In the absence of real political parties, Americans have bought into the fiction that politics is all about the clash of individual personalities on scheduled election days. Black America is somewhat more sophisticated on this score, having been forced to seek change outside of the electoral system for most of the national history. Before the Voting Rights Act of 1965, much of the southern half of Black America was shut out of electoral politics, altogether, while northern urban city halls remained in white hands until the early Seventies.

However, once the ballot became generally accessible, much of Black leadership shed generations of hard-earned organizing skills like old clothes, intent on dressing up for the "party" - namely, the Democratic Party. It was (and effectively remains) the only practical national venue, since the GOP was busy remaking itself into the White Man's Party, an eternal American institution. Over time, the recurrent cycles of content-devoid elections worked their hypnosis on people who should have known better, yet forgot that politics is about group empowerment, not individual horse races.

is constantly asked, Do you support Al Sharpton for President? We don't like the question. What we support is Black Power. In our April 24 commentary, "What the Black Presidential Candidate Must Do," we briefly discussed the "historic mission" of anyone who chooses to become the Black candidate for the White House in 2004. Directing our remarks to Rev. Sharpton, we wrote: "The largest possible number of African Americans must coalesce behind one candidate in order to prove that there still remains a formidable Black bloc vote. If you are the unabashedly Black candidate, that should be you."

If the Black bloc vote is fractured, or can be made to appear unfocused, the media will declare that the African American vote is no longer strategically important. From that point on in national contests, the Black electorate will be treated as less than the sum of its purportedly scattered parts ....

You are the only hope for African Americans as a group to have a strong voice in the Democratic Presidential process, and Black voters are your only hope of wielding clout as a leader of an effective Party bloc.

We were also presumptuous enough to offer advice on how Sharpton should respond to inherently hostile questions about Tawana Brawley.

You are a minister who believed a young Black woman over the words of white men in rural, upstate New York. On Black terms, that's righteous, honorable, and quite enough.

R.W. Stamper, Sr., of Milwaukee, also urges Sharpton not to blink when confronting what Dr. Cornel West calls "the normative white gaze."

I agree with y'all 100% on the advice to Rev. Al: Stay with your base and rise or fall with it. Stay with your belief in Tawana Brawley. All white folks want to be able to say about that is, "See, I told you so. He had no integrity in the first place." Rev. Al should not give them that satisfaction.

Eddgra Fallin, of Huntsville, Alabama, is an activist who stands alone, when necessary. In the Democratic primaries, she stands with Rev. Sharpton.

I hope Big Al reads your commentary because it is right on. Be the Black Candidate and call them on their racist ways every opportunity you can. Al is the only candidate that can handle BuSh. I'm looking forward to the national debates. I have my bowl of popcorn ready.

Another letter, from veteran educator Dr. Ron Gerughty, prompted what we believe was a very interesting exchange on the utility of electoral politics in 2004. It's a rather long dialogue, so we've saved it for the last part of this column.

Condoleezza the Gatekeeper

When we commissioned cartoonist Khalil Bendib to interpret Condoleezza Rice's rise as the "most trusted National Security Adviser in the history of the position," we knew the result would offend some readers. Mattie Weiss is one of them.

I'm writing to express my distaste for your recent cartoon about Condoleezza Rice. I usually find your commentary and cartoons interesting and insightful, but this latest one was off the mark.

There's plenty of shit-talking to do about the woman, but to make the same tired stab that is always made against women in power (i.e. that she sleeps around to get where she is) is old, anti-woman, fucked up, and hedges the real reasons she ought to be critiqued.

Thank you for your time and your newsletter.


We anticipated the criticism. We do not respect the person of Condoleezza Rice, and are willing to express that through sexual innuendo. We will not give her a pass, simply because women are treated in this manner as a group. We also do not give the worst elements among Black preachers a pass in expressing our disdain for bribery-prone clergy - we have featured caricatures that are stereotypical.

