Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Truest statement of the week

There has been no sea change in the Black American world view since 1995, although eight years with a Black family in the White House clearly enhanced -- during Barack Obama’s tenure, at least -- Black folk’s identification with the U.S. State. When Obama threatened to bomb Syria in 2013 for allegedly carrying out a chemical attack on civilians, more Blacks (40%) than whites (38%) and Hispanics (31%) favored bombing Damascus. (see BAR, 18 September, 2013, “Black America More Pro-War Than Ever.”) However, majorities of all three groups were opposed to bombing Syria: Blacks 56%, whites 58%, Hispanics 63%.

A much clearer picture of Black anti-war sentiment – when not clouded by racial loyalties – was revealed by a Zogby poll conducted in early February of 2003, just a month before the U.S. invasion of Iraq. The pollsters asked: “Would you support or oppose a war against Iraq if it meant thousands of Iraqi civilian casualties?” A solid majority of white men answered in the affirmative, as did more than a third of white women. Only seven percent of African Americans favored a war that would kill thousands. 

Hispanics lost some of their bloodlust when confronted with the prospect of mass Iraqi civilian casualties; only 16 percent are willing to support such an outcome. (Text from The Black Commentator, February 18, 2003 .)

If only 7 percent of Blacks could countenance mass carnage of Iraqi civilians, then war fever was an entirely marginal sentiment in the Black polity, which was fundamentally different than white America on issues of war and peace. Specifically, Blacks saw Arabs as human beings, even after two years of Arab-demonizing in the wake of 9/11. We at BAR maintain that the Black American consensus remains overwhelmingly anti-war, in both comparative and actual terms. 

“Only 7 percent of Blacks could countenance mass carnage of Iraqi civilians.”

But you won’t get that kind of insight from #BlackLivesMatter name-giver Alicia Garza’s Black Census , which is the largest survey of Black public opinion in history but asked not one question on U.S. foreign policy -- as if Black people have no positions on war and peace. The Census was paid for by the corporate philanthropy that has poured into Black Lives Matter-labeled coffers to yoke the movement into the Democratic Party – which prefers that Black people let white folks do foreign policy. Garza is glad to oblige and has become a major player on the corporate side of the Party. (See BAR, 5 June 2019, “Black Lives Matter Founder Launches Huge Project to Shrink Black Lives.” And BAR, 3 Oct 2019, “The Corporate Democrats’ (and Alicia Garza’s) Get-Sanders Slanders.”)

So, while too many of BAR readers, including some of our closest friends and collaborators, will on November 3 be rewarding one of the duopoly parties for its record of opposing and actively stifling the vast bulk of Black public opinion on war and peace and social justice issues, please also consider giving support to those organizations that reflect the actual majority – and profoundly Left -- Black American worldview. 

Below is posted the Black Is Back Coalition’s  ground-breaking 19-point National Black Political Agenda for Self-determination, a document that will be highlighted at the Coalition’s November 7th and 8th “Black People’s March on the White House,” an annual event since the organization’s founding in the first year of the Obama Administration; and the Black Alliance For Peace’s  demands for all elected officials and candidates in the 2020 elections. (I am a co-founder, and member, respectively, of BiB and BAP,) The anti-war positions taken by BAP and the self-determinationist stance of Black Is Back reflect the opinions of large majorities or very strong pluralities of Black people, as measured by the surveys and studies cited in this article. Those sentiments are marginalized and muted by the corporate duopoly with the collaboration of the mostly Democratic Black Misleadership Class, who are the undeserving recipients of Black and Left votes every election cycle – recurring cycles of despair and fear.


-- Glen Ford, "Peace, Black Self-Determination, and the Duopoly Trap" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).



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