With the intense attention given to the inveighed execution of Troy Davis, it has become clear, in a lamentable yet derisory way, how hushed elected African American political officials (elected or appointed) have been on this subject. So reticent are this corpus and their associate vitiated apostasy to this issue that I feel they should be described as elected followers instead of elected leaders.
This obvious and intractable observation is applicable across the board. Now I do not expect President Obama to speak out against such, for his overall presentation is one that minimizes and even approaches race as an inchoate vagueness of language singularly that has no place in politics if one’s goal is simply re-election. Although I wish that he would have asserted himself into the debate, and I know when states’ rights issues of the past, saw Presidents send national guards to protect freedom riders for example, I know that the cowardice displayed in him is based on the fear of losing political capital.
With that said, I do however espouse a direct indictment against the policies evinced by the government at all levels with respect to the incarceration of African American men. As well, I also place the same egregious outcome at the inaction and silence of what we consider or elected political leadership, for they are a part of the aforementioned government.
Just using the example of Troy Davis, I have read nothing regarding their positions or antagonism against the proposed execution of Mr. Davis. I may be wrong and maybe they have, but I have not. I think I read somewhat more than the average person in particular regards to economics, politics, science and history. Nothing from Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice or Charles Rangel. Nothing from Harold Ford, Jr., Tim Scott, Allen West, Deval Patrick, Kamala Harris or Atlanta’s own Kasim Reed, not a whisper. Leaders if they are such should desire to make and produce more leaders as opposed to the penchant to collect followers just to support their individual political gain in the form of re-election.
It is as if once elected, regardless of party affiliation, they develop what Randall Kennedy termed “negrophobia.” Although history and practice dictates the impct of race on political and social outcomes, it is apperant that overtly, a discussion of such by African American political officials is apparently taboo. One can speculate about why such is the case, but such cannot be ignored. As voters we are chastised for not showing up in mass numbers at the polls but the same level of accountability for elected African American officals is abrogated, not for the collective but specific individual gain (a presidency, congressional seat or governorship.This in light of factual accords that even Helen Keller could see.
We know that Black males ages 30 to 34 had the highest custody incarceration rate of any race, age, or gender group at midyear 2007 and that in 2001, the chances of going to prison were highest among black males (32.2%). We know that Black children (7.0%) were nearly 9 times more likely to have a parent in prison than white children (0.8%) and that a large majority of African-American men – 55 percent in Chicago, for example are labeled felons for life or that roughly 70 percent of those on federal death row are minorities, mostly African Americans. We know that since 1990 in Georgia, Black Defendant / White Victim murders resulted in 253 executions and that the rate at which blacks are incarcerated compared to whites in Texas: 7 to 1. The icing on the cake from a political perspective is that 1.46 million Black men out of a total voting population of 10.4 million have lost their right to vote due to felony convictions. In summary meaning that 1 in every 20 black men over the age of 18 is in a state or federal prison, compared to one in every 180 whites.
The question remains if this is an intentional avoidance in an effort to appease the white power elite oligarchy that runs this nation? Such objective outcomes in the real sense marginalize the poor and minorities as evidenced by current incarceration, unemployment and poverty rates.It is possible that I am wrong to expect that elected African American politicians should fight vehemently against racial discriminatory outcomes and the policies that result in such.
Unfortunately for me it is the practices mandated by lay that produce such disparities, tend to be maintained by these people who feel we are obligated to select them to political office for our vote. I have asked the question, where have black folk been since 1989 regarding troy Davis? Asking to Free TI and Gucci mane but not him or Mumia Abu-Jamal. But I will continue to ask where are the African American politicians on the pandemic of incarceration plaguing our community. Or their views on the execution of Troy Davis? In conclusion, just as those more concerned with the release of hip hop artist from prison, these elected politicians too are followers, way more so than leaders.