We also call attention to the April 15 San Francisco Chronicle report that, in fact, sparked the idea for the cartoon. However, it would be dishonest to pretend that we did not intend every nasty connotation of Khalil Bendib's illustration, or that we aren't glad that poet Amiri Baraka goes around the country calling Rice a "skeeza." Nor do we disavow our January 30 display of a collage depicting Bush and Rice walking hand in hand against a hellish backdrop ("The Devil's Handmaiden") or anything else we have said or done to impugn the character of the National Security Advisor.

There is nothing polite or civilized about the Bush crew, including their Black operatives. holds them beneath contempt, and believes that it is Black people's duty to shun and reject them in every forum and manner possible. We will not allow considerations of correctness to dissuade us from taking every opportunity to express absolute disgust with Condoleezza Rice as a person. She has earned it.

The agony of Haiti

Randall Robinson, a prime mover of the Eighties movement to divest white-ruled South Africa, now spends much of his time at the equally important task of providing leadership through his writings. Last week, was proud to publish the former TransAfrica Forum executive director's article, "When Major Powers State a Coup," detailing the U.S. role in undermining the democratically elected government of Haiti. The U.S. wields its awesome power to block international aid to the island nation.

In this special period in world relations, it is morally untenable and politically unwise for the wealthiest nations on earth to maintain a financial stranglehold on eight million men, women, and children in Haiti. Haiti has no nuclear weapons. It has attacked neither American property nor American citizens. Indeed it is trying its very best, even with its limited material resources, to be a responsible nation and to support US priorities in the region. As an active participant in the US led regional war on drugs, for example, even with its inexperienced police and coast guard, Haiti was able to double the size of its cocaine seizures last year over the year before.

Washington bases its aid blockade on alleged irregularities in Haiti's 2000 legislative elections. RLO Brian writes:

Irony of ironies, isn't it, that the Bush people should "punish" a regime for election fraud? And all because his Daddy pushed Aristide out of power and Clinton brought him back.

We MUST do something to rid the system of Bush.

As contributor Kevin Pina reported in the April 3 issue ("Is the U.S. Funding Haitian Contras?"), it appears that the U.S. is also sponsoring armed incursions against Haiti, aimed at toppling President Jean-Paul Aristide.

The global, defensive conspiracy

considers most conspiracy theories to be diversionary shortcuts that "cloud objectivity, rendering the activist incapable of assessing her antagonist and fashioning effective strategies and contingencies." To put things simply, conspiracy theories most often have the effect of making the enemy appear much more powerful and resourceful than he really is - a good way to demoralize a movement.

In our April 17 and 24 cover stories, we used "conspiracy" to describe the international "redlining" of the U.S., a global reaction to the Bush Pirates' offensive against world order. "Conspiracy Theories 2: The Great Unraveling of Global U.S. Power," reported Indonesia's and other Asian nations' plans to disentangle themselves from the dollar by bolstering the euro as an alternative, world currency - just one aspect of a growing, defensive international conspiracy. When they crossed the Kuwaiti border, the Pirates accelerated an already existing trend.

World revulsion is near universal, beyond emotion, and fast translating into concerted action in collective defense against the madman. Indonesia and Malaysia are simply speaking more frankly than other nations. The Bush men cannot comprehend that their systematic, transparent assault on international stability is unpardonable. And they don't know what it feels like to be hurt. This, too, will come as a surprise - their Shock and Awe ....

The Pirates believe they hold the trump card: half the world's military under one, super-tech command. It is a blunt instrument, with a narrow range of uses. The real bomb ticks under America's porch, and will devastate the dollar in a spasm of millions of individual and institutional decisions to run in the other direction.

Actually, the "conspiracy" is a secret only to the American people, who live in an informational void filled, instead, with self-serving delusions. David Elliott has managed to escape from the bubble to witness reality in the raw.

As usual, your trenchant analysis is right on-point in the brilliant 'The Great Unraveling of U.S. Global Power' article. In my view, the current pathological state of world affairs has its roots in the ill-fated rise of so-called 'western civilization' over 1,000 years ago. Since its inception, murderous wars have become the norm and true world peace has been nothing but an ethereal dream.

No candid assessment of 'western civilization' can conclude that it has been anything but an unmitigated disaster for this planet and for humanity as a whole. It can claim only two true legacies - periodic genocidal campaigns directed against people of color for the theft of their land or resources and the wonton destruction of the environment, from the fast-disappearing rain forests to the irrevocable damage done to the Ozone layer.

