Go Lean Commentary
Yippee! Now, the country – the world for that matter – can get back to business as usual.
The business as usual in the United States is the business of the United States, not necessarily the business of the rest of the world, and definitely not the business of the Caribbean. This commentary has always maintained that the Caribbean needs to take its own lead, rather than depend on American leadership; we do not want to be parasites – anymore – rather, we want to be a protégé. Parasites are people, not policies, so the Caribbean political leadership must be concerned about Caribbean people, not just policies.
It is parasitic of the Caribbean to have the affinity to abandon our homeland so readily. For those that go to the US – as reported in a recent blog-commentary: the estimate of the number of Caribbean Diaspora living in the US is projected up to 22 million – the refuge they seek in America may be elusive or non-existent, especially politically. Why is this the case?
The answer is that the destination, the United States, does not value Black-and-Brown people en masse. Sure, one or a few persons can find success and respect, but in general, this people is marginalized.
Is this a fair judgment?
Yes, indeed. This manifestation is so bad that the United States should not be considered a refuge for the Caribbean Diaspora. What’s more, those of the Diaspora in the US should seriously consider that its “Time To Go“.
This marginalization of the Black-and-Brown population is evident in how the country’s allows them to vote. The Black Vote is monolithic. 90+% of the Black population belong to one partisan alignment, the Democratic Party.
All Blacks are Democrats and the Democratic Party caters to Blacks. Why and how did this come about? See the full story here:
Title: Why Did Black Voters Flee The Republican Party In The 1960s?
By: Karen Grigsby Bates
If you’d walked into a gathering of older black folks 100 years ago, you’d have found that most of them would have been Republican.
Yep. Republican. Party of Lincoln. Party of the Emancipation. Party that pushed not only Black Votes but black politicians during that post-bellum period known as Reconstruction.
Today, it’s almost the exact opposite. That migration of Black Voters away from the GOP reached its last phase 50 years ago this week.
Walking through the Farmer’s Market at 18th Street and La Cienega Boulevard in Los Angeles, a mixture of Angelenos strolled the asphalt parking lot, surveying rows of leafy produce and ripe stone fruit. Virtually all the people I approached who were registered voters were registered to one party.
“I’m affiliated with the Democratic party, of course!” laughs Arthur Little, a thin man in shorts and electric turquoise-framed sun glasses.
“Why ‘of course’?” I asked.
“Because I think of it as the party that is at least officially interested in putting people’s rights before corporate rights,” Little shakes his head. “I don’t even know why a black person even would be a Republican,” he muses, as he walks off with his teenaged son.
Darlene Lee-Bolgen, eyeballing fresh fingerlings and young onions, said she was worried about income inequality, and she didn’t believe that was a Republican concern. “It doesn’t seem like they’re for the regular people, for civil rights… they’re not doing anything to help the people. They’re all for themselves.”
Black Voters began supporting the Democratic party in greater numbers almost a century ago. But the events of 1964 marked a dramatic shift in voting patterns that’s still with us today.
A More Even Distribution
Vincent Hutchings, a political scientist who studies voter patterns at the University of Michigan, says the first major shift in black party affiliation away from the Republican Party happened during the Depression. Franklin Roosevelt’s second administration — led by the New Deal — made the Democrats a beacon for black Americans deeply affected by the crushing poverty that was plaguing the country.
But many Black Voters stuck with the party of Lincoln.
“The data suggests that even as late as 1960, only about two-thirds of African-Americans were identified with the Democratic Party,” he says. “Now, two-thirds is a pretty big number. But when you compare it to today, that number hovers at about 90 percent.”
Ninety percent. So what happened?
Well, according to Hutchings and to TuftsUniversity historian Peniel Joseph, Barry Goldwater happened.
“Barry Goldwater, for Republicans, becomes a metaphor for the Republican response for this revolution that’s happening in the United States,” Joseph says.
