As the economy worsens and Election Day approaches, a conservative campaign that blames the global financial crisis on a government push to make housing more affordable to lower-class Americans has taken off on talk radio and e-mail... Commentators say that's what triggered the stock market meltdown and the freeze on credit.
Just as the edifices of finance capital began to slip into the abyss, a report shows that the Black American economy went into reverse eight years ago. The study by the Economic Policy Institute is titled "Reversal of Fortune," and tracks the roller coaster ride from the late Nineties, when Blacks registered real progress in employment, housing and reduction of poverty, to the steady slide backwards that began around the year 2001.
By all nearly all accounts (except for the fervent Republican ideologues), the American economy is on the verge of collapse. Both Congress and Wall Street are moving very quickly to shift the burdens of greed and decadence from the insolvent banks to the backs of the taxpayers through a $700 million bailout.
We, on the Left side of the aisle, can build upon this sentiment if we reject symbolic politics of anger, and, if we are prepared to actually build progressive, grassroots electoral organizations that ally with other social movements. With regard to the symbolic politics of anger, frankly, we should have had enough of 3rd party candidacies that express our outrage with the two mainstream parties. Of course we are outraged, but our outrage, whether through third party candidacies or even many of our street demonstrations, is simply not enough. If we are really angry, then this must translate into a strategy based on the actual conditions we face in the USA.
The interesting paradox of Senator Obama's historic nomination and Dr. King's speech is that while Democratic candidate Obama is the beneficiary and living evidence of the realization of the "dream," President Obama will have to address the current realities of systemic racism and personal prejudice that have resulted in continued disparity between African- Americans and Euro-Americans in much the same way as they did in 1963.
U.S. Rep. Stephanie Tubbs-Jones, who died of a cerebral hemorrhage yesterday, was not just the first African-American woman elected to Congress from Ohio, but she was always a politician of the people, easily accessible and responsive. Stephanie Tubbs Jones frequently displayed the sort of political courage that put her at odds not just with her president and his party but, at times, even with her own party.