The Bush men scribble epithets on walls of the hall of nations while the world struggles to find ways to go about its business without them. The mad dogs froths, but doesn't know he's sick. A reader named Russell writes:

Your usual excellent form is exemplified. The currency devaluation is underway and the swashbuckling attitude of the Bush Idiots will be hard for the people to swallow as their jobs continue to disappear and their money continues to lose it's value. The Euro is gaining strength daily as the Bush Bunch call our allies names and hurl insults and threats at respectable diplomats from other countries. The avalanche is growing and the fools keep making loud noises. No amount of weapons or troops can defend the U.S. against the foolish policies the Bush thugs have put in place.

Respect for this country no longer exists, we are trading on the peoples fear of a rabid dog. When the people come to reason the rabid dog will be eliminated. The dollar is no longer the currency of choice for other nations to conduct their business. The oil producing countries that we are shouting insults to are quietly switching to the Euro for their transactions. This is the avalanche that ignorance will not overcome.

Cindy Parker doesn't realize that all we do at is study the available materials. Please, don't tell her.

You are Awesome! I have never read anything from your site that isn't so close to what is really going on in the country. With all the insanity on a daily basis, I feel less alone hearing what your writers have to say. Looking around at the rest of America, I feel basic intelligence is evaporating, if it ever was really there at all - more like a power-mongering rat race that is always at someone else's expense.

Unfortunately, the dollar is the only currency we've got, so the bell tolls for more than just the Pirates. But that's another story. Alvin Foster, of Boston, appreciates what he's read, so far.

The article on 'Conspiracy Theories' was perhaps the best I have read on the Iraq war, etc. Keep up the excellent work. I have re-read it several times. I love your Black perspective; can't find that in most 'leftist' literature articles.

Carolyn White, of Sydney, Australia says "Conspiracy Theories" makes perfect sense from her geopolitical perspective.

This is a fantastic article, the best background briefing to these corporate criminals in the White House that I've read to date. I'm going to pass the link on to my friends.

Thanks for such a well-researched and clear article.

Kathy Schultz thanks for helping her lose that out-of-synch feeling. She's part of the global conspiracy of awareness.

Wow - that is the most comprehensive, clear explanation of the motivations and plans of the Neo-cons that I have read anywhere, bar none. You capture the pure cynicism of these men, their true material and power-hungry reasons, and the bloodless distain they hold for everyone not in their circle. I've been trying for nearly a year to convince people that "WMD" and "liberating the Iraqi people" have nothing to do with this invasion. You would think that the fact that we protected the oil fields and ignored the hospitals (to say nothing of the museums) would make it clear to everyone. And yet, today in the local newspaper I read a story by an "embed" about how soldiers ignored orders to give candy and water to children. I'm sure they did, I'm sure that many individual soldiers are performing many acts of kindness, but not one of them justifies our presence there.

So, before I rant too long, thank you for the article - a breath of sanity gives me hope.

"Staci" arrived just in time to get in on the conspiracy (although its clear she'd already heard about it.)

An acquaintance passed along your article titled Conspiracy Theories and I've been busy reading from your site since. The articles and cartoons are wonderful! I avoid the "mainstream" media whenever possible and rely on Internet sources to keep informed - Black Commentator is now one of those favorite sources.

In the e-Mailbox section you write, "This sick majority is cowardly at root, but swells with criminally insane pride at the carnage wrought by U.S. machines of war and the relatively safe personnel who man them." That is the perhaps the most concise sentence I've read on the subjects of U.S. nationalism and imperialism.

Again, the downside of the pro-war supermajority's essential cowardice is that they become hysterical when afraid - and scare easily. It is as likely as not that Permanent National Emergency will arrive with the initial blessing of the white masses. In any event, LadyHawke, a Shaman, will have none of it.

It's a good thing that paying taxes is "voluntary" and that many of us exercise those rights. Tough to sleep at night knowing that we might be supporting that garbage, not to mention the murder of millions.

Let those be their rules ... we have our own set. Follow our Hearts and all is well.

