Let’s face it, 2020 has been an utter shambles. First, the threat of WW3, then an extremely transmissible virus sweeps the globe and just as recently, the tragic deaths of at least 4 black Americans ripping through the social fabric. Having successfully sparked the resurgence of the #BLM ‘cultural revolution’, it’s recently kicked into another gear and fractious racial tensions among western powers are astonishingly high.
Coined in 2013 in response to the death of Trayvon Martin and the subsequent acquittal of George Zimmerman, the #BlackLivesMatter movement is hungrier than ever. In its pursuit of equality, however, it has hit a major roadblock – the political establishment.
Have we ever noticed that this happens all the time? #BLM for Trayvon Martin, the infamous ‘Hands up, don’t shoot!‘ for Michael Brown, yet nothing changes. Police continue to police in the same way, the same issues black minority communities face are still running rampant. This is no coincidence and the defence of the status quo has far more to do with the democratic politically elite class than it does an alleged, seemingly intangible ‘systemic racism’ running in the lifeblood of western culture.
So, how can it be suggested that the American Democratic Party is responsible for ingraining race-based animus into the culture and fueling these tribalistic wars on such a consistent basis?
Setting the agenda
Like every successful piece of construction, you need to lay the foundations. For politics, this includes a narrative, facts to support your claim (whether fabricated, manipulated or legitimate) and a manifesto of actionable next steps. To understand where the quest for the black vote first takes root, we have to go back to the early actions taken by the Democratic Party.
The first time any in-roads into the race issue in quasi-modern society were made was in 1905 by then POTUS, Theodore Roosevelt. Despite still privately using racial epithets behind closed doors and suggesting that as a whole, blacks are ‘inferior to whites’ the narrative and rhetoric he used in office was very similar to those uttered by the Founding Fathers. The message was one that reinforced that all men are created equal and are endowed with inalienable rights.
His action was often regarded as slow, passive and geared towards long-term betterment rather than instant radical change. A strategy that was later flipped by the successive tenures of a more progressive, seemingly tenacious president, Lynden B. Johnson throughout the 1960s.
Throughout the civil rights era, Johnson cooked up a variety of diktats and legislation to narrow the gap between blacks and whites. Announcing the “war on poverty” in his 1964 State of the Union address he then passed the Civil Rights Act in July that same year. Other societal reforms came with the creation of Medicare and Medicaid under the Social Security Amendments 1965.
It’s still up for debate the root of his intentions. Many see his attempts at squashing the discrepancy a failure while others hail him for his progressivism. Swathes of people, predominantly on the right-wing, have claimed that Johnson allegedly uttered a quote where he suggested that “I’ll have negroes voting democratic for the next 200 years”. It’s become a hot point of contention in the debate, despite little substantive evidential backing.
We can see, the quest for the coveted “Black vote” began with the broadening of the rights written in the ‘promissory note’ of equality in the Declaration of Independence left by the Founding Fathers such as James Madison and George Washington. What’s changed now?
The narrative has shifted along with the facts and the actionable next steps. Democrats are seemingly no longer focused on black communities in the same way progressive-thinking predecessors were. The narrative is now more focused on targeting President Donald Trump, establishment republicans and groups in ideological opposition with constant castigations of racism and bigotry.
It can be reinforced by hyper-partisanship of current politics with the lack of action by democratic leaders/candidates. Now presidential candidate, Joe Biden, helped write the 1994 Crime Bill that, despite lowering the violent crime rate 46%, it was subsequently responsible for locking up more Black individuals and took a heavy toll on black juveniles. President Barrack Obama, famously signed the Blue Alert Bill in 2015 that granted more protections to police – taking a more ‘Blue Lives Matter’ approach.
The scales have tipped towards a new narrative that’s content on demonisation and hatred to maintain an exaggerated illusion of oppression rather than planning strategies and policy for minority communities. This is the new agenda they’re setting in real-time.
Engage the public in their naturally constructed echo-chambers
Having suggested a narrative and began to push it out, making the use of new media was always the next logical step. Social media is great for sharing information and getting a message out there – it’s also a haven for political indoctrination.
When people follow their friends, celebrities, news pages, politicians or members of the intelligentsia on social media, they’re unwittingly building a bubble. Within this bubble, they consume news, ideas and opinions from people who they’ve cognitively pre-approved to be correct or, at the very least, on the moral high ground. If you’re only following conservative sites or figureheads, you’re getting a bias and vice versa.
This helps foster a tribalistic hatred in our society where we’re indoctrinated to hate; using many of the strategies used by some of history’s most egregious players. #BLM is no different and sensationalism on both sides ran amok.
If you got your news from left-wing sites/pundits, you were likely seeing rhetoric that suggested that peaceful protesters were being beaten by brutal, racist cops. You were seeing self-education guides by the woke, university-educated telling you that you’re innately racist and only the likes of Ibram X. Kendy and Robin DiAngelo can fix you. You may have seen the Derrick Chauvin ‘Make Whites Great Again’ fake edit to tap into your emotional side.
Equally, on the right-wing side of the aisle, sensationalist hit-pieces on protesters castigating everybody as rioters, looters and thugs flooded the net. You would have had images and videos of defacing statues coupled with Tweets from disgruntled right-wingers calling for Donald Trump to send in the National Guard.
If you’re a political strategist, tapping into these premade intellectually biased chambers online would be paramount to solidifying your support in the modern age. Democrats are not the only ones doing this, but with big tech and corporate America seemingly onside, they’re in the prime position to make the charge and snag the minority vote.
Keep the fire burning
Now that the base is all fired up, you have to keep them that way for as long as you can on the run-up to an election. This is an area that the Democrats have often excelled in recent decades.
More recently, however, this has been done by media hawks promulgating an alternative revisionist history and changing conventional meanings. Racism no longer seems to mean the old Martin Luther-King style definition that focused on individual racists and bigoted policy. It’s now this all-encompassing term that suggests that the heinous parts of history perpetrated by many historical figureheads hundreds of years ago mean we’re all still innately racist today.
It spews a damaging narrative that suggests that there’s a nameless, shapeless figure somewhere in the ether that’s out to stamp on black rights and subordinate the non-white community. Nobody can thrive in any society believing this – especially when it’s sold on questionable auspices.
Part of this comes from the revisionist history put forward by figures like Nicole Hannah-Jones at the Washington Post. The Pulitzer Prize winner pioneered “The 1619 Project” that suggested that the creation of the USA wasn’t founded on good principles put forward by the likes of James Madison and George Washington in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, but it was in 1619 following the arrival of the first Black slave onto British-controlled colony of Virginia.
Cross the pond over to the UK, and we’re having the same debates over historical figures. Once adored figures like Winston Churchill and even William Wilberforce are having their legitimacy called into question.
The idea that fallible humans with terrible, often narrow-minded cognitive processes can still be recognised for great things they did appears to have fallen by the wayside. Pushing an opposing view of history is fine, however pushing it as the only societally correct interpretation is a dirty tactic.
Unfortunately, It’s one being used by The Democratic party and other like-minded institutions across the globe. It’s one the black community ought to be aware of in the quest to steal back political autonomy, to break free from the assumption blacks are a homogenous hive mind, only capable of thinking about race.