Logical Thinker and friends newsletter Page 3 vol.2 Jan,24 2000
Can the Reverend Rock a Party?
Continued from page 1
While the means Clinton used was a Black woman, his end was to send a message to White America about a Black Man; a President Bill Clinton would not be pandering to Rev. Jesse Jackson. Clinton’s involvement in and the emergence of the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) sent another message; the Democratic Party would dramatically weaken the influence that Rev. Jackson and other traditional liberals were having over the party. The DLC embraced and masterfully propagated a centrist agenda that sought to appeal to Reagan Democrats and distance itself from the Teddy Kennedy/Jesse Jackson liberals that had held sway in the party in recent years. The result of Clinton and the DLC’s maneuverings, among other things, was the marginalization of Rev. Jackson within the Democratic Party and the beginning of the end of the covenant. With Clinton at the helm, the Democratic Party seemed to change over night and to most appearances, Rev. Jackson lost his political balance. New York Times Magazine writer George Parker described the process of transition in a recent article when he wrote, " The country seemed to leave Jackson behind: with the Dow Jones soaring, the poor disappearing from view along with the liberal wing of the Democratic Party. When welfare reform, the most drastic revision of social policy in decades, was being debated in 1996, Jackson’s voice was strikingly muted."
Indeed, by the end of 1992 Jackson had endured a drop in his popularity and a loss of the most precious of commodities in Black politics: street credibility. Then came President Clinton’s drop in popularity and his less than sterling performance as President from 1992-1994. The floundering first two years of the Clinton presidency found the president in need of traditional Democrats like Rev. Jackson that he had previously discarded. Next came Newt Gingrich whose dramatic arrival on the national political scene as Speaker of the House of Representatives provided an irresistible and vulnerable target for Rev. Jackson’s brilliant philosophical and oratorical barrage. Lastly came the Wall St. Project.
On Jan. 15, 1997 Rev. Jackson established the Wall St. Project as " a wake-up call to the corporate world for inclusion, expansion and opportunity". Building upon a younger Jesse Jackson’s Operation Breadbasket, the Wall St. Project promises to lobby companies to 1) hire and promote minorities 2) name more minorities to corporate boards and 3) award more business to minority companies. Jackson has done all three and in the most high-profile manner imaginable. Attendees at last year’s Wall St. Project read like a who’s who of the upper echelon of America’s power pyramid. Everyone from Donald Trump to Pres. Clinton attended the event as well as the CEOs of AT&T, Goldman Sachs and numerous Fortune 500 companies. New commitments to do business with minority firms were announced and Pres. Clinton unveiled his New Markets Initiatives, which seeks to bring capital into America’s distressed urban and rural areas in a manner akin to the way America has aided developing nations. At the event, President Clinton gave two addresses, the first of which many in attendance believed Jackson, himself, had ghostwritten.
Jackson’s Wall St. Project is an end-run around the dead-end he was provided compliments of the Democratic Party. It is also the beginning of his most recent and maybe most critical transformation. Jackson is no longer simply the "vote- getter" of the Democratic party but has now effectively positioned himself as the unofficial glue binding the public sector, private sector, and the professional class of Black America. And in the most recent phase of his evolution, Jackson is now advocating the development, maintenance and growth of a Black investor class. And he readily admits that his work is in an arena outside of the box of Democratic Party politics and the American political establishment all together. In his new book It's All About The Money co-written by his son Illinois Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr, the Reverend depicts his latest work in historical context. He writes, " If I were to compose a four-movement Freedom Symphony, the first movement would be the emancipation of the slaves: a two-hundred year battle, rooted deeply in our Constitution – a season of the walls that limited movement and roofs and artificial ceilings that limited growth. The second movement would be another one-hundred-year struggle to end legal segregation -- more walls and roofs. The third movement would be the enfranchisement of all Americans, eighteen and older, through passage of the Voting Rights Act. The fourth movement –the final stage of the struggle—would be access to capital, to resources to financial leverage—the democratization of capital…You could succeed at all the previous three movements, but if you didn’t succeed at the fourth, you might starve. That’s how crucial; economic emancipation is. People of color and the working poor have won everything they’ve fought for: the right to organize, the right to form unions, and the end of racial and gender barriers as a matter of law. But we’ve not fought the battle for access to and democratization of capital. It’s the ultimate battle. It’s the unfinished business of our struggle to make this a more perfect union for all Americans, in which no one will be left behind."
