Black Power Politics

A polemic and critique of Black American politics and movement toward sophisticated applications,

Location: New York, New York, United States

A veteran organizer in the “movement,” Gary James was a staff organizer in the borough of Queens for the National Welfare Rights Organization (NWRO), from 1966 to 1971 under the leadership of the late Dr. George Wiley organization’s President. Gary James is a political analyst and free lance writer. He is the author of a book entitled ERACISM that will be released in the spring of 2007. The provocative "political faction" book highlights grassroots politics in New York from the late 1960s to the present. For a limited time the book can be accessed at his web site:

Saturday, February 24, 2007


In the wake of Senator Barack Obama’s eloquent and rousing keynote speech during the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston, the freshman U.S. Senator has enjoyed an astounding popularity crescendo. Now that the political rock star has formally entered the sweepstakes for the Democratic Party’s Presidential nomination he is being touted by both black and white partisans as a possible savior of American electoral politics.

More sober political analysts argue that the charismatic Senator needs the benefit of time and experience prior to becoming a viable Democratic Party Presidential nominee, notwithstanding his impressive potential. But some in the “savior” camp hold that the 2008 party primary election is an ideal time for Senator Obama to get his political feet wet for presidential positioning in the foreseeable future.

Other analysts are more cynical relative to the advent of the Obama presidential nomination celebrity and reference his candidacy for president as a political juggernaut on one hand and in the context of a rabbit in the race on the other. In either scenario, the traditional African American civil rights leadership may have a diminished role in the party political platform and respective presidential campaigns.

According to political analyst Gary James, “Obama pandemonium may be a political ruse designed among other things to have a chilling effect on potential presidential aspirants in the African American civil rights leadership to entire the party’s nomination process. Specifically, the freshman Black U.S. Senator may have been encouraged by the national party leadership to run in the hope to mitigate the emergence of possible ‘African American spoiler candidate’ to their party unity strategy for winning the presidency in 2008.”

James said, “In the context of a political juggernaut the Obama presidential candidacy neutralizes the traditional demands of the civil rights leadership and agenda, while simultaneously maintaining the requisite level of ‘diversity’ and ‘political correctness.’ Obama is being lauded as the “second coming” and enjoys the lion’s share of media coverage and commentary. But the Hispanic community is being targeted and sought after as the decisive critical vote in 2008.” James said.

“Since the publication of the census data that suggests the Hispanic community has eclipsed the Black American community as the country’s largest ‘minority’ community there is a perceptible shift in political rhetoric and targeting that seems to formulate a political juxtaposition between the growing Hispanic vote and Black vote.

In the context of a political juggernaut the Obama campaign conveniently establishes a new political paradigm that moves beyond the African American civil rights leadership and agenda. In addition,” according to James, “the Obama campaign may also function as an electoral rabbit to set the political pace only to fail to win the party primary, which is viewed by many as a for gone conclusion.”

Longtime community and political activist Alton chase said, “Notwithstanding the Senator as a possible political juggernaut, I would not be surprised if Rev. Al Sharpton announces his presidential aspirations for 2008. The lack of a civil rights agenda and absence of a prominent traditional civil rights African American vying for the party’s nod may be enough incentive for a Sharpton bid.”

Chase continued, “The Senator may have acquiesced to the political objective of the party establishment to obviate the controversial and unwieldy Black civil rights leadership contingent, in the interest of party unity. Hence, the attractive Senator enjoys the adulation of the media and masses of primarily political partisans.”

While the Obama presidential nomination campaign relishes in its fifteen minutes of fame, the unequivocal front runner Senator Hilary Clinton may at the end of the day be in a photo finish for the party’s mantel with Senator John Edwards, the Vice Presidential candidate in 2004.

Senator Clinton may loss her leading edge as the questions of elect ability in the general election will become a factor and diminish her support in the presidential primary election. Apart from the formidable patriarchal political hurdle the Senator must navigate in the primary, the ‘southern strategy’ imperative which is the cornerstone of a successful general election strategy may doom the prospect for the first woman President of the United States in 2008.

Consequently, Senator John Edwards, who is currently trailing both Clinton and Obama respectively, may at the end of the day be the ultimate victor for the nomination as the requisite southern strategy for the general election seems already in place. Moreover, the national party has targeted the Hispanic vote while Senators Obama and Clinton will deliver their respective African American supporters.


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