Older Lifelong Black Democrats Are Tired
My dad has been a lifelong Democratic party supporter. He’s always voted for Democrats in every election since he could vote. Living in South Carolina all of his life in one of the baby cradles of the Confederacy, he understood how politics worked and how Black people for far too long haven’t had the choices to select the governance structure that they wanted. Black people with regular urging have been forced to pick between the lesser of the two evils in our two-party political system. Picking between two evils is still a choice between evil. This shouldn’t be the way things work for us.
My dad lives in U.S. House of Representative James Clyburn’s district, one that includes the Corridor of Shame, one of the poorest, most neglected parts of South Carolina. The corridor was a port of entry for slaves being transported into the state. The Lowcountry is where the most African American descendants of slaves in the state still reside. People of South Carolina vote because they want better, they don’t just vote because they want a person or a party to win. My dad has voted for decades because wanted better for his children, grandchildren, and now his great-grandchildren, but to him, it seems no matter who he votes for, they simply don’t mean African American Black folks any good.
After voting in every election since he was 18-years-old, he shared with me during one of our long haul trucker conversations this week he doesn’t see the need to vote anymore. I was shocked because I’ve shared my disgust with the state of our political system with him in the past, but back then he wasn’t all that receptive. My dad was one of those people who would preach to us folks who died for our right to vote people. Seems he’s changed his views. Many older Black folks have been taught people died for our rights to vote. They believed the party would save Black folks. African Americans have always believed in White Saviors, even if those saviors come in the shade of Black sent by White folks.
My dad was one of those people.
My dad’s practical wisdom as it relates to voting was that he would always try to pick which evil was the least lethal and hope for the best. For years, that method was better to him than not voting at all. After the disastrous 2021 with Joe Biden being elected and him giving everyone “stuff” except Black folks in his own words, he’s finally done with the Democratic Party and I for one am here for it! He’s learned what a lot of Black folks are finally learning. Both parties are evil and neither party has any intention of fighting for African American Black people, the very people Democrats have relied on since the Civil Rights Era to remain in power. Black people have not received anything tangible in exchange for their votes for decades, and when we do get something, it’s symbolic or tokenized, like holidays which do nothing more than giving the bank and federal employees paid time off.
The Democratic Party has pushed the same ole tired social issues agendas they wanted us to have instead of the economic agendas we wanted. The party has made clear and in no uncertain terms that African American Black folks’ demands and concerns will never be addressed and no remedies concerning racism/White Supremacy or justice will ever be produced by the country. To distract from the business of change, the Democratic party has put forth symbolic token Black persons, including the sham symbolic first two Black people to be elected as President and Vice-President of the nation. Black folks were deceived by their confusing proximities to Whiteness and Blackness. The party’s intentionally overlooks our differences to avoid dealing with its sins.
With every chess move made, America has let the world know it is anti-African American Black until it’s time to collect our votes.
I personally was done last election cycle when the best options to lead this nation in 2020 was an old racist White man and a Black woman who noted she couldn’t do anything specifically for African Americans despite both of her parents benefiting from the sacrifices of my parents, grandparents, and now me. My dad, a descendant of chattel slavery in America, is done with politics. To him, there is no lesser of the two evils. There is no such thing as the lesser of two evils. It’s all just evil. America is evil. Its systems are evil, the institutions controlling us are evil, many of its citizens are evil, and our state, local, and national politics are evil.
Politics is an unnecessary evil many older Black folks are finally waking up to, one they are finally willing and ready to opt out of. All the false promises and threats that were used to scare older African Americans like my dad don’t work anymore. I’m happy folks like my dad are no longer being mislead by those who benefit from White Supremacy. They’ve misled us for far too long. Black people have always known the truth, they finally have the courage to speak it. Our elders are finally starting to speak truths they’ve denied most of their lives. It’s works like shining light onto the darkness.
Why Telling The Black Side of Things Matters To Black People In America
Our views are different. We keep it real.
The elders with these sorts of admissions are giving the younger generations like myself permission to move on. There is no longer a need to give love, time, nor energy to people who don’t love you anymore to please on ancestors and elders.
Democrats, The Assignment Wasn’t That Hard!
Elders like my dad thought the Democratic Party were in position to save America, and by default, African Americans. Boy were they wrong. How the national Democratic Party fumbled the ball this bad is beyond me. We’re White people really be so selfish and foolish that they’d sink a nation to preserve their racist ways of life? It seems the answer is yes. The Democratic Party heads’ inability to size up racism will be the death of this nation. It’s hard to comprehend the Democratic Party‘s’ unwillingness to craft a message that conveys such a message. The Party’s plan I guess is to roll the dice as they continue playing with folks’ lives despite seeing the blaring red lights everywhere. Danger is ahead, but just for African Americans and other non-grandfathered minorities.