Thank you for sharing the Light. With Peace and Love and Light from Magic Mt. in Colorado.

Clayton Haven writes a letter that, like the email on Condoleezza's cartoon, we knew was coming.

I've just read the "Great Unraveling" commentary and I want to thank you for a cogent and, in a way, hopeful analysis. There may be a way to fight back. I would suggest that a better term than "Bush men" be found. 1) They are more monsters than men, 2) the term is too close to Bushmen whose integrity is as certain as their suffering at the hands of white imperialism. I suggest Bush cabal, Bush league, Bush bunch.


Regarding Bushmen, the !Kung people of southern Africa do not call themselves that, the whites do. We understand your point, of course. But Bush men, Pirates, Bushmedia, etc. work for our purposes.

Conspiracy I, Issue 38

As any sane TV watcher must know (or forfeit any claim to sanity), the Bush men and Bushmedia are totally lost in fantasy, holding irrelevant conversations among themselves as if the world moves at the rhythm of their lips. Like second hand smoke, delusions can sicken proximate parties. Thus it is noted that many faint hearted onlookers are, indeed, fainting, overcome by Pirate bravado - believing there must be something behind the bluster that the rest of us don't know about. As we wrote in our April 17 "Conspiracy Theories" commentary, even the gravest blunders by the Bush men are interpreted by some as evidence of a grand, secret plan.

[W]e note that American Blacks and progressives have begun reading subtexts and plots into every horror of the Bush men's Iraq adventure. For example, that the Americans wanted Baghdad to burn. This is preposterous. The U.S military allowed Baghdad to descend into chaos because it doesn't give a damn about Iraqi lives, period. The Bush men would rather have had different pictures on the world's TV screens. They are inept in nearly every respect except the arts of their particular style of war, and in their mastery at manipulation of their fellow white Americans' delusional minds. They have not a clue as to how to occupy Iraq, for the simple reason that they are racists who cannot assess the motivations of Iraqis. This cognitive black hole - the mental disability associated with racism - swallows up and disappears facts that do not conform with the prefabricated version of reality on which the Pirate's plans are based.

Eric Bogan, from Portland, Oregon noted the passage, above, and found it "valuable to me, and should be required reading for activist, progressives of all stripes."

One thing that I've learned in my readings of history, is that any kind of change for the better has occurred not by "great men or women" who get all of the press, but by the power and wisdom of ordinary folk. Mahatma Gandhi's movement in India and Dr. King's movement proves this. Not only do conspiracy theorists engage in all-too-familiar patterns of scapegoating, but they remove human agency from actions, consigning them to elaborate schemes that stretch the bounds of credulity.

We must not only resist this tendency to assign all the bad things of Bush and his crew of pirates to conspiracies, but we must always reserve the right to ridicule and mock them, and other delusional folks that associate themselves with the fantasies of reaction. Conspiracies only serve to give them credit where none was earned in the first place.

Keep strong.

Depraved Indifference to the Species

The world shuddered and a thousand cultures looked to their own treasures at news that humanity's patrimony was allowed to burn while the Marines fiddled around at the Oil Ministry, in Baghdad. In our April 17 issue, we gave the crime a name.

Evincing a depraved indifference to homo sapiens as a species, the United States last week oversaw the erasure of the evidence of 5,000 years of human civilization - a crime from which humanity cannot recover. Although certainly not their final act of barbarism, the burning of the Baghdad Museum and the Iraqi National Library under the armed auspices of the U.S. military is an offense to human consciousness that no temporal tribunal can ever be empowered to forgive, and that history will never forget.

We picked that passage because Ella Baccouche did.

Your piece on "conspiracy theories" expressed my sentiments succinctly and with such eloquence. is so gifted. I just love your writing and have committed to memory that first paragraph. I just wanted to say something about the sickening footage I saw on BBC the day Baghdad fell.