While many may argue with the historical picture painted by the Reverend, few can argue with the deep truth related to his characterization of the "fourth phase’. Rev. Jackson has clearly tapped into one of the deepest truths of the legacy of slavery: Blacks simply do not have a history of accumulated, invested, compounded and inherited wealth. It is a truth that Democrats and Republicans alike ignore and a truth that Black leaders have wrestled with for generations. By seeking to integrate Blacks into the equity markets and broaden Black financial options beyond debt, Jackson’s strategy could result in an economic growth agenda that accomplishes much of what he promises. But it also puts Jackson at odds with the political party that he has helped to shape. By moving beyond Democratic Party politics and into the private sector, Rev. Jackson’s interest in a Black investor class could cause a major shift in the political terrain of Black America. If the increasing Black investor class were to vote in terms of its own perceived economic interests, it may find little to choose from in the agenda of the Democratic Party. For all of the credit that Democrats take for the booming economy, one hardly ever hears Democrats articulate specific policies that have caused the "boom". Other than President Clinton’s reappointment of Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan (who was first appointed by Ronald Reagan) Democrats are at a loss to offer anything tangible that the Clinton administration has done to foster economic growth. It is a vulnerability that may be exposed as more and more Blacks seek to accumulate wealth through the financial markets –markets that traditionally move up and down on the rumors and news of pending and real fiscal and monetary policies emanating from the White House, Congress, and the Federal Reserve. As Blacks pay more attention to Wall Street, they may find the Democratic party wanting. None know this better than Jesse Jackson- And he could easily play upon the possible contradictions inherent in an emerging Black investor class that overwhelmingly pledges loyalty to the Democratic Party.
Jackson’s new focus on the Roth IRA and the benefits of capital gains moves him closer toward issues that traditionally have been Republican Party strongholds. It even has brought him closer to supply-sider and 1996 GOP vice-president nominee Jack Kemp who attended last year’s Wall St. Project and whom Jackson warmly refers to as "the ultimate Republican". Even more importantly, as a result of the Wall St. Project, Jackson increasingly finds himself, not only in the company of Black Democrats, but also Black businessmen and women who are Republicans, voting and non-voting Independents, and grassroots community groups; people that Jackson seemed out of touch with the further he became integrated into the Democratic Party power structure. In a paradoxical manner, Jackson’s Wall St. Project, which gives him unparalleled access to men like President Clinton, Alan Greenspan, bankers and Fortune 500 CEOs, has also given him deeper and broader access to the Black electorate.
The challenge now for Rev. Jackson is whether he is willing to leverage his new power base in the best interests of the masses of Black America. The 2000 elections could very well reveal whether Rev. Jackson is up to the challenge. Will he advocate policies that are in the economic best interests of Black America and the Black investor class that are often ignored by the Democratic Party? Will he advocate issues which neither Al Gore or Bill Bradley have spoken to. Or will it be politics as usual for Jackson and the Democratic Party where Jackson delivers votes for the Democratic Presidential nominee and gets little more in return than personal access to the White House? Furthermore, how will Rev. Jackson reconcile his new investor-focused approach with the glaring reality that the Republican Party traditionally has supported fiscal and monetary policies that are in the interests of the investor class while the Democratic Party traditionally has ignored said policies?
