What is that sound in the political community? Is it the sound of Hillary Clinton coming down the track like a locomotive without brakes? Is it the rumble of the Bush political machine being revved up? Maybe it’s the sound of protestors at Stone Mountain looking to tear down another monument. Or, perhaps Ross Perot was right and it is the giant sucking sound of jobs going to Mexico. Whatever it is, it is coming and it is inevitable.
Change is like that.
If you thought that change was the exclusive province of Obama then you are mistaken. Yes, there is universal healthcare, gay marriage and accords with Cuba and Iran. While they seem like sweeping revisions of domestic and foreign policy, these gestures are more of a last hurrah of an ending era than harbingers of some impending menace. For heaven's sake, what is that OTHER sound? And what exactly does it mean to be purple? The world may never know, but we can at least dust off those old Sam Cooke records while we contemplate the crystal ball that is our collective political navel.
While we have been listening to "A Change is Gonna Come", counting licks of our Tootsie Roll pops, and watching some woman in South Carolina shimmy up a flag pole to launch an assault on an old battle flag our politicians have been hard at work. Trump has been publicly rehearsing the script for a new reality drama involving Mexicans. Bush has been very quiet and very methodically raising what essentially amounts to a back-up fund for social security. Clinton has been pretending to be a sheep and avoiding the dreaded word "inevitable", lest she repeat a recent performance in her own operatic life. Rick Perry gave a thoughtful speech about the need for Republicans to re-unite with the black voter.
"The former Republican governor of Texas?" you ask. "Republicans have never done anything for blacks and should expect no support from them."
Well, that's just not true. As Rick Perry said, Republicans abandoned blacks about 50 years ago after doing quite a bit for them.
"What the hell is Diane talking about? And what does anything Rick Perry says have to do with the lives of black folk in Georgia?"
I am glad you asked...
As the Ku Klux Klan readies to make one last public stance in defense of that old battle flag some Republicans are organizing the once again stand up for the African-American voting public by remembering their Reconstructionist ethics. Hopefully, they can accomplish some of the results they did last time they took such a stance.
"Once again? Reconstructionist ethics? Last time? What are you saying, Diane?"
Well, after that tall guy with the beard pointed a finger over the head of the Dixiecrat slaveowners and said, free those people out back. Those people became voters and politicians.
These black people became Republican voters and politicians.
"Diane, that was a hundred years ago. Ancient history."
Well, something else happened during the time leading up to the Civil Rights Movement.
"Yeah, Diane. That was the rise of the Ku Klux Klan and Jim Crow, which..."
Which was brought to you by the White Citizen's League and the Democratic party.
"The White League?"
Which was organized to suppress the Republican voting of freedmen and black political participation in general.
In the history of the US, until the 2008 elections, there have been five black US Senators. The fifth was a Democrat who became president. The other four were Republicans, who did not come into office alone. They brought their friends with them for the ride.
In fact, they brought about 1500 friends from throughout the South along with them. All before 1900.
If you made a list of all of the great African-Americans in history that you can personally name and added the names of every Democrat to ever be a member of the congressional black caucus, your list wouldn't hold a candle to the list of black Republicans that have held office in these United States of America.
Try it. Do it now. Then realize a bitter truth. That you have been hoodwinked, bamboozled, poisoned by the Kool-Aid of a false traditionalism. Held hostage by a political party whose members will take your vote for granted and declare themselves the "inevitable" choice in the face of opposition from some uppity brown-faced junior senator from Illinois.
"Diane, did you even vote for Obama?"
Everyone voted for Obama, even working class Republican whites that whispered to reporters from the International Herald Tribune that they were "voting for the n-----" before Obama's first term.
"We are voting for the n-----," they said. For President. Over John McCain, a war hero and a moderate. Think about that.
There was once a young girl whose parents were only allowed to register to vote after approaching Republicans. Not only did that girl survive the death of her friend to a church bombing incident (committed by a Democrat) in her Alabama hometown, she became the first female African-American secretary of State. That's not ancient history. Yesterday you were calling her a house nigger and conveniently ignoring her fights with Donald Rumsfield and Richard Cheney.
During that girl's coming of age, Birmingham, her not-so-safe hometown was visited by a man, who like her father, was a prominent Republican minister. He organized a bus boycott there before giving a rousing speech to a million people in the District of Columbia before being killed by a Democrat in Tennessee.
Tonight, while you gaze at your navel, count the licks on your Tootsie Roll pop and wonder what it means to be purple, think about this:
Black Republicans founded the NAACP.
A. Phillip Randolph, who organized the March on Washington was a prominent Republican.
Republican Senator Everett Dirksen drafted the 1968 Civil Rights Act.
Richard Nixon--yes, the evil bastard--introduced the "Philadelphia Plan", which later became known as "Affirmative Action" after being endorsed for President by Martin L. King, Sr., known as "Daddy King".
Daddy King's son, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Republican.
"He wasn't!" you scream?
I say to you that Dr. King could not be a Democrat in the South, ON PAIN OF DEATH.
In the meantime, between 1860 and 1960 the majority of Democrats in congress opposed EVERY SINGLE PIECE of civil rights legislation introduced, including the 1957 Civil Rights Act, which was voted against even by a young Catholic U.S. Senator named John. John, of course, later became president and fortified the very military industrial complex that Eisenhower warned against.
One of the responsibilities of the White Citizen's League was providing quality working firearms to militia groups like the Ku Klux Klan.
How long does it take a black woman to shimmy up a flag pole?
The world may never know.
How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Roll pop?
The world may never know.
Whose political house are you living so comfortably in?
The world may never know.