Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Rent is Too Damn High and the Broke Party

The Democratic and Republican Conventions are here. The decisions are already made, so these events are the political equivalent of the high school home coming dance before the big game, combined with Academy Award political Speeches.  The powerful and the rich will be there behind velvet roped off sections and security will be tight to keep protesters away. America's financial industry leaders who looted and imploded our economy, got bailed out by "We The  Suckers" and still continue to drain what's left of our resources,  in-tandem with the biggest corporations, are belling up to the open bar to pick up the tabs for the conventions, as a thank you for their well lubricated political system.

As our  country sinks into the tar pits, the the media continues to ignore the Green Party, except for a few National Public Radio affiliates progressive enough to carry the Democracy Now show. Ironic because the Green Party with international and national name recognition is mainstream, and the only party with a consistently progressive agenda. Yet they continue to fail at even connecting with white Democratic voters. My community should be easier as the 2nd Economic Depression along with a pandemic of violence( three days ago eight kids were shot on a street corner,) continues it’s "Tsunami", leaving bodies and devastation in the wakes of waves. 

But could it be,  Black folks are starting to wake up and organize?  In 2005, Jimmy McMillian emerged as a quixotic Black New York Mayoral candidate, under the Banner of a self propelled movement  called “The Rent is To Damn High Party”.  In 2007 he joined the Governor's race and became an internet celebrity, which propelled him to a seat at the gubernatorial debate.  His theatrics were so great that even candidate Andrew Cuomo, who went on to win, joined in his popular refrain with “ Jimmy’s right, the rent is too damn high” that got the applause and laughter of the audience.  

Then at Chicago's annual Bud Billiken Parade, the largest parade in the United State, President Obama promised to serve as grand marshal and then cancelled to attend a fundraiser two miles away.  Most Blacks, still caught up in the symbolism of President Obama, shrugged off this smaller betrayal as they have the large ones.  But a few Black folks have connected the correlation between Black unemployment, the violence, President Obama's corporate economic policies, and his unwillingness to address the desperation and despair in the Black community. So during  parade a movement called "The Broke Party"  lead by Mark Carter trailed a surrogate from the Obama administration with a long banner that read  "Violence.....Need a Job..Mr. President". Every time the official stopped to do an interview the crew with the sign walked up so it could be seen on TV. By the time the police removed the protestors, the parade was almost over.

When I went to the south side last weekend, I  saw a young kid on the basketball court wearing a "Broke Party" T shirt. The interesting thing about Mark Carter and Jimmy McMillian is that they're not part of the Black activist crowd. They are just two tired older Black men who have had enough of the status quo. I just hope more people get tired as well because maybe we can change this system before it's too late.

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