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.
“He has strong connections with McCarthyism. His attorney Roy Cohn was chief counselor for Senator Joseph McCarthy and a member of U.S. Department of Justice team that tried Julius and Ethel Rosenberg for espionage. His clients included prominent mafia leaders, former presidents Nixon and Reagan, and Jeffrey Epstein and wealthy known predatory sex offender. Cohn was a mentor to Donald Trump.”
The presentation documented many more examples of Trumps unsavory activities.
McIntosh explained, “The answer to all these things were laid out by Marcus Garvey many years ago. He said we have to unite. We have to have self-knowledge and operate as a nation. We have to have self-industry, self-education and self-rule. Most importantly, we have to have self-defense, because if you don’t, all of those other things are taken away from you.
“Marcus Garvey also laid out working models to show you what could be done. He gave us a newspaper to document our history and current events; grocery stores to feed ourselves. He had the Black Star Line so we can engage internationally. He called us a universal people.
“I would also like to say is that Donald Trump is not the president yet. He is the president-elect. There are still a couple of month left. We have unfinished business with Obama. The U.S. government’s plan is for all of our political prisoners to die incarcerated. With Donald Trump we can forget it. We must push Obama to release our political prisoners immediately.”
McIntosh concluded, “How did I know Trump would win? When Trump look out into the audience and said to Black people ‘What do you have to lose? You have the most crime, no housing, no education and no jobs.’ I knew he would win. Plus, the mind numbing reality shows and music dumbing down a lot of poor Blacks and whites, and manipulation of their dissatisfaction with the economy among other factors, sealed it.”
Viola Plummer then said, “Now what do we do? We have heard Dr. McIntosh; our people have spoken. What Now? It is clear that we are not Americans. The Choice campaign will continue on the question of Black separation and what does that really mean to us. And address the issue of a plebiscite [referendum] among our people to do our work.”
The next State of Emergency Community Speak-Out focusing on “Not an Inch to Fascism! And Mobilizing for a Plebiscite” will be held Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016, at the New Cannan Baptist Church, 228 Putnam Ave. (between Nostrand and Bedford avenues), Brooklyn N.Y. For more information, contact the December 12th Movement at 718-398-1766.