The true test of Rev. Jackson’s commitment to the "fourth phase of the Freedom Symphony", could be when the Democratic Presidential nominee selects his running mate. On a Sunday morning television appearance on Meet The Press in October of 1998, Rev. Jackson told the show’s host, Tim Russert, that a Black should be on the presidential ticket of the Democratic Party in the year 2000. No doubt Jackson had Jackson in mind when he spoke -- which for many people would be fine. But what if Jackson is overlooked for the VP slot and no other Black is selected? Will Jackson confront what many would consider to be the latest shrugging off of Blacks perpetrated by the Democratic Party? The issue remains what would Jackson do in such a scenario? Would he be willing to leave the Democratic Party or would he be willing to stay in the party and endorse a candidate from another party as it was rumored he was considering doing in 1992 with Ross Perot? Many do not have faith in Rev. Jackson’s ability to stand-up to the Democratic Party as evidenced by the humiliating experience he suffered from Bill Clinton in 1992. Some have spoken privately of the possibility that in the event he is not placed on the Democratic Party ticket as Vice-President he will accept a cabinet position in return for supporting the Democratic Party nominee. Rumors have circulated of a potential deal between Rev. Jackson and Al Gore whereby Jackson would be nominated for the cabinet position of Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, with current HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo becoming the Chief of Staff in a Gore administration. But in any event, it is funny how things have changed; the very same Democrats whom ran away from Rev. Jackson in 1992 may now be forced to run toward the new and improved version. If they don’t and Jackson puts his money where his mouth is, he could return the insult he received in 1992 and in the process move Black voters further away from "home". The saga continues…
For comments Guest contributor Cedric Welch-Muhammad can be reached at Black_Electorate_Communications@compuserve.com
A NEW MANDATE FOR BLACK LEADERSHIP
Continued from page 1
The appeal of rap music and
hip-hop culture can be linked, in part to young Blacks wanting to start their
own legitimate businesses and reap the monetary rewards of their talents, as
dictated by the marketplace. For better or worse seeing
magazine has showed our youth that people
like them can succeed financially in this country. Instead of lamenting
the baseness of rap music, progressive Black leadership should be attempting to
mentor entrepreneurs like these so that they can grow as responsible citizens
and business professionals.
Perhaps the materialistic, bottom line approach of the post- civil rights generation is limited in scope, but "freedom" to a large extent flows from the acquisition and investment of real economic resources. Case in point is the NAACP's recent campaign to force the major television networks to hire more Blacks. For all the time and effort expended on this goal, at best the networks will hire a few hundred people, primarily in New York and California. I argue that Kweisi Mfume's considerable influence and media savvy would have been better served trying to affect the conditions of millions of Black Americans, rather than a visible few. In this light, I honestly believe that the NAACP should have worked on issues like organizing a national boycott to demand more equitable funding to schools in Black communities, convening a symposium to address the best ways to provide Black communities with computer technology (e.g. stores, internet access, training and actual computers) in order to close the existing "digital divide" or setting up regional workshops to teach community activists and organizers how to raise funds and run for political office. Moreover, if the NAACP felt so strongly about Black representation in the entertainment industry, rather than again asking the white man to open the door and let a few of us in, Mfume and his people should have met with investors to either help Bob Johnson improve and expand Black Entertainment Television (BET) or finance a new competing Black-owned cable network.
Ultimately personally responsibility as a
social precept means that adults are deemed capable of making decisions for
themselves and living with the consequences of those decisions.
Similar to the aphorism "You've got to sleep in the bed that you've
made," it is unreasonable to act irresponsibly and then expect the Black
community, white liberals or society in general to bail you out. Personal
responsibility does not negate giving help or assistance to needy people, but it
does negate enabling adults to abdicate their obligations and behave like
guileless children. The present " I am not responsible" philosophy
advocated by many so-called Black leaders acknowledges that whites are adamant
to maintain the status quo, yet in the next breath suggests that Blacks implore
these same whites to better our condition. The statistics do not
substantiate the efficiency of this long-standing, nonsensical mind-set.
