Blackonomics: Hillary and Bernie discover and re-discover black people

James Clingman | 2/24/2016, 3 p.m.
One thing is for sure; Black folks are enjoying this latest political mating dance with Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. ...
James Clingman

Hype is meaningless unless it is accompanied by real accountability and substantive results. If the Black vote is so important and so precious, as we like to say, then why is it literally given away for a song and a dance or a rousing speech? Saying how bad it is for Black people is not doing something about it. Glad-handing and hobnobbing with two or three leading Blacks is not doing anything to elevate Black people to a state of economic empowerment—and not even political empowerment. Feeling our pain and walking in the streets with us does nothing to alleviate that pain or stop the injustices we suffer.

It is embarrassing to see our people fawning over folks who, when they get what they want from us, will return to the political status quo. If that were not true, we would have seen huge benefits by now. It’s always, “this time it will be different,” when it comes to Black voters.

One practical question to ask candidates who are running around our neighborhoods, churches, and college campuses seeking our votes: “How much campaign money have you spent with Black-owned media, i.e. newspapers, radio?” That’s just one of many acts of reciprocity and the bare minimum of what we should demand. If they do as the current POTUS did in 2012, spend one-tenth of 1 percent with Black media, don’t support them until they increase that amount, and then move on to the next demand. Stop allowing them to use and insult you, and stop slobbering over this latest discovery process; Black people have been in this country since the show started.

James Clingman is the nation’s most prolific writer on economic empowerment for Black people. His latest book, Black Dollars Matter! Teach your dollars how to make more sense, is available on his website, Blackonomics.com.