Anglo-American heroes? Hmmmm. The performance of those young criminals looting office buildings, tearing down Saddam's statue, proclaiming the Anglo-Americans as heroes, showing pictures of President Bush, revering the American flag, holding up replicas of the very airplane bombers that supposedly "freed" them by dropping thousands of depleted uranium bombs on them and their country, should be enshrined in drama for that was what it was, pure Hollywood. What a production! What fiction! The setting of this well manipulated direction actually had unseen charred bodies of men, women, and children civilians lying about throughout the city. The intended audience for this make-believe virtual documentary, obviously diseased with racial arrogance and evil intent, found these sanitized scenes to be a welcome sight.

What a diabolical way of cheapening the suffering of the Iraqi people. The "Pirates" want us to believe that twelve years of sanctions imposed on the people of Iraq by the Anglo-Americans, twelve years of no-fly zone bombing, twelve years of mothers watching their babies die from birth defects and lack of medicines, twelve years of dealing with the effects of depleted uranium, and twelve years of authentic terror all culminating in the Pentagon's demonstration of "Shock and Awe", with the dropping of over 4000 bombs, was actually "celebrated" when the Anglo-Americans took over Baghdad. Only the very deranged and deluded would mistake those depicted "jubilation episodes" for the real anarchy that was probably occurring at the time.

Anglo-American heroes? Malarkey! For most of the world, they are "Pirates." And, they cannot justify their horrendous deeds by their phony cinematography. Their malicious, murderous intent is all too apparent. We can no longer be bamboozled by them and their media cohorts. We all realize that their so-called "documentary" was just another rendition of the Columbus saga. Columbus is celebrated as a national hero in America. They remembered the song they sang in kindergarten, "Columbus, Columbus, he's our man, if he can't do it nobody can", didn't they? We are all reminded about Columbus' heroism every October 12th. And like Columbus, they want to be celebrated by the Iraqis as hero-liberators. Oh yes, they have a lot in common with Columbus. In the universal set of all things, they overlap Columbus on the properties exhibited by the "Pirate Class", the set of those willing to unscrupulously slaughter thousands in their eagerness to find gold. Only this time, it's "Black Gold."

New wave

A little over a year ago, we launched a publication to address "influencers" among Blacks and those non-Blacks we consider "progressive." We began with very direct knowledge of whom we wanted to reach. has multiplied its audience many times since April 5, 2002, while maintaining the essential character of readership. That's mainly due to the dynamic within and among constantly expanding circles of activism - the way in which "influencers" operate.

That's how we connected with William Bowles, of the UK.

I must commend you on your site. Intelligent and witty with good articles on that which ails and affects us. I'll spread the word. Keep it up.

John Smartt arrived via the same route as about 1,000 newcomers, last week.

Wow. I just got your piece via Information Clearing House. I will spend some time on you site henceforth. Thank you so much for the clear, and to my mind, accurate analysis.

Information Clearing House posted our December 5 commentary, "Rule of the Pirate: The $200 billion payday" - at the urging of the previously mentioned William Bowles, of Great Britain, who convinced the site's managers that the piece still had lots of shelf life left in it.

Nzingha Shabaka had family connections.

Hey look you Black People, I am so happy to have found you, you all are fantastic, your writers are great thinkers. At first my son turn me on to, and I ran upon you, I used to visit what really happened at least twice a day, now I only read , right now I am trying to catch up on previous issues.

Keep up the good work. makes a fine contribution to Internet intelligence.

Steve Brown heard (one of) us on the radio.

Thanks, I look forward to the Black Commentator. I had never heard of you before I heard Mr. Ford on the Tavis Smiley show this week. I didn't agree with your viewpoint, but it was well put. We're not a monolithic people, so just as we come in all complexions we have opinions all over the board as well. I'm interested in reading yours. Peace.

We're glad about that. The archived, April 23 commentary can be accessed on the NPR Website.

From Virginia, Debbie Roberts attests to our emotional equilibrium.

I cannot tell you how much I look forward to reading your articles and letters every week. is a well written, well designed, blessedly non-hysterical oasis of incisive thought out on the Web. Thank you and keep up the good work.

Finally, Ushanda is concise and very kind.

Thanks so much for your clear sight & passionate pen.

