ColumnistsJames ClingmanOp-EdOpinionUncategorizedWilliam Reed

BUSINESS EXCHANGE: Politics Have Killed Black Power

It’s intriguing that we have elected thousands of Black politicians while the number of economic activists pales. — James Clingman, journalist

It’s intriguing that we have elected thousands of Black politicians while the number of economic activists pales. — James Clingman, journalist

In an op-ed column titled “The Choice is Clear,” Jesse Jackson extolled Hillary Clinton and her campaign in a clear case of piling on against Donald Trump. What else is clear is that Jackson’s message is not a presentation of options toward Blacks achieving agenda for equity.

Jackson’s message is a unambiguous example of the adage “keep doing what you’ve been doing, you will always get what you always have.” Like Barack Obama before her, Hillary Clinton is projected to receive over 90 percent of Black votes without making them a single promise.

Blacks are so riled by their perspective that Trump is a racist and a bigot, Clinton may even surpass Obama in the percentage of black votes she garners. Blacks’ votes are critical to the Democratic coalition, particularly when it comes to the electoral college.

In 2012, 93 percent of African-Americans voted for Obama, down 2 percentage points from 2008. African-Americans were 13 percent of the electorate in 2008 and 2012. Poll data from 2012 shows African-American voters accounted for Obama’s entire margin of victory in seven states: Florida, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Without these states’ 112 electoral votes, Obama would have lost.

Black Democratic “groupthink” is a psychological phenomenon of conformity in irrational dysfunctional decision-making. A majority of contemporary blacks think of themselves as Democrats and parrot lines that they oppose Trump because “he is a racist and bigot,” all the while ignoring that the Democratic Party didn’t welcome “our kind” until their 1924 convention. Now blacks are the Democrats’ chief devotees. If black lives really mattered to people like Jackson, they’d be advocating that blacks consider options via third parties.

Blacks need entrepreneurial mindsets to make effective use of our voting power in the 2016 presidential elections. The times demand that blacks enhance our involvements in American politics by utilizing critical questioning and making of demands. Too many Blacks fail to grasp the importance of economic empowerment. To exert power Blacks must cease practices that involve mainstream politics and focus on actions that evolve better economics for all of us. Blacks have to become better managers of their electoral franchise and cease practices that support party themes and interests above those of the race.

Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump give voters plenty of reasons to look elsewhere. Shouldn’t blacks be pushing their political interests and issues being discussed in the 2016 presidential campaign? The lack of black agenda/platform programs among the major parties is reason to evaluate whether the two-party system serves our issues and priorities. At present, black voters are presented with a Democratic Party that most African-Americans support — even amid decades-long charges that their vote has been taken for granted — and a Republican Party viewed as hostile to blacks’ interests and a focal point of white nationalism.

Blacks can gain considerable insight and attention helping independent candidates onto the general election debate stage. It’s tough for third parties to get into the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD). The CPD requires that candidates poll at 15 percent in five national surveys leading up to the three scheduled debates, but most polling outlets only test matchups between Trump and Clinton.

The CPD’s current rule affords independent candidates no chance to get into the debates The CPD sponsors and produces debates for presidential and vice presidential candidates and is a nonprofit operation funded by the Democrats and Republicans. Let’s assure that all four candidates for the White House get on the debate stage.

Blacks’ own practices keep us as America’s political pawns. When we realize and use our political power to forcibly demand more from political officials and candidates — not allowing ourselves to be without expectations of progress or results — blacks will have a higher-level of respect and parity.

Take note: the American system cannot be made to work without radical fundamental change. African-Americans can achieve greater political influence by helping viable third-party candidates into the series of general election presidential debates.

William Reed is publisher of “Who’s Who in Black Corporate America” and available for projects via

William Reed is publisher of “Who’s Who in Black Corporate America” and available for projects via

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William Reed

William Reed is President and Chief Executive Officer of Black Press International. He has been a Media Entrepreneur for over two decades. A well-trained marketing and communications professional, Reed has a national reputation for his expert writing, speaking, organizational, research, management and motivation abilities, along with strong managerial, presentation and sales skills.

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