At this point in time Blacks comprise of approximately 12% of the population yet
they are the majority of those imprisoned in this country; approximately 60% of
Black children are now born to unwed mothers (births to Black teenage mothers
are still almost twice that of white teenage mothers) ; college enrollment for
Black men is significantly lower than for Black women and whites in general; and
in many Black communities the life expectancy for young Black men is less than
25 years old. It would seem logical that once we turned inward and got our
collective house in order we would be in a better position to know what we as
citizens, families, laborers and taxpayers really want and need from the
government. Now we seem to require that the government furnish us with
everything and have no ready alternative when we are denied.
Contrary to popular belief, the poor are not
content being poor, however the answer to eradicating poverty is not the
continuance of piecemeal programs. Throughout the country, there are Black
politicians who have been in power from decades, recycling the same old
"poverty programs" yet the circumstances of their constituents never
radically improves. Furthermore the true beneficiaries of poverty
initiatives overwhelmingly seem to be middle class, Black officials and
administrators. There is no single job-training program, workfare
initiative or food handout that will permanently bring the poor from below the
poverty line. If the government, including Black politicians and so-called
Black leaders are genuinely interested in empowering the poor, rather than
keeping their individual power, they would tackle the problem at its source with
bold, innovative efforts in substance abuse prevention housing and education
reform. What is clear however is that as long as there is an
"underclass" to advocate for and administer poverty programs to, a
sector of middle class Black leaders, bureaucrats and political functionaries
will remain employed.
I would describe many within my generation, including myself as neither conservatives nor separatists, but independent-thinking pragmatists. The sin qua non of the Civil Rights Movement was equal access, but people perpetually stuck in survival mode are not able to exercise the myriad of options now afforded them. The job of Black politicians and so-called leaders therefore is to formulate strategies and policies that make it possible for Black people to decide their own destinies. Very often however it seems that Black leaders relish their role as the mediator between the "underclass" and the white establishment far too much to relinquish it voluntarily; it is therefore time for the Black community to officially terminate their services.
For comments, contributing writer L. Yvonne Bynoe can be reached at email@example.com
Last Black Man Standing Cont.
by Dr. Kamau Kambon
It was very strange to see
us in all of our odd
behavior and skewed thinking in the last days. We had
been a pure, unadulterated people before the invaders.
We were such a Blacknificent people, but the invaders
not only invaded our land, worst, they invaded our
minds and contaminated our hearts. We descended into
thinking of ourselves as "minority," as "third world,"
and living in a "crib." We cherished our
enslavers' name, clothes and values.
Our descent was swift because we had given up our own
cultural values. We formed all of these little groups
who talked big but produced nothing concrete-no
schools, convention centers, restaurants, hotels, bus
lines, or manufacturing plants.
We all spent our money lavishly and foolishly: Black
men spent most of their money buying cars that put
them deep in debt. They bought these cars to show off,
to style, to front like they had wealth. They,
unknowingly, made other races rich. They were car rich
but land poor. Just the interest on the loan for the
car could have enabled the Black man to buy and own
own land. There were reports that he spent more on his
car than he spent on the education of his children.
The Black man also spent enormous amounts of his
money on alcohol and malt liquors. Apparently, his
pain and psychological self-hatred were too much for
him to bear. Look at how much marijuana he smoked,
marijuana laced with deadly chemicals which destroyed
his perception, personality, and his genetic potential
(his children were born with many emotional,
psychological and intellectual deficiencies).
The Black woman, also majestic as the mother of all
races and civilizations, lost sight of her authentic
self. She started imitating the women of other
races-it is difficult for me to talk about all this,
but I must leave at least a taped message as a legacy
about my people.
The Black woman spent billions of dollars in what was
called beauty parlors. She never realized she was the
original beauty queen and everyone modeled her image.
She spent large sums of money on clothes and made
unwise use of her money, buying bleaching creams, hair
dyes and, especially, getting her nails painted. How
A silent way her money left the community was through
her excessive use of the telephone. This was money
spent that was never talked about in any business
magazines or economics classes. I went back and looked
at all the telephone bills of Black people and the
money spent on the phone alone could have enabled the
race to rebuild and restore Africa completely.