The “revolution” was Freedom Summer, the period 50 years ago when hundreds of college students, most of them white, had journeyed to Mississippi to help black Mississippians become registered voters. The state’s response to that integrated movement had been swift — and violent. Less than a month before the GOP met for its national convention in San Francisco, organizers Andrew Goodman, James Chaney (who was African-American and Mississippi-born) and Michael Schwerner had been kidnapped on a dark back road in NeshobaCounty. The only hint that they’d existed was Schwerner’s charred Ford station wagon.
The media attention that followed the men’s disappearance roiled the entire South. (Their bodies would be found in early August, buried in the shallow earthen works of a dam.)
Then, two weeks after the men’s disappearance and mere days before the GOP convention opened, Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act into law, making discrimination in public venues illegal.
Peniel Joseph says the events outside the GOP’s convention hall affected what went on under its roof. Supporters of the presumed front-runner, liberal New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller, were blindsided by the party’s well-organized conservative wing, which nominated Arizona’s Sen. Barry Goldwater. His nickname was “Mr. Conservative.”
Goldwater can be seen as the godfather (or maybe the midwife) of the current Tea Party. He wanted the federal government out of the states’ business. He believed the Civil Rights Act was unconstitutional — although he said that once it had been enacted into law, it would be obeyed. But states, he said, should implement the law in their own time. Many white southerners, especially segregationists, felt reassured by Goldwater’s words. Black Americans, says Vince Hutchings, felt anything but:
“African-Americans heard the message that was intended to be heard. Which was that Goldwater and the Goldwater wing of the Republican party were opposed not only to the Civil Rights Act, but to the civil rights movement, in large part, as well.”
An Abrupt Exit From The GOP
When Goldwater, in his acceptance speech, famously told the ecstatic convention “extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice,” he was speaking of “a very specific notion of liberty,” says Peniel Joseph: “Small government, a government that doesn’t give out handouts to black people. A government that doesn’t have laws that interfere with states’ rights. A government that is not conducting a war on poverty.”
It was a signal both sides heard loud and clear. Goldwater attracted the white Southern votes his advisers thought were essential, paving the way for the “Southern Strategy” that Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan would use successfully in later years. And the third of black Republican voters remaining speedily exited the party.
“It was an abrupt shift,” says Hutchings. “For [the] relatively few — but still not trivial — fraction of blacks, they moved aggressively, and almost unanimously, into the Democratic Party.”
And Black Voters have stayed there, in increasing numbers, ever since. Not that all of them want to be.
Back at the farmer’s market, Jasmine Patton-Grant, in a flower-patterned sundress, sells lavender soap and lotions to passers-by. She says she grew up in a family of Democrats, going into the voting booth with her father when she was a toddler and voting in elections — national and local — since she was legally able to vote. She considers voting a privilege and her civic obligation. And she says she’s sick of the choices she sees before her.
“I’m a Democrat only because I’ve inherited that from my family,” she explains. “It’s not as if I’d ever be a Republican, but I’m completely dissatisfied with both parties.”
Which suggests if an alternative comes along that Patton-Gant and others find attractive, the Black Voter party affiliation percentages might change yet again.
Source: National Public Radio (NPR); Published July 14, 2014; retrieved November 4, 2016: http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2014/07/14/331298996/why-did-black-voters-flee-the-republican-party-in-the-1960s
If Blacks do vote, they are expected to vote Democrat. This monolith allows any opposition to neutralize their vote by the simple strategies of Redistricting & Malapportionment; see Appendix A below.
The 2016 Election is now over and the winner for President is the Republican’s Donald Trump. He won the Electoral College vote, despite his opponent Hillary Clinton winning the popular vote. This is the fact, despite Mr. Trump exhibiting blatant racist, misogynist and abusive behavior. Very few Black people voted for him. But the marginalization of the Black Vote, allows the Republican Party to completely disenfranchise the entire Black participation in the political process. The Democrats have the majority registration of the US population, yet the Republicans have won the Presidency and the Congress (with majorities in both chambers: House of Representatives and the Senate).
