The Black vote? Volunteer slavery

harry alfordWhy have the economic plight, political ineptness and the power of influence not changed at all since the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 have been implemented?

These “nigger bills,” as President Lyndon B. Johnson would refer to them when talking with the Dixiecrat senators, granted a lot of new freedoms to Black America.  It looked like the White power structure was about to change dramatically.  We gained access to the American dream but the access has not been taken advantage of.

But “Pharaoh” still has not let us go, and that’s our fault. We have not let Pharaoh go.

Blacks in high places
Many of our major cities have Black mayors.  The Congressional Black Caucus should be a pivotal force in our Congress.  We have enough influential supervisors in all levels of our law enforcement infrastructure that police corruption and brutality should be a thing of the past.

Baltimore is a fine example.  The city is 80 percent Black with a Black mayor who is the No. 3 officer in the Democratic National Committee.  The police supervisor was just let go and the official federal report claims that police operations have been factually oppressive to that 80-percent Black community.  There is something wrong and certain Black elected officials either did it or let it happen.

‘Don’t blame me’
Philadelphia’s demographics are quite similar.  However, the predominantly Black city council and former Black mayor have gone out of their way to let White construction workers from the suburbs go to the front of the line for jobs to the detriment of inner-city construction workers via Project Labor Agreements.

The new White mayor has the perfect excuse: “Don’t blame me. The Black mayor before me set that system up and all of the other officials agreed with him. I am just continuing the tradition which was set in place by the previous mayor who is Black.” Yes, Black Philadelphia, you have clung to Pharaoh.

Chicago. Detroit. Los Angeles. Cleveland. On and on; it doesn’t make a difference.  The “party punks” blame it all on one of our two predominant political parties – Republicans. The Black Democratic vote is taken for granted and White opportunists just love it.

This system is guaranteed to keep Blacks ignorant (they can’t determine who the enemy is).  A key ingredient is our educational system.  Charter schools, school choice, and private schools are excellent vehicles to empower our children and break the mold that produces academic ineffective students.

Critical factor
Poor education is a key ingredient to unemployment and under-employment.  It breeds hopelessness, which leads to crime, violence and despair.  So why does the majority of Black elected officials fight against these answers?

The Obama administration has been merciless in fighting against these recent trends in education.

They have been lethal against for-profit colleges; they are putting some of them out of business.

(One female Black congressperson has been the most outspoken against for-profit colleges, though her granddaughter is a graduate of one.)

One for-profit school, Laureate International Universities, came up with the solution for survival.

They made former President William Clinton “chairman emeritus,” a ceremonial position which will eventually pay him $18 million in income.  In return, Mr. Clinton’s wife, former Secretary of the State Hillary Clinton, gave the for-profit university system a grant (our tax money) of $52 million.

That’s quite an exchange.  Gangsters Al Capone and John Gotti would be proud of that hustle.  The moral of the story? Pay first, and then you get to play.

Who benefits?
The multitude of deaths is growing because of hopelessness (again) and drug trafficking.  We should see who is profiting the most from this.

It is not the fault of guns – they are just tools of criminal activity and corruption.  And I won’t have my family sit at home with no protection.  Come into my home with violence on your mind, and I will meet you with the final solution.

Black America is at a disadvantage. All of the “chips” are on one side of the table.  To vote 90 percent for a particular party is just plain stupid.  We should have leverage on both sides.

Right now, the winning party has no obligation to Black voters it is taken for granted.  If each party actually respected the Black vote, we would have better leadership and good public policy.

Before voting, do your homework. Don’t join the party punks.

Harry C. Alford is the co-founder and president/CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce. Contact him via


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