Friday, February 23, 2018

Black populism

I briefly did a post on this a few years ago. While I hardly wrote much about that subject back then it was interesting that there was a populist movement of sorts among the former slaves of the south that predated the later civil rights movement in the next century. I briefly touched upon that over at E.M.

If you look at some of the bullet points shown in that old post from long ago many of what was advocated for aren't much different than they are today. There is still a need for Blacks to serve on juries - as unpleasant as that can be. We certainly need to raise money for school though these days the focus - for good or bad - is on the public schools.

I see some ideas with regards to economics in those bullet points though back in the 19th century most Black still lived in rural areas today many Blacks live in urban or suburban areas. So perhaps we need a Black populism in our urban areas. Don't have to go much further than see some of the neighborhoods of Chicago's south and west side. Just think that in the new year the latest controversy by a politico in Illinois was over discussion of "strategic gentrification". The violent crime, closing schools, foreclosures, etc are causing a certain segment of Chicago's population to leave and open the door to people of greater means to come in and make these areas what they will.

Perhaps the closest we got to a modern Black populism was the 1960s. The failed Seaway National Bank an emphasis on empowering economically Black communities especially when it comes to financial services since the major banks of the 1960s just Black people as a risk. It wasn't just about welfare or gov't programs & legislation it was about self-empowerment.

Perhaps this is the populism Blacks need today. I understand the need for Black Lives Matter, even if some aspects of their activism raises my eyebrows - case in point below [VIDEO]
So where are our Black business people? Who's got the bright ideas that would build up struggling Black communities? Where's the Black version of Donald Trump? Where are our populists?

Believe it or not we're living in populist times. Bernie Sanders as you saw above being confronted by Black Lives Matter activists in Seattle during 2016 is one sign of them. And also on the other end of the political spectrum we have Donald Trump who was elected President that year. Obviously voters who cast a ballot for Trump clearly rejected the establishment and the President as he still does on occasion speaks directly to the people. That is the essence of populism the people themselves may not have an ideology, but certainly the people want what they want.

Perhaps with the movie Black Panther having a successful opening weekend one thing to note is that the fiction Wakanda can be the model of what we hope Black communities anywhere can be. This is the Black populism I propose which is about economic empowerment. We can support a comic book movie that has a Black director and writer, we can certainly use that to build up our communities and turn them into economic powerhouses.

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