In the area of economics, both male and female are to
blame for the building of more churches than was
needed. Oh! I know this tape will hurt the feelings of
any who finds it. The naďve Black people thought they
were praising the heavens by building all these
churches. What a mistake! Our people were merely
making their enemies, the contractors and vendors,
richer and richer.
In other words, other communities were the
beneficiaries of Black mismanagement of financial
Time is running out, I must hurry! Another critical
area that hurt us was food consumption. My race
continued to eat foods that were "death foods," foods
contaminated with chemicals and other toxins. They ate
lots of "fast foods," and genetically-engineered
"foods." How pitiful!! In the last days, Black people
became an obese and out of shape people. They drank
something called soda and ate untold mounds of sugar,
pork and fried foods. As a result, and over time, many
got sick and had to go to hospitals that performed
unnecessary surgeries, pumped them with drugs and
Above all this, the Black man and Black woman refused
to listen to their warrior-scholars, African-centered
psychologists and educators. These warriors,
psychologists and educators wanted to restore our
thinking about the importance of remembering our
ancestors, educating our children through
reading to them and building their identity and self
Those who had our interests at heart fought night and
day to get us to change for our own good, but the
media (television, radio and the newspapers) had us
brainwashed against our leaders and ourselves. Black
radio stations, in particular, were actually against
us: many only played lewd music, gave us no relevant
survival information and aired ads to get us to
spend more money and party.
Well, the tape has about run out and, I must admit,
it is a very sad day for me, as The Last Black Man
Standing. I am so very sorry to have to say all these
things about the demise of my race. We were a very
beautiful and loving people but, oh! what a
hard-headed and stubborn people we were. It seemed as
though we were on a non-stop path of self-destruction.
I am sorry to have to report all of this but . Wait!!
What! Who! Is that a Black Woman! Someone else
survived! Impossible! Maybe if she and I can examine
all the mistakes of our people, and not repeat them,
perhaps we could.
IT'S NOT TOO LATE TO CHANGE, BLACK PEOPLE, BUT
TIME IS RUNNING OUT!! DON'T MAKE THIS STORY COME
(Kamau Kambon is author of several books and runs the
Blacknificent Bookstore in Raleigh, N.C. He can be
reached at (919) 250-9110.)
Brothers and Sisters,
Please read, pass along and act accordingly.
Subject : PAID summer internships for minority students at Iowa State University
In a message dated 1/21/00, Nina writes: Greetings!
I wanted to put another plug in for the summer
internship for minority students at Iowa State University.
I haven't received very many applications to date and
the deadline is FEBRUARY 1, 2000! This is chance for a
minority high school or undergraduate student to come
to Iowa State University to do research, all expenses
paid plus a stipend! PLEASE ENCOURAGE INTERESTED AND
QUALIFIED STUDENTS TO APPLY!
The fastest way to get our internship application is
to go to this web site:
There is a highlighted Word "application", you click
on that to get the application and then print. If you
have trouble, let me know...I can fax it to you! Or if
you prefer, I can send it too.
There you will find the College of Agriculture's at
Iowa State University summer internship program for
minority (African-American, Asian-American/Pacific
Indian, or Multi-Racial including one or
more of the minority groups listed) high school
students and undergraduate college students. Interns
must be U. S. Citizens or permanent residents and at
least age 16 by the start of the program-
The applications are due Feb.1, 2000 and the summer
program runs from June 3 - July 31, 2000 (starts June
18 for high school students). This is a great
opportunity for students to participate in research
and see Iowa State University.
Compensation: room, board, round trip travel, and
stipend ($1500 for high school and $2000 for
undergraduate students) are provided.
Students will conduct research on a faculty-led team,
participate in weekly seminars, social, cultural, and
educational activities, tours on and off campus and
complete a final report.
Examples of research include: mapping genes,
evaluating environmental quality, developing
educational opportunities, examining new ways to
determine seed quality, studying weather stress on
analyzing issues in early childhood and youth
development, investigating nutritional impacts on
human health, and much more...
