I didn’t watch the debate. However, I can assure you that tonight’s loser was the very people who have hope in any of these clowns running to be the Republican nominee.
Might I remind you, the Republican party has lost the popular vote in 5 of the last 6 presidential election cycles. But hey, keep hope alive.
Yes, because this, like 2012, is the, “We’re tired of this n*gger,” and now, “Anybody but that Clinton b*tch,” election campaign. You know, the typical bigoted tripe and weaponized stupid that fuels the ideological bankruptcy that is the Republican party. Just look at the current frontrunner!
The best thing that could have happened during tonight’s debate on FOX would have been a group of GOP voters screaming, “Black lives matter!” But, that didn’t happen; nor did I ever expect it to. Hell, the Republican party has given no fucks about black people since slavery. If they did, maybe, just maybe, there would be at least some form of general consensus about the value of the lives of black people, other than the racist dog- whistle political pandering to its knuckle-dragging base.
You know, the ones angry and brave enough to shoot and kill black people at churches and the occasional movie theater? Yes, they’re included in that group of America-loving patriotic voters.
But, we expect Republicans to care all of a sudden?
We haven’t really seen a true #BlackLivesMatter “win” — oh, yeah, save embarrassing moments for presidential candidates suddenly forced to rescript already scripted messaging. Yet, embarrassing moments and taped rants that go viral don’t necessarily mean group empowerment. It’s all momentary face-saving and low hanging fruit. Calibrating a talking point can be briefly fulfilling, but is the candidate really in your pocket? Sure, those moments are currently forcing folks on both sides to not forget about black voters, but the jury is still out on whether that’s forced any significant realignment on the issues beyond mere wedgie-inspired statements that “yes, OK, OK, you got me, stop, it hurts … Black Lives Matter, Black Lives Matter!”
But, what’s the policy pledge beyond that? Is anyone saying they’ll push or sign a law that forces rigorous national policing standards or demands totally enforced federal tracking of police brutality or gives real teeth to Justice Department audits of state and local agencies? And what’s the plan to combat linked issues such as crumbling schools, high poverty and systemic housing segregation once they get elected?
With one known national weekend convention in Cleveland under its belt, there is no real sense of what the big plan or mission is. When you ask, organizers are unresponsive. Some are outright dismissive: either you’re in or you’re out (a strange feed-the-crowd mindset for any social justice movement pushing for universal equity, fairness and transparency). Keep inquiring or offering insight on the essential political mechanics, and it becomes a generational shutdown (that’s “old school”) or visceral the-system-can-kiss-my-ass anarchy (“we tried that already” when, um, sorry, no, you really didn’t). Or, ask more and you are slowing down momentum and attempting to dismantle the cause, even if the questions are coming from a good place.
But these are important questions; decisive questions that will determine if it’s a one-hit wonder like its Occupy Wall Street cousin or whether it can really last. Will there be a sophisticated, multi-state voter registration and mobilization campaign in 2016? Is there a robust national political action committee in the works? Are you relying on conditional grants or are you raising the kind of grassroots money that makes public officials – and the law enforcement bosses they hire or approve – wet their bed at night when they think about it?
Graduate students from Yale University and the University of California, Berkeley recently conducted the first “randomized’ field study that showed what we sort of knew all along: “money equals access to candidates.” So, what’s your government relations or lobbying effort on Capitol Hill since, with Republicans controlling both chambers of Congress, lots of bills are being introduced but not much has passed (well, you’ve got the feds tracking police shooting data now, but what good is that if loosely enforced?). Several senators ban together on legislation in response to Cecil the Lion’s death — including one of only two black members of the Senate — and you’re wondering why they haven’t pushed anything yet on #BlackLivesMatter?
People might be talking about #BlackLivesMatter. But do candidates, policymakers and influencers really fear it? If not, you’ll still find yourselves frustrated and faced with the same issues and the same folks in power with no change of guard or policy in sight.
The fact that there were black folks on social media who were upset because#BlackLivesMatter wasn’t acknowledged at the GOP debate, on FOX News – I repeat, on FOX News – made me laugh really hard. Like, really hard. I mean, it’s FOX News! They practically lynch black people on live television over there, for fuck sake. Okay, so I’m only kidding; but just a little.
Some were even more upset that the name Tamir Rice wasn’t even mentioned, although the debate was held in the very city where he was killed by a police officer. Which is really a joke when you think about the fact that Cleveland, Ohio is a blue collar working city long ignored by the Republican party since its industrial manufacturing heyday. Tamir Rice? Are you kidding me?
Hell, thanks to Republicans in congress, we can’t even get a jobs bill to land on the desk of President Barack Obama that would surely bring joy to the many unemployed black people in America. But yet y’all are upset that a bunch of REPUBLICAN candidates running to become president of these United States had the gall to ignore the lives of black folk?
Newsflash: It’s the Republican party! They haven’t given a damn about black people since the cause was ending slavery. And, this was at a time when the GOP was largely a party of northerners before realignment after the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964. But hey, perhaps the cause is better served by tweets of righteous indignation, rather than crafting and advancing real policy positions for which we can hold elected officials accountable. But, of course, it’s a lot easier to sit around waiting around for that hope and change will magically rain down upon us from the White House before Obama leaves office. You know, anything that’s not like actual work to build political influence outside of the silly hashtag that issues an ultimatum to the Democrats.
Yeah, good luck with that…
And while you’re doing just that, do remember that it is the Republican party leadership that’s trying their damnedest to make it harder for people of color – and black people in particular – to cast votes. Oh well, I suppose black lives do matter after all.