Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Losing My Religion

Losing My Religion:
Black Democratic Disillusionment ?
                                     Paul Scott
“That’s me in the corner. That’s me in the spotlight losing my religion “
                                 Losing My Religion-  REM

Like many African Americans, there was a time when I followed the Democratic Party, religiously.  Not to say that the party was never without spot nor blemish but it was  better than any alternative that would arise out of the deep dark abyss of the Republican Party.  Even if it meant that African Americans would be in a state of perpetual purgatory, it was better than being doomed to the pits of  hell  for four year increments that would seem like an eternity. Eventually,  I would self excommunicate myself from the Party  and practice my free will by going Independent. Apparently by the lack of black turnout in the last election I am not alone in becoming a political agnostic.
Last election night, I kinda felt sorry for the Clinton campaign as they seemed to be looking for a processional of black folks to come marching into the polls like a Baptist choir singing “We Shall Overcome”  and once again saving them from defeat at the hands of the evil Conservatives, But that didn’t happen and they found themselves staring  at empty pews.
It is past time to have the discussion, should African Americans dump the Democrats.
We should have had that discussion eons ago, but every presidential election it seems that we are facing Armageddon and  any talk of a mass African American Exodus out of the Party seems like sacrilege.
But now that the election is over and many Americans feel that they are facing impending doom, it is as good as any to have that discussion.  What have we to lose?
Some  African Americans have referred to the Democratic party as a “plantation” and they  are apparently willing to sacrifice four  years of misery for the hope of oneday making it to the Promised Land.
At some point  the sins of omission by the Dems became too much to overlook. And last Tuesday night , what some may consider an act of desperation may, indeed be a great awakening. A revival of the African American spirit that has been hidden too long behind the back side of the Democratic donkey.
But the  O’Harian question that has kept our hopes and dreams gone with the wind remains.  If we abandon the Democratic Party, where do we go. What shall we do? Even though we are continuously told by leadership “Frankly, Scarlett, we don’t give a damn.”
Seems to me our path to Freedom can take several roads.
The first path is an African American third party based on the ideas of self determination by leaders such as Marcus Garvey, who in the early 20th century organized the largest black movement in history. He even gave African Americans our own flag. So, maybe we need a “Red Black and Green” party.
Another option would  be to organize, locally , in black communities and mobilize to control the local political structure. After all  90% of the problems facing black folks can be handled by having a strong community presence at city council  and school board meetings. If we put as much energy into packing city hall meetings once a month as we do begging people to vote every four years, a successful movement is not only possible it is indeed plausible.

My own personal option is "taking it to the streets" and not depending on Trump or any other politician to do for us what we can do for ourselves. In my city of Durham NC, I have developed a "Street Institute" where I have adopted a neighborhood in a predominately black community and visit there weekly, handing out snacks and black history books to anyone walking by.
One thing is certain, change is coming and the politics of this country will no longer be the same for any of us, black, white or other.
Where this new road to freedom will take us, we don’t know. Nor do we know how long it will take us to get there. But as our ancestors whose  faith kept them strong as they traveled through the murky waters of southern swamps following the North Star would say...
Wherever we end up is better than here.

Paul Scott is a minister and community activist based in Durham NC. His website is He can be reached at or (919) 972-8305  Follow on Twitter @truthminista