Traditionally, a New Year’s resolution is a declaration that something tangible or measurable will be rendered to enhance the quality of one’s life or living standards. However, as we approach 2014 without a clear collective resolution, the quality of life for Blacks living in the United States is disturbing, disappointing and unacceptable.
According to BlackDemographics.com, the poverty rate for the estimated 44,456,009 Blacks living in the United States in 2012 was 28.1 percent, which is an increase from 25.5 percent since 2005, where, for the most part, Black families are living on $2 a day or less. The Pew Research Center, in a 2011 study titled “Wealth Gaps Rise to Record Highs Between Whites, Blacks, Hispanics 20-to-1,” illustrates that from 2005 to 2009, Black households lost 53 percent of their wealth and, as a result, our assets were 5 percent that of whites. Moreover, BlackDemographics.com indicates that Blacks in the United States have an unemployment rate that nearly doubles the overall population where the income/wealth disparities and poverty/incarceration rates of Blacks are calamitous under a biracial president.
By the way, according to J.A. Rogers in “The Five Negro Presidents” and Dr. Auset Bakhufu in “The Six Black Presidents,” President Barack Obama is not the first “Black” president of the United States of America. Nevertheless, recently, Obama granted clemency to 14 drug dealers (eight were granted commutations and six were pardoned) who destroyed Black families and communities. Obama has yet to pardon or grant a commutation to Black political prisoners who have empowered Black families and communities. Furthermore, this biracial president has yet to improve the quality of life for African-Americans.
According to the Sentencing Project, “The United States is the world’s leader in incarceration, with 2.2 million people currently in the nation’s prisons or jails—a 500 percent increase over the past 30 years.” In addition, the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics indicates that in 2009, Blacks comprised 39.4 percent of the total population of those incarcerated, as they only constituted 13.6 percent of the U.S. population in 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
In spite of living in a “post-racial society,” the future of Black America looks bleak unless we seek our own land along with economic, political and cultural independence. For Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph E. Stiglitz in “The Price of Inequality,” “the growing inequality over recent years suggests that the level of opportunity in the future will be diminished and the level of inequality will be increased unless we do something. It means that the America of 2053 will be a much more divided society than even the America of 2013.” As a result, Stiglitz states that “it is at the bottom and the top where the United States performs especially badly: Those at the bottom have a good chance of staying there, and as do those at the top,” where despite “full equality of opportunity, 20 percent of those in the bottom fifth would see their children in the bottom fifth.”
Since our enslavement, we have been at the bottom of the economic reality and socio-political development of the United States. Hence, commencing on Jan. 1, Blacks in the United States must strive to achieve sovereignty given our heartbreaking living conditions and lugubrious quality of life, along with the historical fact that our sovereign rights as Africans have been interrupted and usurped by the European-American empire, as evident in the transatlantic slave trade, chattel slavery, Jim Crow, medical apartheid, the New Jim Crow, terrorism and systematic racism.
Sovereignty is the supreme economic, political and cultural reality where a group of people establishes autonomous power and authority to govern and manage their own land, labor and resources. Thus, it is paramount that we focus our energy, time and resources in becoming a sovereign people who can govern our own land and nation. As of this moment, given the fact that African-Americans do not have a military and independent territory, the most feasible avenue to achieve sovereignty is to either pressure Obama to sign an executive order establishing our protected status as a sovereign people and nation; lobby Congress to enact amendments to the U.S. Constitution regarding a federal trust responsibility as it pertains to our sovereign rights and protective status; or petition federal, state and local courts where human rights laws can be legally argued regarding our sovereign rights and protective status using the Marshall Trilogy (Johnson v. M’Intosh in 1823; Cherokee Nation v. Georgia in 1831; and Worcester v. Georgia in 1832) as a stare decisis.
As a matter of fact, local human rights laws can become one of the most expansive human rights laws in this country if amended. As such, an amendment to the human rights laws or a bill regarding a human rights hybrid to African-American sovereign rights and protective status can be filed by a council member where the mayor can either sign or veto the proposed legislation. If the mayor signs the proposed legislation, it becomes local law and part of the city’s charter and administrative code.
As an addendum to the above strategies, we can also explore the possibility of seeking relief, justice and sovereignty by petitioning the International Court of Justice, which is the main judicial branch of the United Nations, along with the International Criminal Court, where an established tribunal prosecutes and tries perpetrators for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and crimes of aggression. By appealing to the global African community, we can also garner support to employ the foundation of international human rights law, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, where the creation of an International Criminal Tribunal for African-Americans can prosecute and try perpetrators who violate the humanity, sovereign rights and protective status of African-Americans by way of hideous transgressions.
Only the enemies of African-American sovereignty will not pressure the president of the United States, lobby Congress, petition the courts and pursue human rights laws to establish sovereign rights and protective status for the descendants of enslaved Africans living in America. Thus, enemies of African-American sovereignty would rather engage in sclerotic methods such as marching and praying where the outcome is a prolix scale of outrageous killings, incarceration, unemployment, extreme poverty and a remarkable dependency on whites for our survival and basic necessities of life as we continue to live in squalor with our children under the watch of a biracial president.