Blacks constitute the oldest ethnic group and largest voting bloc in New York City. In our 400 years in this city, we have reached the crossroads and no one is sounding the alarm. Our population was steadily rising until the Draft Riots of 1863. Afterwards, Blacks fled the city en masse.
We have now become the largest ethnic group in New York City, but gentrification is depleting our stock. This is affecting our unexercised political might and our unfocused power as consumers. Power is meaningless if it is disorganized.
This potential economic and political power is going to naught because we are lacking a single strategist in this city who understands goals, timetables, strategies and tactics. Any road will get us to an unknown destination if we have no road map.
This city is divided into two coalitions. The organized coalition, with municipal power, consists of groups associated with Ireland, Israel and Italy (the three Is). With New York City as the financial capital of the world, these groups also affect foreign policy.
The disorganized and, therefore, powerless coalition consists of Asians, Blacks and Latinos. Its common thread is historical oppression. This coalition is without power and authority, but it is two-thirds of the city’s population. The coalition with power, on the other hand, is only one-third of the city’s population.
Four municipal offices represent power in this city. Two of those offices were decided in the run-off election following the white primary on September 15. These are the offices of public advocate and comptroller. New York City has a political formula to ensure white power. The run-off election insures its outcome.
The office of council speaker may have already been decided in the white primary with Council Speaker Christine Quinn eventually repeating history. The disorganized coalition is expected to endorse Quinn, even though whites will be the minority in the New York City Council.
Unless Blacks come out of a coma post haste, the betting line is that Mayor Michael Bloomberg will get a renewal lease on Gracie Mansion. Quinn is expected to retain her position as council speaker and maintain the status quo legislatively.
Asians, Blacks and Latinos are expected to endorse their own oppression. They will put Quinn back in the saddle. She alone will make committee assignments and decide legislative policy. Bill de Blasio will be the next public advocate. This completes the Irish-Italian-Jewish coalition.
The office of comptroller is a game of musical chairs for historically oppressed groups. Asians will enjoy a permanent fixture in the comptroller’s office unless Blacks go through a revolution of the mind. The top prize, however, is Gracie Mansion.
Black elected officials should be conducting political education classes for the Black masses. The abolition of the Board of Estimate reduced the political clout of the office of the comptroller for the City of New York. This explains the recent elections of William Thompson and John Liu for this post.
If experience is the best teacher, whites have had more than a 300-year head start in acquiring knowledge of the political process in New York. In 1821, the New York Constitutional Convention abolished all property qualifications in order for white men to enjoy the franchise while imposing property qualifications on all Black men before they could vote.
Blacks in New York would enjoy its first political representative when Edward Austin Johnson was elected to the New York State Assembly in 1917. Adam Clayton Powell Jr. would become the first Black member of the New York City Council in 1941.
Citizenship in the United States was denied to Asians until after World War II. In the field of education, the U.S. Supreme Court lumped Asians and Blacks together in Gung Lum v. Rice, in 1927. John Liu, in 2001, would become the first Asian elected to public office in New York.
In 1937, Oscar Garcia-Rivera was elected to the New York State Assembly, becoming the first Puerto Rican to hold elective office in the continental United States. For both Latinos and Blacks, election to state offices would precede election to municipal offices in New York.
Mayor Bloomberg has misdefined the 2009 mayoral campaign. He is pushing issues and has conveniently ignored the structure of governance. In this election, Bloomberg has put the cart before the horse. The real issue is a timocracy supplanting a “democracy” and not test scores in public schools.
Any Black candidate for mayor would have a shot if the mayoral campaign were not subject to property qualifications. Money has more potency in the political process than votes because Black preachers, politicians and leading Blacks, in the main, are political prostitutes.
Blacks have only been able to elect a Black mayor for one term in New York City. If you had to lay a foundation for this election in 1989, it would start with Tawana Brawley, who laid the looming groundwork to put Dinkins in Gracie Mansion. She was also the driving force behind the ouster of Gov. Mario Cuomo and state Attorney General Robert Abrams.
The first step in Dinkins’ mayoral success was the weekly UAM assemblies at the Slave Theater. The next step, unfortunately, was the assassination of Yusuf Hawkins in Bensonhurst. The final step was an energized Black vote in 1989 after UAM-led marches in Bensonhurst.
The racially motivated murder of Hawkins was the straw that broke Koch’s back but the emergence of an energized Black vote goes back to the Koch administration. Koch’s demonization of his own mayoralty contributed to his downfall.
There was, among other things, the closing of Sydenham Hospital and charges of systemic police terrorism, including the state-sponsored fatal beating of Michael Stewart. There was also Mayor Ed Koch’s attack on the presidential campaign of Rev. Jesse Jackson.
Many ingredients are missing from the mayoral campaign of William Thompson. If Blacks understood, however, that this election is a referendum on the return of a constructive timocracy in New York, and, therefore, a return to slavery, Black voters may be inspired to turn up in big numbers in November.
Mayor Bloomberg is the biggest fraud that has ever slept in Gracie Mansion. While he claims that his salary is only $1, he was the only person among the 20 richest persons in the world last year to avoid going into the red. His haul last year was $4.5 billion. Anyone would trade in a nominal mayor’s salary for this kind of loot.
Approximately 25 years ago, I solely founded the Center for Law and Social Justice at Medgar Evers College. Other “founders” were erroneously added to an article in this newspaper last week. I envisioned this center as engaging in legal advocacy, serving as a community think tank and becoming a historical archive for the Black struggle.
No group can ever succeed in politics without the benefit of legal representation and a think tank to employ critical thinking and problem-solving skills. President Barack Obama referred to these skills in his speech to schoolchildren on September 8.
Going to the polls twice a year will not do the trick. Similarly, a voter needs more than a palm card to take into the voting booth. Every voter will need a political road map on November 3. Political candidates should be printing up those road maps as we speak. Time is of the essence.
Oct. 16: PWV Acquisitions, LLC v. Maddox at 9:30 a.m. in Room 819 of the Civil Court, located at 111 Centre Street in Manhattan. Arguments in Tawana Brawley, stare decisis, res judicata and recusal of the judge will be made.
Oct. 21: UAM weekly forum at the Elks Plaza, 1068 Harriet Tubman (Fulton Street) near Classon Avenue in Brooklyn at 7:30 p.m. Take the “C” train to Franklin Avenue.
Oct. 22: 16 Court Street Owners v. Maddox, Brooklyn Housing Court, 141 Livingston Street, Room 904 C, in Brooklyn at 10 a.m.
Oct. 23: The appeal of People v. John White will be heard in the Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department, 45 Monroe Place in Brooklyn at 9 a.m. The issue is self-defense and whether Blacks are still in slavery. Blacks need to be on hand en masse to hear the decision.