Tuesday, February 13, 2007

2007 State Of The Black Union

Tavis Smiley Hosts the State of the Black Union Conference.

This year the event was held in Jamestown Virginia, to mark 400 years since the first slaves arrived.

I sometimes wonder if these events are still necessary. But then again, there are so many problems within so-called "Black Culture" that it probably is necessary.

But I don't feel the same way about some of the organizations, such as the NAACP for example. Some of the traditional organizations and some of the characters outlived their usefulness a long time ago. But I agree with some of the ideas and efforts of the annual Conference.

I do think that the effort by Tavis Smiley and others (called 'the Covenant') leaves out one major thing. It spends a lot of time begging the two political Parties to listen to the concerns listed in the Covenant Statement, but there is no effort (not even the idea) to create new alternative Political Parties...Independent Progressive Political Parties to challenge the Republicans and the Democrats. As long as Black voters...(or ANY group) continue to operate in the small-minded world of the existing 2 Party system, not much will change for Black Americans.

Without a grand "thinking outside of the box" strategy for dealing with politics- the idea of forming new Political Parties rather than working within the existing 2-Party framework, and the idea of forming coalitions with other groups across the country- then all of these other initiatives will not be possible.

This event is long (as it usually is each year). It may take viewers a few days to watch the videos.

Watch Video

Dr. Cornel West is on the second panel (Part 2).

(the videos will only be available for a few weeks from the date posted.)


More Information About the State of the Black Union

1 comment:

redante said...

Hello there

I agree wholeheartedly with your analysis that alternative political parties must be formed that think outside of the 2-party box. I have been observing third-party politics the past several years (have you read Spoiling for a Fight by Micah Sifry?) and what I have noticed is that when a third party does participate in electoral politics, that sooner or later they face the role of spoiler. If they are unsuccessful in their efforts, they are nonentities. If they get a measure of success, especially in a close race, they can tilt the election towards one of the major parties -- but end up not winning themselves. Third parties exist such as the Labor Party, the Working Families Party, the Libertarian Party, Green Party but for some reason they can't seem to get any traction on a mass scale. The solution I think lies in systemic reform such as instant runoff voting, opening up debates to third parties, and clean money elections. But so far, these efforts haven't captured the public imagination much as well. Is the situation hopeless? I don't know but I feel hopeful. Each and every year, the number of political independents seems to grow and sooner or later a group or an organization may be able to harness this dissatisfaction towards something that has an impact.