The Year In Politics
10. Kamala Harris Wins The Primary
I’ve never been involved in politics on this level before, but watching Kamala beat an opponent who outspent her five to one was amazing. There were a lot of billionaires who ran for office this year and while that may have worked in other parts of the country, they all got their clocks cleaned in California.
9. Hip Hop Illuminati
After years of celebrating making money and spending money, suddenly there’s a mood shift among hip hop fans. Now folks are taking a hard look at the materialism and methods of success in hip hop. It expresses itself in videos like this:
I suspect this change in attitude is a result of several factors: the nation’s economic downturn is making people suspicious, if not hostile to rich people. And rap’s moguls have been so successful for so long, fans don’t necessarily look at them as “we’ve made it”…it’s more like “they made it”. In fact, any black success…from Barack to Beyonce…is seen as a result as a deal with the devil, whether it be literal or metaphorical. Are black folks so disconnected from success that we can’t imagine it happening without selling your soul?
8. Tea Party vs. America
With the help of Fox News and other co-conspirators, the Tea Party always seems bigger and more influential than it really is. They make themselves seem like the majority instead of the sliver of the population they really are. They have only the power we give them.
They have already caused a Civil War in their own party between themselves and the Republicans who just don’t want to pay taxes.
This division helps the Democrats, who have their own conflicts between the Blue Dogs, the progressives and the pragmatists.
7. Jimmy McMillan and The Rent Is Too Damn High Party
Jimmy showed us how a black progressive could create their own counter to the Tea Party if they actually got a candidate with flavor, backed them with some money and organized them the way the Koch brothers do with the Tea Party. We can do this. We elected a President two years ago, this is the next step.
6. Extra Stoopid
When did not having any experience, not being well-educated, not being qualified become bragging points? We saw the effects of Reagan gutting public education in hip hop, now we see the national effects.
5. St. Louis Is The Most Dangerous City In America
When I was a kid, St. Louis was “nice” compared to my hometown, East St. Louis. Now St. Louis is the most dangerous city in America. Glad I moved my mother out.
4. What Post-Racial Really Means
It’s not that there are no more race problems in America now that we’ve got a black president, it’s that white people are no longer interested in helping black people with their problems.
From the White House to Hollywood, white folks have moved on to other issues. The good news is that black folks have demonstrated enough economic and political clout to get what we want when we get organized and go for it. The problem is our lack of organization.
3. Census Data
America is a plurality and white people are no longer the majority. Blacks will be outnumbered by Asians by 2040. Mixed race is one of the fastest growing racial catagories and young people want both sides of their racial heritage recognized. These are a few of the big changes this census is indicating and they all have huge political and social implications for this nation.
2. Barack Obama
The problem: to heal a broken nation. His mission: to equal or top Lincoln or Roosevelt. With 24 hour news cycles and a well-organized attack dog media, Obama is constantly seen as coming up short with comparisons to leaders 50 to 100 years ago.
Did he make strategic mistakes? Yes. Is he the secret progressive that will fundamentally challenge our corrupt system? No. But anyone who makes the world safer just by showing up deserves a Nobel Prize. And his handling of the Middle East uprisings has been good so far, although America’s three wars are three too many for me. But his end of the year horse trading was savvy and effective. He will win a second term and, in time, will at least be as well regarded as Clinton.
1. Kamala Harris Winning The Election
I knew when her opponent declared victory on election night and went to bed, it was going to very bad for him. DEWEY VS. TRUMAN-level bad. So and it did. The final count stretched on for weeks, but I never lost confidence.
Watching the swearing in with my family was great, but it was even better being in the small back room after the ceremony where she actually signed her document.