The decision about who will next occupy the White House is underway. The national election showed the United States is a highly polarized nation where Blacks are still left to figure out, where do we go from here? As America nears a quarter of the 21st century, the condition and requirements of Black life is relatively the same as previous election seasons. Social thinkers, analysts and observers agree Black self-determination is imperative moving forward.
“I can only repeat that the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and His student and National Representative Minister Louis Farrakhan have implored us for a combination of 90 years to go for self,” said Student Minister Ava Muhammad, national spokesperson for Minister Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam .
In the lead-up to the elections, there were many articles, analysis, and polls predicting the high turn-out of Black voters as a demographic, particularly toward the Democratic Party.
However, political observers note there are no indicators Black people will be the recipients of promises and policies that reflect their objective needs. Black people have been the most solid and loyal constituency of the Democratic Party and there were efforts by GOP surrogates and Black conservatives to attract Blacks to the Republicans.
Black people at the end of this particular election may be able to see more clearly both Donald Trump and Joe Biden were really a “distinction without a difference,” said Student Minister Muhammad who is also an attorney by profession.
In addition, Student Min. Muhammad explained, what informs the actions Blacks should be engaging in now is the critical juncture of history America finds herself in.
“At the core of the teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad is that America’s days as a global power are over; she’s under judgment; she’s falling and so it is imperative that we go for self,” said Student Minister Muhammad.
“There’s a big internal war within White America and this is our opportunity to obey God and to go for self,” she added.
In a November 3 article titled “If Satan Casts Out Satan, How Can His Kingdom Stand? Part II 2020,” Minister Farrakhan wrote Blacks should be wise today. Whatever the outcome of the presidential election, the winner will only deliver as much as the Black community is able to demand and place power behind that demand. “We must not lose any friendship with one another over White people that want to continue to rule us,” Minister Farrakhan wrote.
In a recent Final Call interview, Dr. Ron Daniels, president of the Institute of the Black World, said the frustration has been, “We’re never quite rewarded in relationship to our need, because our need is greater … in proportion to our support.”
He described a scenario where Blacks support the Democratic Party, however, when it comes down to doing real Black specific initiatives, there’s been hesitation to do that. “It’s not like we’re not turning out … we vote pretty highly,” said Dr. Daniels, adding however, “It’s very pragmatic.”
Ideally, he stated, there should be a united front of national leadership in conjunction with local leadership across the country, formulating a consensus Black Agenda. “That’s what the ideal scenario should be,” Dr. Daniels said. “We haven’t done that, quite frankly.”
Once again, focus on Black voter turnout was front in center particularly in key battleground states, noted analysts. Four years ago, in the 2016 race, Black voters came out in fewer numbers. According to the Pew Research Center, Non-Hispanic White Americans make up the largest share of registered voters in the U.S., at 69 percent of the total as of 2019. “Latino and Black registered voters each account for 11 percent of the total, while those from other racial or ethnic backgrounds account for the remainder (8 percent),” the center noted.
There were signs Black voter turnout was increasing as early voting had broken records in several states.
“Tom Bonier, chief executive of TargetSmart, a Democratic data firm, said his statistical model shows that in six battleground states—Arizona, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Nevada and Texas—the number of black voters over the age of 65 who have voted early, either in-person or by mail, has already exceeded their overall turnout numbers from four years ago,” Lauren Fedor wrote in the article, “African-American turnout is key to US election result,” on ft.com.
However, according to Bloomberg, leading up to Nov. 3 senior officials on Mr. Biden’s campaign were increasingly worried about insufficient Black and Latino voter turnout in key states like Florida and Pennsylvania. Despite record turnouts, in Florida half of Black and Latino registered voters had not yet voted but more than half of White voters had cast ballots, according to data from Catalist, a Democratic data firm, reported Bloomberg.com.
It was widely anticipated Black people would turn out for the 2020 election and invest a great deal of time, energy, and hope, seeking salvation in the presidential contest. However, the bare facts of history show both Democratic and Republican parties are two sides of one coin concerning 50 to 60 million Black people or as scholar W.E.B. Dubois describes as “one evil party with two names.”
Dr. Boyce Watkins, entrepreneur and former finance professor, told The Final Call, that Black people actually won before the Nov. 3 election and made their voices heard through a growing number of Blacks not relying on the political arena.
“There’s a growing contingent of individuals that don’t feel like they have to express loyalty in advance to any political party,” said Dr. Watkins. “The Democrats have not earned our loyalty … they should not receive it,” he added. Dr. Watkins advocates Black economic empowerment as a collective effort of Black people desiring to take control of the economic future of their families and community.
“I’m a believer that the future of Black people belongs to Black people,” he said. Dr. Watkins pointed out three areas Black folks as a community need to give attention to moving forward, which are the areas of wealth, education, and family. “What are we doing with our $1.3 trillion (spending power) in terms of asset building … education—we should be educating our kids … and family,” said Dr. Watkins.
As a matter of practice, start with your own household and family, Dr. Watkins said. Black parents should put together a curriculum for their own children, not designed by Whites. “Think with the end in mind: What does that child need to know to be successful?” he said.
He contends the Black family is in a battle against a leftist ideology he says is anti-family and more pointedly anti-Black man. “Anti-family is to some extent in America, anti-Black man,” he said.
Dr. Watkins pointed out there is a symbolic re-emergence of Black male masculine leadership, which he says should continue. “I think we should continue down that trajectory because ultimately that is a fundamental core to the redevelopment of the Black family,” reasoned Dr. Watkins.
Student Min. Muhammad added that Blacks need to turn inward, and revisit directives Minister Farrakhan gave as far back as October 10, 2015 during the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March.
“Our focus in the wake of this elections should be to begin to follow the laws of economics like every other people do and keep that dollar recirculating among us,” said Student Min. Muhammad.
She also said making our communities a safe and decent place to live which would include Black men “stepping up” and forming neighborhood safety measures.
New York-based journalist and political analyst Doshon Farad agreed that economic development and self-determination is imperative. “Black people should be stable enough economically and politically, so that regardless of who occupies the White House, our community is going to be okay,” said Mr. Farad.
He lamented unfortunately many Black people are still dependent on Whites whether it’s liberals, conservatives, Green Party, or Communist Party. Every election season comes the merry-go-round of bickering over which former slave-master Blacks will serve.
Mr. Farad reasons it says a lot about the historical and political maturity of Black people in America.
“We see constantly that most Black people are not trying to fight White supremacy-ness, but instead, most of us are trying to find a place within White supremacy-ness,” explained Mr. Farad.
“So, we are still hypnotized by the myth of White supremacy … the trauma trance that causes us to still be under the domination of White people,” reasoned Mr. Farad.
For Bobby Henry, the publisher of Fort Lauderdale’s Westside Gazette, Black folks must self-define their own place in the political world of competing interests or continue to be defined and co-opted by others.
“I would like to see us as a people take the same stance as the Montgomery (bus) boycott,” said Mr. Henry. “I would not want to see us get on any bus that is not beneficial to us as a people.”
He believes advancing ahead Black people should reject anything presented that’s not driven by Black people for the collective of Black people.
“If we’re not driving the bus then we will be taken any way and every which way regardless of where we want to go,” he said.