Some of the most respected Black Milwaukeeans have repeatedly told me to “shut up!”
“Don’t rock the boat; too much is at stake to upset the apple….err watermelon cart.”
More often than not, they actually agree with the validity of my concerns but posit my column could incite or anger the tribe when other considerations should be factored in.
At least that’s their rationale.
For example, I’ve been told several times by various Black Democratic Party stakeholders not to write about the myriad problems facing Milwaukee’s largest ethnic group as the national media begins focusing on the city as the DNC convention approaches.
In essence, don’t “reveal” how or why Milwaukee is the most segregated city in America, and hosts the highest Black male unemployment rate.
Or that the overwhelming majority of Black children attending government schools (MPS) are not proficient in reading or math. And are on the short end of the broadest academic achievement gap north of Cuba.
And I will be dammed to political purgatory (I guess that’s the deep woods of Mississippi or forced to live on Milwaukee’s southside—also known as “the Twilight Zone”) if I note Milwaukee has the highest poverty rate in the country!
A consistent refrain has been I will embarrass the Democratic Party or spark questions by the national media leading up to the convention. And God forbid a candidate is forced to respond to a question about our socioeconomic condition.
Hell, I could give Milwaukee a blackeye. (‘blackeye? That’s apropos.)
Equally important, my rants could spark conversations within the Black community about the ineffectiveness or unwillingness of the party we support in addressing–much less solving–our economic, educational, or cultural woes.
For the record, regardless of what I say, there is absolutely no chance we (consistent Black voters; myself included) will abandon the party. The Republican Party is not an option, and there is little appeal for the Socialist or Workers World Parties.
We have no other option and will vote for whichever white career politician emerges to combat Donald Trumpster.
The fear is my concerns will lead to confusion, discontent, and anxiety, which may lead to voter apathy.
That’s what happened in 2016, when 23,000 apathetic Black potential voters stayed home, giving 45IQ the state.
And without an enthusiastic African American vote this time around, there’s a genuine possibility 45IQ will be given four more years to incite a civil war.
By raising these concerns, the party will stop ignoring us and put us on their agenda.
That’s why I keep “signifying.” It’s my God-ordained role to shake the tree, to ask questions at an inappropriate time, and prod Black politician to do more than merely articulate the problem.
But I’m running out of time, and equally important, Black America has incurred its plight for too long; waiting for some liberal white knight to save us.
I’ve been doing this column for over four decades. I have worked hard to earn the reputation as a tree shaker—someone whose aggressive efforts result in the fruit falling to earth.
My sole agenda today is precisely the same as it was back-in-the-day: Black empowerment! I have no permanent friends or permanent enemies, only permanent issues.
I see the world through a Black Nationalist prism, putting the interests of our tribe before the political party or special interest.
I don’t hold membership in any party (although I almost exclusively vote Democrat). Nor do I pay tithes to any civil rights group (most of are under the thumb of special interests).
Over the years, l ‘ve used this column to pull the covers off the bed to expose the truth (and the lies), and it didn’t matter if liberals, conservatives, moderates or virgins were caught in my cross-hairs. Truth is essential to empowerment.
It is why I often criticize most so-call liberals and reveal them to be the other wing on the political bird.
Which is not to say, as some try to convince y’all, that I’m conservative, or Republican. God (Nyame) forbid. There’s an old expression: Black people are politically liberal and culturally conservative. Which means I’m probably a moderate since I’ve watched liberals and conservatives exploit us.
Therein lies the problem. We have been brainwashed into assuming because someone calls themselves a “liberal,” or a Democrat, they are the good guys, or have our best interests at heart. History clearly reveals such assumptions are erroneous.
But give them credit for confusing the issues. They have created a new political paradigm where we’re caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place.
They (Democrats) have been successful in getting us to believe collaborating with a Republican on anything makes the collaborator an enemy of the people.
To suggest so-called liberals and progressives have hidden agendas that undermine Black progress is to be a traitor.
If I’ve learned nothing else in four decades of study, research, and writing, it’s Black America has few friends, and both conservatives and liberals can be racist and disingenuous.
As I’ve said, conservatives own the Rent-A-Centers which are prominent in urban centers, while liberals push policies that keep us content in our poverty, with just enough resources to purchase goods from the businesses whose owners they (liberals) say exploit us.
Rev. John McVicker, one of the city’s most influential “liberation theologists,” said as much during the recent Watch-Night Service at Christ the King Church.
It was apropos that Rev. McVicker’s message that night spoke of the forces that have “blocked the door,” including liberals.
We need an independent voice and agenda, he said, a voice strong enough to be heard over the clamor of those telling us to be silent or to continue waiting for our emancipation.
McVicker spoke from personal experience in dealing with so-called liberals, as have I.
He advocates for educational options, providing poor Black families with the ability to send their children to schools of their choosing, instead of some liberal ideologue more interested in ensuring his employment than the welfare of our children.
That experience revealed to all of Black Milwaukee the covert truth, the hidden agenda of the liberal teacher’s union, of many Black stakeholders and even of the Democratic Party which continues to support the teacher union agenda over that of Black America.
There is a reason why the liberal Democrats—including Barack Obama if you want to be truthful—oppose school choice, and that paradigm is at the core of my criticism:
Their control of the resources so their poverty pimp cousins can secure employment with organizations making us comfortable in our poverty.
That’s why the Democratic Party never supports programs and policies that empower Black America. Why they replaced fathers in the home with an uncle (Sam) and trap our children in government schools they wouldn’t send their children.
We are pawns in the process as most will acknowledge—used by one political faction and scorned by the other. Yet because we have no other choice (we are told), we are forced to follow the DNC pied piper.
Making matters worse, we’re told to remain silent, allowed only to occasionally mutter under our breath.
But not me.
As part of a strategy to maintain their grip on us, they fund civil rights groups, employ a handful of “Black leaders” and give a few crumbs to stakeholders who are silenced by their accommodation.
I exposed that latter scheme several years ago when I revealed the agenda of groups like ACORN and, more recently, the Wisconsin White Family Party (which is not really a political party, but a special interest group run by so-called progressives.)
I revealed a couple of years ago how that “party’s” leadership sponsored the campaign of several Black political candidates and later forced them to accept an agenda that stagnates Black progress. They called one of them a “nappy haired” friend, and implied an independent Black politician was on drugs because she exposed them. They were even behind a failed attempt to put Whites in leadership over the Black legislative caucus.
This same group coordinated vicious and racist attacks against State Senator Lena Taylor and Rep. Jason Fields because they refused to play the game according to their rules.
The White Family Party and the teacher’s union most recently attacked former MPS School Board director Wendel Harris, vice president of the state NAACP, because he put the interest of failing Black students before union efforts to block educational options. Harris supported a contract for a charter school that is far superior to any neighborhood government school.
The truth of the matter is we’ve been sold a bill of goods, as Malcolm said, we’ve been hoodwinked, bamboozled, and (my word) pimped into believing the liberal means something it doesn’t, and the people calling themselves such are not necessarily our friends.
And what’s worse, Black folks trying to silence me for revealing this truth (that they acknowledge behind closed doors).
- If not now, when?When another generation of our children are allowed to slip through the cracks and join the ever-growing impoverished ranks; when new prisons are constructed to fuel the prison industrial complex.
My mission is to educate and inform, motivate, and to inspire. As part of that agenda, I have to call out those who block our path, who block the schoolhouse door.
We’ve been asking our ‘benefactors’ for 300 years now to join us in our quest for equality and opportunity.
We have received only rhetoric in return, along with unkept promises. The check that bounced as Martin said. In fact, he also posited that “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
I plan to keep shouting until someone hears me.