes of Capital
John V. Walsh
Did Hillary’s Machine Rig Iowa? The Highly Improbable Iowa Coin Tosses
Vincent Emanuele
The Curse and Failure of Identity Politics
Eliza A. Webb
Hillary Clinton’s Populist Charade
Uri Avnery
Optimism of the Will
Roy Eidelson Trudy Bond, Stephen Soldz, Steven Reisner, Jean Maria Arrigo, Brad Olson, and Bryant Welch
Preserve Do-No-Harm for Military Psychologists: Coalition Responds to Department of Defense Letter to the APA
Patrick Cockburn
Oil Prices and ISIS Ruin Kurdish Dreams of Riches
Binoy Kampmark
Julian Assange, the UN and Meanings of Arbitrary Detention
Shamus Cooke
The Labor Movement’s Pearl Harbor Moment
W. T. Whitney
Cuba, War and Ana Belen Montes
Jim Goodman
Congress Must Kill the Trans Pacific Partnership
Peter White
Meeting John Ross
Colin Todhunter
Organic Agriculture, Capitalism and the Parallel World of the Pro-GMO Evangelist
Ralph Nader
They’re Just Not Answering!
Cesar Chelala
Beware of the Harm on Eyes Digital Devices Can Cause
Weekend Edition
February 5-7, 2016
Jeffrey St. Clair
When Chivalry Fails: St. Bernard and the Machine
Leonard Peltier
My 40 Years in Prison
John Pilger
Freeing Julian Assange: the Final Chapter
Garry Leech
Terrifying Ted and His Ultra-Conservative Vision for America
Andrew Levine
Smash Clintonism: Why Democrats, Not Republicans, are the Problem
William Blum
Is Bernie Sanders a “Socialist”?
Daniel Raventós - Julie Wark
We Can’t Afford These Billionaires
Enrique C. Ochoa
Super Bowl 50: American Inequality on Display
Jonathan Cook
The Liberal Hounding of Julian Assange: From Alex Gibney to The Guardian
George Wuerthner
How the Bundy Gang Won
Mike Whitney
Peace Talks “Paused” After Putin’s Triumph in Aleppo 
Ted Rall
Hillary Clinton: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Gary Leupp
Is a “Socialist” Really Unelectable? The Potential Significance of the Sanders Campaign
Vijay Prashad
The Fault Line of Race in America
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail