Black America & Our Political Leaders: Is it time for them to go?

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( Years of experience has convinced me that those occupying political positions do not always embrace change. Truthfully, the alluded to figures never embrace change if it arrives in a form that is demanding their removal from office.

It is an understanding of the alluded to resistance to change that fuels my belief that the upset of Representative Joe Crowley, one of the top Democrats in the House of Representatives from New York, will lead to some level of fear from long-time residents of the Democratic Party.

The fact that newcomer Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was able to run a grassroots campaign that toppled such a significant figure in the Democratic Party establishment signals a vital call from voters for new blood and vision within a party that has been led by centrist for far too long. Most agree that the Democratic Party has strayed from its traditional political path.

The people of New York have issued deafening commentary by ousting an elected official of nearly twenty years. The message is unmistakable, either you successfully represent the interests and political views of your constituents, or voters will run you off as a scoundrel or thief.

I hope that Black America is paying close attention to these political developments for one simple reason, they need to apply this strategy within their community. It is time Black America shook their elected officials from what many seemingly believe is their birthright to occupy a political office.

Recent history dictates that those elected to represent Black America have failed miserably at advancing the interests of their loyal constituents. Sadly, I doubt that black elected are either aware of the viewpoints of their constituents or capable of delivering anything substantial to their doorstep; yet, they retain their political position. Only in Black America is this allowed.

When one considers that far too often black elected officials have run their districts through political deception that would make Chicago’s Daley machine blush, it becomes clear that their interests are less about advancing the fortunes of politically immature constituents who will extend what amounts to ineffectual political careers.

I would challenge anyone to successfully argue against the assertion that many members of the Congressional Black Caucus have stayed far too long in positions while delivering nothing significant to loyal followers. Consider the lengthy tenure of the following black elected officials.

• Sheila Jackson Lee (TX) — 23 years
• Maxine Waters (CA) — 28 years
• John Lewis (GA) — 31 years

Although frowned upon by both black elected officials and ardent supporters whose support is indeed not linked to tangible improvement in their districts or effective leadership, it is time that the alluded to old-guard black leadership disappear, and a new wave of black leaders arrive. Although it would be preferable for those who have sat in a political seat for decades to step aside with a semblance of dignity and continuing relevance, I am confident that we agree such will not occur. As the esteemed Fred Shuttlesworth once remarked, “A ball team doesn’t strike themselves out. You’ve got to put them out.” These long-term politicians will never leave on their own accord; they will have to be put out by voters.

I have heard many of the alluded to politicians publicly state that if they did not do this work, who would. I have always been startled by such commentary because it implicitly displays how detached these career politicians are from their community. Such statements amount to an indirect admission that they are unaware of the sheer brilliance and political ingenuity being suppressed in their community by their political presence.

The refusal of black elected officials to vacate positions that they have failed to use to garner significant tangible gains for constituents who have unwaveringly supported them through their years of inefficiency and ineptitude leaves Black America with no other choice than to begin grassroots campaigns to remove them. The recent political victory of Ocasio-Cortez should be considered a template for such a political maneuver.

In many ways, it is unfortunate and ironic that Black America finds itself in desperate need of a grassroots campaign to extricate black elected officials who publicly proclaim that they are either a “grassroots activist” or “a speaker for the people” when they are up for re-election. The alluded to politicians have not looked in a political mirror for a very long time; if they had, they would realize that they have not been a “grassroots organizer” for a very long time. Consequently, Black America has no other choice than to honor the words of famed Civil Rights activist Fred Shuttlesworth and “put them out.”

Staff Writer; Dr. James Thomas Jones III

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One may also connect with this brother via TwitterDrJamestJones.