This commentary asserts that it is easier for the Black-and-Brown populations in the Caribbean to prosper where planted in the Caribbean, rather than emigrating to the United States. It would be better too, for this population to repatriate to their Caribbean homelands. Based on the 2016 Presidential campaign, no doubt it is “Time to Go“.
This point aligns with the book Go Lean…Caribbean, which states that while the blatant racist attitudes and actions may now be considered politically incorrect and the presence of a Black President, the foundations of institutional racism in the US have become even more entrenched. The book supports the notion that the Caribbean can be an even better place to live for the Caribbean people, once we make the homeland a better place to live, work and play. At least out votes count and matter.
This is a continuation from the previous 3-part series from the movement behind the book Go Lean … Caribbean, in consideration of reasons why the Diaspora should repatriate back to the Caribbean homeland. The previous commentaries detailed:
- Time to Go: Spot-on for Protest
- Time to Go: No Respect for our Hair
- Time to Go: Logic of Senior Immigration
Now, this new extension to the series considers the additional topics as detailed in this series as follows:
- Time to Go: Marginalizing Our Vote
- Time to Go: American Vices; Don’t Follow
- Time to Go: Public Schools for Black-and-Brown
All of these commentaries relate to the Caribbean image and disposition as minorities in the United States, while being a majority in the Caribbean region. The quest is to reform and transform the Caribbean member-states so that they can be better societies to live, work and play. Then, only then, can the trend of emigrating to the US end. The US should not be a land of refuge for Caribbean people; we need to find refuge at home.
The Go Lean book and movement serves as a roadmap for the introduction of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU). The CU is set to optimize Caribbean society through economic empowerment, security and governing optimizations. The Go Lean roadmap thusly has these 3 prime directives:
- Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion & create 2.2 million new jobs.
- Establishment of a security apparatus to ensure public safety and protect the economic engines.
- Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines.
The Go Lean roadmap posits that the “grass is not necessarily greener on the other side”; life in the US, is definitely not optimized for the Caribbean’s Black-and-Brown people.
The Go Lean book asserts that every community has bad actors and the Caribbean region needs to prepare, to remediate and mitigate for bad actors. But the problem of marginalization of the Black Vote, is not just a factor of “bad actors”, it is a bad foundation in the American DNA.
Let’s consider one example – in the Appendix B below – in the city of Houston, Texas. First, these are the demographic facts:
Racial composition 2010 1990 1970 White 50.5% 52.7% 73.4% Black or African American 23.7% 28.1% 25.7%, Hispanic or Latino 43.7% 27.6% 11.3% Asian 6.0% 4.1% 0.4%
Source: Retrieved November 11, 2016 from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Houston#Demographics
With these numbers, the normal expectation is that half of the Congressmen representing the Greater Houston area would be Black-or-Brown, 4 of the 8 seats, but instead the actual number is 2, or 25 percent of the actual seats; see photos in Appendix B below. Why? “Gerrymandering” to link together all the Black neighborhoods – despite their location – so that they can all be represented by only a few Democratic congressional seats, and then all the other seats would go to the White Republicans.
This practice is obvious and unapologetic in Texas.
This fact supports the Go Lean assertion: It is “Time To Go“. We can and must do better in promoting justice for Caribbean people than the Americans do. This point is pronounced early in the book with the Declaration of Interdependence (Page 12) that claims:
x. Whereas we are surrounded and allied to nations of larger proportions in land mass, populations, and treasuries, elements in their societies may have ill-intent in their pursuits, at the expense of the safety and security of our citizens. We must therefore appoint “new guards” to ensure our public safety and threats against our society, both domestic and foreign. The Federation must employ the latest … to assuage continuous threats against public safety.
The Caribbean appointing “new guards” to ensure justice assurance is a comprehensive endeavor, that will encapsulate the needs of all Caribbean stakeholders: governments, institutions and citizens (residents and Diaspora alike).
