Black separation? Mobilizing for a plebiscite

Amadi Ajamu | 11/24/2016, midnight
In the wake of the 2016 presidential election, The Choice campaign for self-determination organized by the December 12th Movement, held ...
December 12th Movement Chair Viola Plumber speaks at the Black Voters State of Emergency Community Speak-Out in Brooklyn. Omawale Clay photo

In the wake of the 2016 presidential election, The Choice campaign for self-determination organized by the December 12th Movement, held a Black Voters State of Emergency Community Speak-Out Nov. 15. The focus was on the Trump presidency, rising white racism and the economic crisis.

In the spirit of Malcolm X, who made it plain and said, “You been took. You been had. You been misled.” The Choice campaign demanded a write-in vote for Reparations Now and the concretizing of self-determination and a plebiscite (referendum) on which way forward for Black people in the United States.

Viola Plummer, chair of the December 12th Movement, spoke after an open floor discussion from the masses gathered, “You know we talk about choice,” she said. “We talk about where we might go … We talk about Hillary and Donald. They are all the same, cut from the same cloth. You choose frick or frack, or the lesser of two evils. A long time go W.E.B. Dubois said they were both evil. ‘Two parties, one evil,’ He said it did not matter which one of them becomes president or whatever. You have not chosen them. They came to you.”

Plummer addressed a statement from Rita Clay, an educator and mother who said, “I want to solve the problem and do the work. I want to get training. Train us and we can go out and do the work.”

Plummer responded, “Sister, we are prepared and have been constantly organizing to the degree that we could to train Black women and men in order to raise real struggle. But what we have attempted to do, always and everywhere, is for you, to very soberly look at who you are. You don’t have the responsibility of giving anyone a chance to keep you oppressed. No Donald, Hillary, DeBlasio etc. It is not your responsibility to see what they are going to do. You know what they are going to do.”

Referring to a comment made by Hazel Beckles during the discussion, who said, “We have to stay on point and turn our energies inward. Not forget about white people, but don’t give our energy to them. We’ve been doing it for too long. We need to institute ourselves politically, culturally, socially, economically and environmentally. And it is on us to determine that.”

Plummer said, “Hazel said we can’t keep talking about white people and white supremacy. What we have to do is talk about us and what our responsibility is to us.”

Dr. James McIntosh was the keynote speaker. He said, “I want to make three points: 1. Who is Donald Trump? 2. What is the impact of his presidency on us? 3. How I knew Donald Trump would be president.

McIntosh’s presentation included a slide show featuring Trump and his close associates. “Donald Trump has strong white nationalist and white supremacist roots,” said McIntosh. “Contemporary newspapers reported seven people were arrested and they all had on Ku Klux Klan uniforms. One of their names was Fred Trump, Donald’s father. Trump and his father also refused to let Black people into their housing developments. They fought but eventually had to sign a consent decree with the Department of Justice in order to let Black people into their housing.