During this hotly contested political season, there is no shortage of media personalities, political pundits, or water cooler groupies discussing the near 100% African American devotion to the Democratic Party. The only surprise is that anyone is surprised. If their baffled state is based upon the actions of the Republican Party since its founding in the mid 1800′s, and approximately 150 years thereafter, there may be some credence to the shock and awe. During that time the Republican discourse was one of compassion, tolerance, and a God-led or guilt-driven fixation on annihilating slavery. The Republicans (led by Abraham Lincoln), for fear of further weakening the union and risking becoming re-subjugated to the Crown of England, vowed to not only emancipate slaves, but also work towards racial reconciliation and abolishing laws that reduced former slaves to a status less than citizenship. The Republican party became a voice for the voiceless, and of course, became the party favorite for African Americans, when they did not meet death at the hands of the Democratic supported KKK en route to the polls. Fast forward to the mid 1960′s during the crescendo of the Civil Rights era, and the rise of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and you will note that partisan strategies started to switch positions. The Democrats, perhaps by learning from their opposing party, began to realize that slavery and genocidal behavior was not strengthening the country, but making it weaker, and further jeopardizing the union. The Democrats also noted that with African Americans gaining greater access to voting, our voices started to matter. It is interesting to note that a climate of Democratic-led hate gave birth to the Republican Party; and now, a climate of Republican hate has given birth to the Tea Party. Hate is an action that begets power – which is why much is being yielded by the GOP leading up to November. The historical Republican compassion has come to a screeching halt. There is now a GOP war chant which screams the name of God, thumps the Bible, and create policies that rival Lucifer.
So do the social programs supported by the Democratic Party constitute a modern day plantation for African Americans, or are they 40 Acres and a Mule, symbolically? The answer is found in the beholder. There is no shame in the necessity for social programs. Contrary to the mean spirited dialogue that typecasts social programs as a welfare agenda, history declares that social programs are a part of corrective measures for centuries of flagrant, overt injustice and modern day systemic injustices. If America abolishes hate and racism, with the exception of the mentally and physically ill, there will be no need for social welfare; those who are incapable of rising above poverty with a level playing field should be left to their fate. If a man doesn’t work, he should not eat. Many who choose to abuse social welfare are perpetually plantation minded, and have resigned their life to broken backs that will beg during winter and harvest. That relentlessly lazy group should not cast a dark shadow on those who embrace the Democratic party, solely due to its evident understanding of the greater good that is yielded from collective bargaining and prosperity. Barack Obama wisely stated, “Prosperity grows from the bottom up, not the top down”.
African Americans that leverage social programs to build a business, enroll in college, or purchase a home, are not embracing a generational curse, conversely, they are breaking the curse. This nation never surrendered 40 acres or the mule, and if social programs can be used as remedy to plow towards success – then take was is given, and use it wisely. The Bible declares that the poor will be amongst us always, but the typecast of the poor should not discourage well intended African Americans from supporting the Democratic Party, which effectively balances the robbery and oppressive agenda of the GOP.