An important mission of the Go Lean roadmap is to dissuade the high emigration rates of Caribbean citizens to the American homeland. This means being conscious of why people flee – “push” and “pull” reasons – and monitoring the societal engines to ensure improvement – optimization. (“Push” refers to the societal defects in the Caribbean that moves people to want to get way; and “pull” factors refer to the impressions and perceptions that America is better). There is the need for good messaging that the Black Vote is only marginalized in the US. In addition to this messaging, there is also a mission to encourage the repatriation of the Caribbean Diaspora back to their ancestral homeland.
To attract our Diaspora for repatriation, we must be better in the Caribbean, than in the past. How do we accomplish that? The Go Lean book details how; with a series of community ethos, strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to better optimize our Caribbean life (economic and security concerns):
|Community Ethos – Consequences of Choices Lie in Future||Page 21|
|Community Ethos – Economic Principle – Consequences of Choices Lie in Future||Page 21|
|Community Ethos – Minority Equalization||Page 24|
|Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Greater Good||Page 37|
|Tactical – Confederating a non-sovereign union||Page 63|
|Tactical – Fostering a Technocracy||Page 64|
|Tactical – Separation of Powers – CU Federal Agencies -vs- Member-states||Page 75|
|Implementation – Ways to Pay for Change||Page 101|
|Implementation – Ways to Impact Elections||Page 116|
|Implementation – Reasons to Repatriate||Page 118|
|Planning – Big Ideas – Regional Single Market||Page 127|
|Planning – Ways to Make the Caribbean Better||Page 131|
|Planning – Ways to Better Manage the Caribbean Image||Page 133|
|Advocacy – Ways to Grow the Economy||Page 151|
|Advocacy – Ways to Create Jobs||Page 152|
|Advocacy – Ways to Improve Governance||Page 168|
|Advocacy – Ways to Better Manage the Social Contract||Page 170|
|Advocacy – Ways to Improve Leadership||Page 171|
|Advocacy – Ways to Impact Justice||Page 177|
|Advocacy – Ways to Reduce Crime||Page 178|
|Advocacy – Ways to Improve Homeland Security||Page 180|
|Advocacy – Ways to Impact the Diaspora||Page 217|
This subject of lowering American “pull” has been frequently blogged on in other Go Lean commentaries; as sampled here with these entries relating American “pull” factors:
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=8431||Bahamas Issued US Travel Advisory to the US Citing Police Violence|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=8202||Respect for Minorities: Lessons Learned from American Dysfunction|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=8200||Respect for Minorities: Climate of Hate|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=8099||Caribbean Image: ‘Less Than’?|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=7749||Lessons from Regional Elections|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=7221||Street naming for Martin Luther King unveils the real America|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=6189||A Lesson in History – Hurricane ‘Katrina’ exposed Black America’s Disenfranchisement|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=5733||Better than America? Yes, We Can!|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=5527||American Defects: Racism – Is It Over?|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=5333||Racial Legacies: Cause and Effect|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=273||10 Things We Don’t Want from the US: Racial institutions against minorities|
Underlying to the Go Lean/CU prime directive of elevating the economics, security and governing engines of the Caribbean, is the desire to make the Caribbean homeland, a better place to live, work and play for all. We do not want to marginalize any segment of our populations. For this, we must remain “on guard”.
The Go Lean roadmap seeks to remediate and mitigate any abuse of power of any majority group against a minority segment. We want to ensure our Caribbean communities are more appealing than the American counterparts; we do not want American defects here. While we entreat American leaders to work towards remediating their own defects, fixing the US is not within our scope; fixing the Caribbean is our only charter.
Once we have our reformations in place, then it is “Time to Go“.