I guess White folks in the Democratic Party were hoping to pretend their way out of the racist messes of inequity they created as if real life is some sort of Sci-Fi movie — except now all of our lives are on the line. Those still in love with the Democratic Party are acting as if African Americans are their nation’s life insurance policies, life preservers, and life vests to keep them afloat. If lifelong Democratic Party platform voting African American elders declaring the disillusionment with the party isn’t a wake-up call, nothing will be.
How could they ignore the concerns and needs of the very people who have consistently made their party’s candidacies possible? I’m not sure, but people seniors like my dad are divorcing themselves for politics altogether due to irreconcilable differences and moving to self-preservation with like-minded individuals. Older Black people like my dad see the writing on the wall. They know things are going to get worse and they know the expectation is that we will save ourselves. African Americans of my dad’s generation have already lived Jim Crow. For some, Jim Crow never ended. They all know nothing is going to change.
People like my dad never thought in a million years that the Democratic Party would use them to maintain Whiteness and their power, choosing take us backward to a time when life was far worse for African Americans. My dad feels betrayed, especially since the party used other Blacks in their betrayals like touting the former President Obama to help get Biden elected and Jim Clyburn, a long time Democratic surrogate/weapon/spokesperson delegated to speak to and for Black folks in the South. Using people who look like my dad to betray them has been the ultimate stab in the back. Speaking of backs, Biden was supposed to have ours. He’s done everything he could to show us he doesn’t since getting elected.
Politically astute Black realists knew President Jim Crow was going to govern whitely like he always has, often siding more with the right of his party’s platform that many African American Black folks care to admit. Sadly, President Jim Crow hasn’t disappointed me yet. He is the man he said he was. It’s funny how White descendants of slaveowners often have the same attitudes about African Americans, help, and even reparations. From President Obama to Senator Mitch McConnell, to President Jim Crow Joe Biden who are all descendants of slaveowners, they all have the same love of our votes and money which helps them secure power. They all show the same disdain and disrespect for us after they get it. Regardless of party affiliation, the Whiteness of America remains centered while African Americans continue to be erased and/or neglected.
There seems to be a pattern, and it’s undeniable. The Democratic Party can no longer continue to sell us the lie that it’s better than theRepublican Party. For a lot of us, they are one and the same. My dad sees clearly now.
Many of us knew the most recent Moderate Democrats would never rise to the occasion for African American Black people in a way that would stop or obstruct any and all efforts to re-enslave and segregate Black people from the rest of society. You can just look at the advocacy and activism of People of Color in Congress as well as White Dems like Sinema and Manchin who profess to be Moderate or Progressive Democrats. At the end of the day, the Democratic Party is as anti-Black and Republicans, they just signify that anti-Blackness differently. It’s done in policy, or a lackthereof. Older African American people know when the quiet thing is being said aloud.
No word needed.
What my dad has learned during his lifetime is that White people rarely change where practicing racism is concerned because changing literally means giving up money power, proximity, and privilege. Their quiet anti-Black codes never change, which is why it’s so easy to read the political landscape of the country right now.
Biden is the Democrat he’s always been for the party, a racist one. His values were very conservative then, and they are very conservative now. And please don’t tell me he’s progressive because he first came out with a stance on LGBTQ marriage and LGBTQ rights. The LGBTQ and feminism agendas benefit White people and White people only, but many Black folks in both movements are finally getting their wakeup calls, but not enough. Too many others are ready to die on that hill of lies. Nothing White Supremacy does, regardless of party affiliation, is for the benefit of African Americans or any Blacks for that matter. In the end, they’ll learn that expensive lesson like my dad did. It was all of it was bait and switch.
We wise Southern African American Blacks who are quite familiar with our Whites knew electing President Biden would seal the nation’s fate, but pressure from Black gatekeepers of White Supremacy who understood their assignments insisted any old White person with a “D” behind their names would be better than trying something more progressive, even if it was someone with a rich political history far worse than Donald Trump. They are seeing now Republicans have a plan A, B, C, and D to combat an Dem efforts made to stop them. Democrats aren’t the party African Americans need for this season in American history. We need warriors, not counselors and businessmen and women claiming to be negotiators like Donald Trump.
African American Black folks knew if elected Biden would play patty cake with the same old racist White men he’s always played with. We already knew his warped beliefs about African Americans and his cryptic “crossing the aisle“’ lingo used to convince White folks he knows how to work with racists to get their business done. Older African Americans like my dad hoped with all branches of government in the palm of their hands, the Democratic Party leadership would take care of the old business we’ve been dealing with for hundreds of years while fighting to end the systems and institutions working against us.
