Imagine crowds of screaming, enraged citizens, most of them white Americans, yelling obscenities, hurling racial epithets and calling for the impeachment of President Barack Obama.
Now imagine these same citizens being instrumental to creating a movement that has gained enough momentum to drive Democrats out of office, change the course of political history and direct economic policy for the unforeseeable future.
Nervous yet? You should be.
In nothing short of resounding fashion, the nation is once again turning red, as Tea Party-endorsed candidates gain control of the House of Representatives and make tremendous inroads to overtaking the Senate.
That fact alone is extremely disturbing; however, drowned out by the raucous cheers of the Republican Party on the eve of the Democrats crushing defeat in the House, was one issue that speaks volumes about the current socio-political climate:
Illinois Senator Roland Burris, who inherited then-Senator Obama's term after he was elected President, announced his retirement, and underdog candidates Florida's Kendrick Meek, Georgia's Michael Thurmond and South Carolina's Alvin Greene all were defeated by Tea Party Republicans.
In addition to Burris and Obama, Carol Moseley Braun of Illinois, Edward Brooke of Massachusetts and Blanche K. Bruce and Hiram Revels of Mississippi are the only six African Americans to ever serve in the U.S. Senate.
Ironically, the two black Senators elected during the Reconstruction Era, Bruce -- a former slave, and Revels, were members of the Republican Party. During that tumultuous time after the Civil War, Republicans represented the party of Abraham Lincoln and emancipation, while the Southern Democrats represented the party of slavery and secession.
Regrettably, a seismic shift in political ideology has allowed a Tea Party movement bred from the dregs of racial contempt, fear-mongering and economic rebellion to become primarily responsible for moving a party historically in support of African-American rights firmly back in to the driver's seat.
I understand the foundation of Republican values, I truly do. Government shouldn't interfere with citizens' affairs, and more importantly, we cannot turn the United States into one gigantic plantation with our government masters making sure we're clothed, fed and in reasonably good health, so we can go out and work for someone else.
However, the capitalist agenda that the Good Ole Party is pushing today does not address the fact that slavery -- and subsequently Jim Crow -- ripped apart a nation of people whose children still feel the effects today. It does not address that though slaves were "freed," the party of Lincoln did not invest in their education or ensure they received fair wages or training. With no semblance of equality, the daughters and sons of "field Negroes" were thrust in to a hostile world and told, "Sink or swim on your own."
How does that manifest today?
Take a look at our women bartering their sexuality for money. Glance around at the emasculation of our African-American men who are still less likely to be employed and more likely to be arrested. Pay attention to the minority children who have to endure a sub-par education in high-crime areas and then be chastised for not keeping up with their white counterparts. Ponder why African Americans have the highest cholesterol, blood pressure and obesity rates of any other ethnic group.
The elections yesterday reflect a sentiment that, according to Terry Smith, a Distinguished Research Professor of Law at DePaul College of Law, was voiced during the 62nd Congress by Senator Davis of Georgia, who complained that "[few [Negroes] care to vote and none ask to hold office, except when stirred by this same disturbing element of the Republican Party, usually imported from the North or East. . . ."
It's tragic that, based on exit polls, this still holds true. Lulled into either a sense of complacency or just wary at government's inability to solve the nation's ills in a heartbeat, African-American turnout was an estimated 10 percent, compared to 13 percent in 2008, at one of the most critical junctures in American politics.
As 56 percent of voters say they want government to do less, and the Tea-infused Republican Party secures its place in the history books, I urge progressives and liberals with their complacent assurance of minority support to never again underestimate the power of people who feel they have something to fight for...and according to yesterday's elections, that's a feeling the Democratic Party seems to have lost.
Click Here for the Complete Story