[Hpn] Fwd: [BRC-NEWS] Taking A Long Hard Look At Ralph Nader

Coalition on Homelessness, SF coh@sfo.com
Sun, 23 Jul 2000 23:26:13 -0700

>Date: Wed, 19 Jul 2000 22:44:58 -0400
>From: Jonah Nadir Omowale <eclipseamerica@netscape.net>
>Reply-To: blackelectorate@cs.com
>Subject: [BRC-NEWS] Taking A Long Hard Look At Ralph Nader
>Sender: worker-brc-news@lists.tao.ca
>To: brc-news@lists.tao.ca
>X-Sender: Jonah Nadir Omowale <eclipseamerica@netscape.net>
>X-WWW-Site: http://www.blackradicalcongress.org/
>Black Electorate
>July 17, 2000
>A Deeper Look
>Taking A Long Hard Look At Ralph Nader
>By Cedric Muhammad <blackelectorate@cs.com>
>Those Blacks who have bought into the line that a vote for
>Ralph Nader is a vote for George W. Bush better think again.
>The logic, according to Democrats and Gore supporters is
>that by voting for Ralph Nader, people are only taking
>votes away from Al Gore and helping Gov. Bush walk into
>the White House - directly benefiting from Gore's loss
>of the traditional Democratic votes that Nader represents.
>But can any self-respecting Black honestly say that Blacks
>have benefited under Clinton-Gore - enough to automatically
>extend their reign for another 4 years - with no questions
>asked? Clinton-Gore have done in eight years what Reagan
>and Bush could have only dreamed of (according to the common
>view that Blacks have of conservatives): they ended welfare
>as we know it, locked up droves of Black Men, ordered stiffer
>sentencing for lighter crimes and subtly moved the public
>discourse away from its previous attention to racial
>discrimination in favor of a more palatable class-
>based approach to the country's racial problems.
>If Ronald Reagan had done these things, Blacks would have
>been in an uproar. But because a Democratic administration
>did them, Blacks could only manage a whimper and before too
>long - forgiveness. Many Blacks honestly believe that Bill
>Clinton is the closest thing we have ever had to a Black
>President. As long as a white man has a "D" after his name
>instead of an "R" many Blacks can see no evil. Because Bill
>Clinton and Al Gore have that magical letter after their
>names, many Blacks, like parrots, repeat the "prosperity"
>song ad nauseum - that somehow Blacks are better off
>economically than they ever have been. The height of this
>insult occurs when Al Gore and Bill Clinton claim that the
>Black unemployment rate is at its lowest level in history
>- somewhere around 7.9%. What they neglect to tell their
>cheering Black audiences is that if the increased Black
>incarcerations (during their administration) were taken
>into account they would see the Black unemployment rate
>back up to near 10%.
>Instead of clapping so loudly, Blacks should ask what good
>are a few more jobs paying $8-$10 an hour if more and more
>Blacks - men and increasingly women - are filling jail
>cells and making the unemployment numbers look better?
>And furthermore how much longer can blacks allow Democrats
>to earn their vote just because they successfully point
>out that the Republican party doesn't care about the Black
>Electorate? Sure the charge is true but it certainly isn't a
>pro-Black agenda. Dissing the Republican Party and Congress
>may produce great applause but isn't doing anything to solve
>Black poverty and a failing criminal justice system.
>Enter Ralph Nader. Nader, in many respects, represents the
>conscience of the Democratic Party that Clinton and Gore
>have successfully run from for 8 years. His campaign raises
>many of the issues that Blacks expected Clinton-Gore to
>raise 8 years ago. His candidacy addresses the rightward
>drift of the Democratic Party designed by the Democratic
>Leadership Council (DLC), a group of Democrats, started
>with Al Gore's help 15 years ago, that turned the Democratic
>Party in the direction of corporate interests and moderate
>Democrats and away from the civil-rights movement and
>liberal Democrats.
>Gore proudly proclaims that he helped write the DLC's first
>press release. How many Blacks are even aware of the DLC and
>the hindrance that they have been to the causes championed
>by Black leaders inside of the Democratic Party? Not many.
>And that is why Gore can get away with parading his
>affiliation with them so boldly - as he recently
>did this past Saturday.
>Ralph Nader has a stinging critique of the DLC that every
>Black should listen to before they give Gore a free pass
>simply because he wears a "D". Instead of looking at
>American politics in terms of a narrow-minded Democrat-
>Republican dichotomy, Blacks should increasingly look at
>politics in terms of their own best interests. Sure, such
>a strategy will find plenty in the Democratic Party worthy
>of support but it also will reveal plenty to be disgusted
>So, I think that Ralph Nader deserves a long, hard look from
>Black America. Hopefully Blacks will not fall victim to the
>weak scare-tactic that a vote for Nader is a vote for Bush.
>While few Blacks may realize it today, a vote for Clinton-
>Gore in '92 and '96 may have been a vote for Bush, or at
>least some of the worst policies championed by Reagan-Bush.
>And if that wasn't the intention of Clinton-Gore, in many
>respects, the effect on Black America has been the same, as
>if they (Clinton-Gore) were Republicans themselves. This is
>very clear on matters of criminal justice issues. A look at
>some of what Ralph Nader is saying makes this abundantly clear.
>A good starting point to get familiar with some of Nader's
>thinking is his recent address to the NAACP convention:
>Copyright (c) 2000 BlackElectorate.com. All Rights Reserved.
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