None of that happened, and now younger African Americans born at the tail end of Jim Crow like myself and are fresh out of patience. Older African Americans like my dad are done with the Democratic Party and all politics too nearly two years later, choosing to tap out of the process, quietly.
The Democratic Party is fracturing right before our eyes with no real plans to address the obvious. The White Supremacy wing of the party is so deadset on maintaining the status quo, they’d rather fight to preserve everything that’s wrong with Americans than to work and fix what’s been broken for 255 years. If you’re reading this, I hope you’re taking notes, collecting history books, and remembering how things used to be. It’s never going to be the same again.
I’ve said it more than once, and I’m going to continue saying it. We’re never going back to the way things used to be. Too many things are wrong with America, too many people are comfortable with doing nothing at the expense of African Americans, and too many African Americans have been made uncomfortable for far too long. The Democratic Party’s focus on everything except putting White Supremacy out to pasture as we waddle into failing state status is the straw that broke the camels back for a lot of us.
With no conversation at all with my dad about his feeling on the state of the Democratic Party, he called it quits even before the next election cycle begins.
Sometimes such divorces from certain people and racist systems are acts of self-love. For many African Americans like me and my dad, we’re living with the fact the dominant society’s political structure will never free us. Our tax dollars are collected like by dominant society, yet we’re unable to dictate where those funds go or how they will help be used to close the wealth gap. African Americans catching up to Whites is cleary not in their plans.
The Democratic Party has shown our elders they don’t respect their voices or their votes. Their votes don’t stop, decrease, thwart, or minimize the effects of racism/White Supremacy, not long enough to get a breather anyway, and apparently, their words clearly don’t matter. This nation has too many people willing to overlook and move on from White Supremacy to give him any comfort. We can’t even get either party to address racist/policing, something they can see with their own eyes. African-American self-determination is impossible if we remain affiliated with America’s White centered political systems. If politics nor religion can’t correct White Supremacy/racism in America, then all hope is lost.
It doesn’t matter if you pass an Infrastructure Bill if the people doing the hiring are racists. It won’t matter if you give folks a $500 child-tax credit if the school systems we’re feeding our babies into are racist, segregated, and broken. It doesn’t matter if you give me a stimulus to help the economy, and not me. America is a ball of confusion that needs to hurry up and fail already. I’m tired. Most Black folks I know are tired. There really is nothing else to say at this point except goodbye and exit stage door right.
The Democratic Party will be watching many African American party affiliates exit that stage door as we try to use our self-determination to pull the knives out of our backs Biden left — those backs President Jim Crow promised he had covered. This silent mass exodus is going to be a disaster not only for the Democratic Party but also for America. Not sure how they will convince 60, 50, 70, and some 80-year-old African American voters they can do better when they’ve done nothing of the sort during their lifetimes. Our elders know the truth of America.
These folks have lived their lives, many have one foot in their grave, and they don’t have time for any more games.
My seventy-year-old dad is done with politics, at least for a few election cycles anyway, and I’m proud of him. I’m happy he is willing to forsake the politics of White hope and White optimism pushed by the Democratic Party. It’s one less thing he has to carry to his grave. Sharing his truth will hopefully help other older African Americans feel less guilty about the feelings they have about voting and Democratic politics. The party should consider changing its name because it doesn't fight for all people to have a democracy.
African Americans need not apply.
Maybe now my dad can work to help the next generation survive what’s coming. His generation already lived Jim Crow. With his truth comes his freedom.
Call me an alarmist all you like, I’ve been spot on thus far. Nothing is stopping this failing state from freefalling to the gutters of hell on earth, and it’s happening at the expense of the very people who consistently fight to make America the nation it says it is on paper. Democratic Party candidates banking on a large African American turnout for their reelection campaigns better be paying attention to older African Americans across the nation, but especially in the South. Hope they shored up that POC vote. They’re going to need it. The well has dried up. The Democratic Party is going to miss its water. Older African American voters are tired of the Democratic Party.
Many of us are planning on silently sitting out of the next election cycles as an act of self-care. For African Americans in America, self-care is the best care.
Marley K., 2021
(Author’s note: If you’re still “Ridin with Biden,” please check out this video from TD Hip Hop News on YouTube breaking down Biden’s White Supremacist history. Nothing will change until we understand the dominant structure. White Supremacy evolves. Biden has evolved, and he had the help of a LOT of Black people in our nation’s misleadership class which will aid in our collective demise.)
Joe Biden Walks Out On UN’s Anti-Racism & Reparations Event: