“The only thing worst than going to war with an ally, is going to war without one”-Winston Churchill
Recently, Former Vice-President & Presidential Candidate, Joe Biden got caught in a minor public controversy when fellow Democratic opponent Kamala Harris, outed Biden for his opposition to public school busing and his work with segregationist senators in the 1970s.
What did he do? How did he respond? The same way all politicians respond when their slips from positions adversarial to the black community begin to show; he sought out a black co-signer; The Rev. Jessie Jackson. I’m not going into a diatribe against Rev. Jackson by citing random allegations of race hustling and opportunism. That’s not the point.
The point here is that whenever politicians are caught in a web of their own deceit, they quickly trot out a seemingly innumerable list of black influence peddlers, to obtain absolution from the black community writ large. While this tactic may seem manipulative and insidious, it is actually standard operating procedure in the playbook of public relations.
While Black Americans have occupied senatorial, congressional and for once in a millennia, presidential positions, they remain largely powerless in a system where they are only heard every election term in the month of November.
And though they boast a reputed 2 trillion dollar spending power, they remain without a robust economy to provide jobs for the denizens of their communities. There is only one true place of influence in Black America where both businesses and candidates give their undivided attention: culture.
Black Culture is the only global commodity that is exportable and thus commands the respect of people in places of power. Culture informs the community at large whether or not a practice, custom, or product is acceptable. In short, if the hood f@#$ with you, then everyone else will.
Two areas of Black Culture appear to be the most powerful: Music and Protest. The explosion of rap music has people in the most remote places on the globe, mimicking, posturing, or imitating the culture of Urban America. It is an enterprise that is worth trillions of dollars.
But it is afflicted with a curious form of schizophrenia. While most of the money from the culture flows into pre-dominately white owned record labels, its manequins come straight out of the hood.
Thus, black men enjoy a kind of perverse political influence with people that they never see as they languish in economically desolate neighborhoods. This social capital is a fat lick to both politicians and corporate CEOs which allows them to come up.
Politicians have proven to be especially skilled at locating and identifying influential black personalities and appropriating them for their own use.
Take for example, Former Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton. Her 2012 presidential bid saw the ghost of soundbites past come back to bite her in her flat linear backside; when her detractors recalled her comments describing young black juvenile delinquents in inner city Chicago as Super-Predators. The irony was that it was the black community in Chicago that went forth on bended knee asking for her husband’s assistance in curing this social plague.
Clinton quickly sought out every influential black figure to chase this strong gin of urban rebuke. The most notable of which, was Roland Martin.
Martin did an interview with Clinton in front of a mostly black audience. At the conclusion of the interview, Martin seeking to add “levity” to the scene, beckoned Clinton to get up and do the Wobble. In the video, before the dance, Martin says “you’re gonna pick up so some votes, trust me.”
But this time, neither Clinton’s dance skills, or lack thereof, nor Martin’s co-signage would be enough to overcome the Gods of Reactionary Politics. Despite Martin’s explanations to the contrary, the stench of the Obama Presidency was simply too much to bear for the angry, disheveled Archie Bunkers that longed for the days of a Herbert Hoover Presidency.
Obama’s presidency unleashed a deep psychic rage in the recesses of the white working class that spawned movements as despotic as the Birthers, and the mysteriously vanished, Tea Party. Clinton was simply collateral damage; a kind of expendable sacrifice on the alter of white male frustrations.
Although black co-signage is usually a democratic past time, it is a mistake to believe only democrats practice it. Starting as early as the 80s, white right wing billionaires began co-opting influential black personalities under the Republican banner. It’s most notable being Armstrong Williams, Larry Elder, & Kenneth Hamblin.
These personalities espoused the conservative values of God, Country, and Personal Responsibility. These virtues have been prevalent in the Black Community since Reconstruction. So why would they suddenly become so viral in the digital age?
ANSWER: TO MAKE MORE WEALTHY WHITE BILLIONAIRES EVEN WEALTHIER!
By cleverly appropriating the cathartic virtues found in the culture of black spiritual traditions, the right has tapped into the most fundamental, and at times, problematic practices within Black America’s rich cultural history: forgiveness and redemption.
These practices are the key components found in the echoing demand of Black Americans for inclusion into the larger society. By trumpeting these values, the right enables a willful conspiracy of ignorance among it’s black acolytes.
The result is a consistent barrage of indefensible positions fed by emotive based catch phrases designed to arouse anger and arrogance in its’ listeners. With phrases like small government, patriotism, and Make America Great Again, black co-signers can feign purposeful ignorance of their benefactor’s true motive: the mass centralization of wealth and power in American society.
Enter Candace Owens—An average college student with no discernible skills, but with a quick wit, above average looks, and a trigger fire tongue.
Owens’ fiery personality was appropriated by Turning Point USA. An organization headed by Charlie Kirk but funded by right wing billionaire Foster Friess. Her job is to initiate a mass exodus of Black Americans from the Democratic Party as a voting block, into the indifferent arms of the Republic Party.
Though she is charismatic and powerfully eloquent in front of the camera, she is woefully misinformed and consciously ignorant in an honest debate. But in the vast bubble of the reactionary right, facts are not as important as the emotions that they elicit.
Owens’s interviews are masterpieces of political theater performed with lethal precision. She is almost always aided by a partisan media personality that covers for her by cutting the response time of her opponent when things get too hot.
This is made all the more effective when her true strategy is discovered. Owens’ co-signing is not to win over the informed, but to secure the allegiance of the ill informed, culturally alienated, young, black working and collegiate sectors of the community. Among these culturally awkward millennials, is where Owens finds her true base.
In this manner, her job is made easier due to the fact that these young people suffer a kind of social exile from the greater body of the community. Thus, they are tailor made for her message as they are already refugees from the “Democratic Plantation.”
And though she is no longer with Turning Point USA, her career as a black co-signer for reactionary plutocrats continues.
The point here is not to disparage Roland Martin, Larry Elder, Candace Owens, or any other emissary of our two party autocracy. The point here is to understand how allies are recruited and deployed for outside interests that are usually antithetical to our welfare.
Former Governor and Pro Wrestler Jesse “The Body” Ventura likened these tactics to gang affiliations in his book Democrips and Rebloodlicans. When viewed in this light, it appears that American Politics is simply a macrocosm of the very culture that it purports to denigrate. And the granting of ghetto passes is simply the recruitment of expendable soldiers with a shelf life of an office term, or the repeal of some legislation that protects the co-signer’s own community.
TONY MACEO is a Senior Blogger at the Negromanosphere. Support by Paypal@firstname.lastname@example.org or on Patreon @ Power of Strategies..TILL NEXT TIME, I’LL HOLLA!