The areas of interest (departments) include:
Ag. Biosystems Engineering (i.e., Water quality)
Ag. Economics (i.e., Entrepreneurship)
Ag. Education & Studies (i.e., Teaching & Learning
Education & Ag. Awareness)
Ag. Statistics (i.e., Statistical Consulting with
Agronomy (i.e., Precision Agriculture)
Animal Ecology (i.e., Fisheries and Wildlife Biology)
Animal Science (i.e., Livestock waste management,
Apparel Merchandising, Design & Production (i.e.,
& design, merchandising & marketing strategies)
Biochemistry, Biophysics & Molecular Biology (i.e.,
Chemical processes in animals and plants)
Botany (i.e., Prairie, wetland, landscape ecology)
Entomology (i.e., Biological control of pests)
Food Science & Human Nutrition (i.e., Food product
and health; value-added agriculture)
Forestry (i.e., Agroforests, watersheds, urban forests
and wood Science)
Horticulture (i.e., Urban agriculture)
Human Development and Family Studies (i.e., Early
childhood and youth
Microbiology (i.e., Infectious disease, environmental
Plant Pathology (i.e., Ecology of plant pathogenic
Sociology (i.e., Community organizational development)
Zoology/Genetics (i.e., Professional study in human or
United States Department of Agriculture-National
Animal Disease Center
Please feel free to contact me with any questions you
may have about
Director of Minority Programs
College of Agriculture
Iowa State University
23B Curtiss Hall
Ames, IA 50011-1050
Office: (515) 294-1701
Fax: (515) 294-2844
P.S. So you know where our interns came from last
year, here is a
list of the 1999 Summer Research Internship for
Minority Students at
Iowa State University.
1. Akofa Bonsi Auburn, AL
2. Shane Castillo Kekaha, HI
3. Wendy Fitzgerald Portland, OR
4. LaToya Johnson Maywood, IL
5. Jared Kunitake Hilo, HI
6. Krystal Lofton Chicago, IL
7. Alicia McGhee Maywood, IL
8. Kristy Stotler Portland, OR
9. Xialing Wu Portland, OR
1. Ronald Grider Tuskegee University
2. Miranda Hancock Crownpoint Institute
3. Lantoria Harris University of Montevallo
4. Artanase Meme Florida A&M
5. Blucher Menelas Florida A&M
6. Damian Montoya Eastern New Mexico University
7. Rolanda Morris Prescott College
8. Elena Silva-Velarde New Mexico State University
9. Dustin Thunder Hawk Sitting Bull College
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Brothers and Sisters,
Please read, and pass along.
Subj: Free Grad School for Professionals!
In a message dated 1/17/00, Aprille writes:
Please share this OUTSTANDING OPPORTUNITY and pass it
on to your colleagues or anyone or group you feel may
be interested. There is a VERYstrong emphasis on
recruiting people of color. The current deadline is
March 15, 2000.
For the fifth year, the Environmental Careers
Organization (ECO) is working in cooperation with
Tufts University in Medford, MA to recruit
candidates for the ENVIRONMENTAL LEADERSHIP PROGRAM.
This is a GRADUATE SCHOLARSHIP program for mid-career
professionals who seek a multidisciplinary graduate
education that combines environmental technology,
science, and policy. The program blends rigorous
academic coursework in environmental engineering,
health and policy, risk assessment, and management
with practical field experience. The aim is
to equip graduates with the environmental knowledge
and leadership skills to address complex issues of
environmental sustainability and equity.
Qualified candidates should have:
* Minimum of at least three years of professional work
* Background in science or technology (college major
or relevant experience)
* Course work in calculus and chemistry
* U.S. citizenship
* Demonstrated professional or personal commitment to
The deadline for applications is MARCH 15, 2000. The
time to apply is NOW!
For more information, go to ECO's webpage at
http://www.eco.org/ and click on "Diversity
Initiative." For specific questions, contact
Kristie King, Diversity Manager, The Environmental
Careers Organization: firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at
Back to page 1