"What the Black Presidential Candidate Must Do"

We saved until last the following exchange of letters with Dr. Ron Gerughty, of Cottondale, Florida, so that we might end this column on a heavy note, presenting critical questions for ongoing consideration. Dr. Gerughty began:

Of all the Internet sites I read, yours is the most informative, provocative, and, yes, entertaining and for that I thank you profoundly. With that said, I would like to know why must we continue to serve the White Man's Party (WMP)? Although, in principle, the Democrats are far ahead of the Republicans, in reality, there's not much difference between the two. Given the DLC and the good old boys network, Al Sharpton has no chance of gaining the Democratic nomination, although he is, by far, the best of the lot. Have you given any thought to a third party, one that would attract a diverse constituency - one that would be an alternative to the WMP?

If we are successful in 2004 to rid this country of the scourge of the narcissistic, delusional madman and his minions, who would we get in exchange - more of the same except a few octaves lower?

I have yet to disagree with any of your insights into the history of this nation and its subsequent activities. I find your candor refreshing, yet disturbing, as I have been unable to change one iota, but I shall continue to try.

Thanks again for your marvelous publication.

's reply to Dr. Gerughty:

You are very generous to us. The best way to look at multi-racial organizations is usually to start off with a given: the mass of white folks is going to be hostile to Black people acting in concert. Since whites are both in charge and tend to share a common worldview, they do not need to organize as whites in order to move in the same direction - they are already there, so to speak. African Americans share a common general worldview but are not in charge. Therefore, we have to meet and plan as a group in order to move towards empowerment.

In assessing the Democratic Party, we must take general white hostility as a given, and then ask, how well have Blacks in the party organized themselves in those areas in which they are minorities, and how have they leveraged those local party machineries in which Blacks are the party, numerically and as officers. Essentially, we must run the test on ourselves, not on whites, whose general hostility to Black action-as-Blacks is a given.

Since Blacks have not done a good job of organizing within the party, and have not treated local bastions of Black numerical dominance as engines of party-wide Black power, the verdict on the utility of the Democratic Party is still out. That's our fault, since we have failed to press our potential impact on the party to the limits. Simply pointing out white hostility begs the question of intra-Black political cohesion.

Ideally, every Black caucus within the party should act as a Black-Party unit. 's publishers have long maintained that we already have the makings of a Black political party within the Democratic Party, if we just acted like it. We have failed to organize where we already exist in great and strategically placed numbers. There is no reason to believe that we will do a better job outside of the party than we have done inside the structure.

However, it is also necessary to create separate structures outside of the Democratic machinery, to which Black Democrats would also belong. This organization would be committed to a broad set of progressive goals that are well understood as the Black Agenda. (The Black Agenda is a progressive political agenda that takes into consideration the particular history and legitimate group aspirations of African Americans.) One could call this a political party, but the word has too narrow a meaning in the United States, so let's just call it a Black National Caucus.

We have been trained like everyone else in the U.S. to think that parties exist only for the purpose of fielding candidates for elections. This is a huge, uniquely American weakness, and a large part of the reason businessmen so easily control society - they meet and discuss common interests and put forward programs and devise strategies all of the time, as an essential part of shaping the environment in which they do business. They then manipulate parties to carry out their agenda. Both parties.

Blacks must learn how to see parties as structures that have a certain utility, and use them to advance our agenda. Although the agenda exists, we have not organized to push it forward by treating the Democratic Party as one, very useful vehicle. Thus, Blacks inside the Democratic structure do not act in concert. Therefore, white corporate agents (or Black ones!) win battles that they should, based on raw Black numbers, lose.

Thus, we find ourselves in a situation in which there is a question of whether Al Sharpton will be invited to the January debates, or not!

It was in this spirit that we wrote, What a Black Presidential Candidate Must Do.

Dr. Gerughty responds:

Although I certainly agree with your basic premise that the mass of whites is hostile, some more overtly than others, to anyone nonwhite, I do believe there are considerable numbers of whites who share your aspirations (I, for instance, share your aspirations). I have a deep and long-standing devotion to justice for all, regardless of their size, shape, or color. I look to deeds, not to rhetoric to evaluate.