The intent of the book Go Lean … Caribbean is to prepare the region for the return of all of our people, back to these shores. This point is also pronounced early in the book with the Declaration of Interdependence (Pages 13 & 14), as stated:
xix. Whereas our legacy in recent times is one of societal abandonment, it is imperative that incentives and encouragement be put in place to first dissuade the human flight, and then entice and welcome the return of our Diaspora back to our shores. This repatriation should be effected with the appropriate guards so as not to imperil the lives and securities of the repatriated citizens or the communities they inhabit. The right of repatriation is to be extended to any natural born citizens despite any previous naturalization to foreign sovereignties.
xxxiii. Whereas lessons can be learned and applied from the study of the recent history of other societies, the Federation must formalize statutes and organizational dimensions to avoid the pitfalls of [such] communities …
The Go Lean book was composed with the community ethos in mind of the Greater Good, “the greatest good for the greatest number of people” – Page 37. This is NOT the based community ethos for the United States – too bad! We can and must do better!
The disenfranchisement of the Caribbean’s Black-and-Brown in this week’s federal election, is a reminder that “grass is not greener on the American side”. While an earnest effort is needed everywhere to improve society, such efforts will be more successful in the Caribbean than in the US for the Caribbean Diaspora. The underlying legacy of racism in America may still be too hard to assuage.
All Caribbean stakeholders are hereby urged to lean-in to this Go Lean/CU roadmap to elevate the Caribbean; to make our homeland a better place to live, work and play. 🙂
Appendix A – Redistricting & Malapportionment
Each state determines its own district boundaries, either through legislation or through non-partisan panels. “Malapportionment” is unconstitutional and districts must be approximately equal in population (see Wesberry v. Sanders). Additionally, Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 prohibits redistricting plans that are intended to, or have the effect of, discriminating against racial or language minority voters. Aside from malapportionment and discrimination against racial or language minorities, federal courts have allowed state legislatures to engage in gerrymandering for the benefit of political parties or incumbents. In a 1984 case, Davis v. Bandemer, the Supreme Court held that gerrymandered districts could be struck down on the basis of the Equal Protection Clause, but the Court did not articulate a standard for when districts are impermissibly gerrymandered. However, the court overruled Davis in 2004 in Vieth v. Jubelirer,and Court precedent currently holds gerrymandering to be a political question. According to calculations made by Burt Neuborne using criteria set forth by the American Political Science Association, about 40 seats, less than 10% of the House membership, is chosen through a genuinely contested electoral process, given bipartisan gerrymandering.
Appendix B – Houston’s Congressional Districts
Texas is the second largest state in the United States by both area (after Alaska) and population (after California). While California has 53 Congressional seats, Texas has 36. Houston is its largest city, within city limit dimensions; (see the table below). But the Greater Metropolitan Area of Houston–The Woodlands–Sugar Land is the country’s 5th largest urban-suburban area; (behind New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and the Greater Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex). The recorded population is 6,490,180 as of the 2010 U.S. Census. There are 8 representatives for this area in the US Congress, 2 of them are Black.
The City of Houston has historically voted Democratic except for its affluent western and west-central portions, including the River Oaks, Westchase, Memorial, and Uptown areas, as well as the Kingwood and Clear Lake City master-planned communities on Houston’s far northeast and southeast sides, respectively. All these areas, populated mostly by wealthy WASPS (White Anglo-Saxon Protestants), favor and are almost entirely represented both in Congress and in the Texas Legislature by Republicans. Democrats’ strongest areas are within Loop 610, and in the largely poor and minority northern, eastern, and southern portions of Houston. Most of these areas have sizable Hispanic populations, though some northern and southern parts of the city have mostly notable African American communities. Democrats are also stronger in the more liberal Neartown area, which is home to a large artist and LGBT community, and Alief, which houses a sizable Asian American population.] In 2008, almost every county in the region voted for Republican John McCain; only Harris County [(Houston)] was won by Democratic candidate Barack Obama, by a small margin (51%–49%). Galveston has long been a staunch Democratic stronghold, with the most active Democratic county establishment in the state.
Texas Top 10 Cities – By Official Population
|Rank||Place name||2015 population||2010 Census|