Perhaps a little background may enlighten our conversation. I am 70 years old, have two doctoral degrees, and am now retired from academics where I served as dean in three different universities. I have been in the health area for most of my life and am a pathologist (forensic/anatomic/surgical). I have a fervent desire to see that all persons receive (not promised) a quality education that prepares them for life as it is, not as we would like it to be. I was one of the first educators in higher education to embrace affirmative action, not just in words, but in deed, by seeing that those students, usually Blacks and poor Whites, received the appropriate help to guarantee they would benefit and graduate and not just have an opportunity to do so and then be left hanging.

Whites gain and keep power and authority through slavery, a thought that I am certain you recognize as it is quite apparent in your writings. That is slavery on two fronts. The first is educational - teach them only what they need to know (if even that) so they can work the fields (careers), while the second is economic - keep them in debt so that they will have to do the work just to try to make ends meet. Both are despicable, but highly effective in creating a made-to-order work force.

Now, back to our discussion. I agree that Blacks have not done a good job of organizing within the Democratic Party (I have also served as a political consultant and confidant to both Democratic and Republican senators, governors, and presidential candidates, although it took me many years to learn just what was going on and be repulsed by it). One of the problems I see is that nonwhites try to emulate Whites, a huge mistake. There is absolutely no reason for any person to shed his or her culture and beliefs just to gain a piece of the pie that rightfully belongs to them in the first place. As dean of the College of Health at Idaho State University, my work with the Native Americans brought this home loud and clear.

With the political climate being what it is, especially now that fascism has arrived and ethnic/religious/gender/race targets are developed further, now is the time to stand up for what we believe. I really like your idea of a Black National Caucus and your emphasis on history and legitimate group aspirations of African Americans. How would you envision this group playing into the politics of the Democratic Party? How can we overturn the strangle hold on the Party by the "elite"? As an example of their arrogance, if Al Sharpton is not invited to the January debates, how can you overcome this dominance? The Clintons, Liebermans, Gephardts, Edwards, etc of this Party are not much better than the crazed lunatic we seek to depose. As you so aptly stated, business manipulates both parties to its advantage. I have great difficulty in envisioning a day when you can speak with a unified voice that will be heard and acknowledged, if we must continue in this one-party system. Short a coup, the parties will continue ad infinitum and we will be left to wallow in their dirt. That is why I proposed the question of an independent (3rd) party.

I believe your observation that Blacks must act in concert for what they believe is accurate and would be effective, as far as that could go. It's the same old story of divide and conquer and I, for one, am getting damn sick and tired of the "privileged few" having their way at the expense of others. Yet, to gain an overwhelming consensus is difficult. I keep coming back to the need for education (my bias) so that Blacks (as well as other nonwhites and whites) can gain an understanding of how they are manipulated and then strike accord among the large majority to unseat this control.

We greatly appreciate Dr. Gerughty's patient and thoughtful contribution to a discussion that should be ongoing in every venue frequented by Black "influencers" and those who consider themselves allies of African Americans. To the extent that we do not address these basic issues, we will continue to lose ground to an unworthy foe.

Keep writing.

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Issue Number 40
May 1, 2003

Other commentaries in this issue:

Cover Story
"How You Gonna Export Something You Ain’t Even Got At Home?" - By Paul Street

Shock and Awe USA

Treat Corporate Media Like the Enemy - and no free pass for Black radio

The Issues
Sharpton: Going the distance with low finance... JC Watts, in it for the money... Section 8 housing threatened... The doomed occupation

Guest Commentary
The Lena Baker Story: Execution in a small town - By Lela Bond Phillips

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Commentaries in Issue 39 April 24, 2003:

Cover Story
Conspiracy Theories 2 - The Great Unraveling of U.S. Global Power

Condoleezza The Gatekeeper

What the Black Presidential Candidate Must Do

The Issues
Black frontrunner for Illinois Senate Seat... U.S. Education chief favors church schools... Lucy calls Bush Blacks "ornaments"... The Global Race War

Prison data is understated... The proper time and place for looting... Comparative "Skeeza" analysis... Real and theoretical conspiracies

Guest Commentary
When Major Powers Stage a Coup by Randall Robinson

You can read any past issue of The Black Commentator in its entirety by going to the Past Issues page.