I’m writing two weeks before the November election, writing and praying that Election Day comes sooner than it is supposed to. I did my early vote thing so that I could, if necessary, drop into battleground states like Virginia, North Carolina or Florida to do my bit to get out the vote. And I’m hoping that voters will do the right thing and elect Hillary Clinton. But as I wrote, I know that there is the possibility (not probability) that Mr. Chump will prevail.
No matter who wins this election, governing will not be a cakewalk. Republicans in Congress have pledged to initiate investigations of Secretary Clinton, matters that have already been thoroughly investigated. They want to know about the E-mails, the Clinton Foundation, and more. And if Mr. Trump is elected, there are likely to be Democrats who will call for all kinds of investigations of him, not to mention the many women who might well sue him for defamation after he called those who he groped liars just looking for moments of fame.
African American people should remember, Henry Kissinger, the former Secretary of State, who said, “No permanent friends, no permanent enemies, just permanent interests.” The advancement of African American people, frankly, has not been a priority for either Democrats or Republicans. African Americans loyally give their votes to Democrats because Democrats have been more responsive, but analysts have correctly noted that the loyalty has not been reciprocal.
Republicans have been downright hostile to African Americans, even after the 2012 drubbing that led to an analysis that urged Republicans to reach out to African Americans and Latinos. Somehow, the powers that be ignored the analysis that they paid good money for.
Enter Ron Daniels, Ph.D., and the fourth State of the Black World Conference. (www.ibw21.org). Each year since 2012, Dr. Daniels has convened activists and leaders to assess the outcome of the presidential election and to coalesce around ways to work together. The conference will be held in Newark, N.J., from Nov. 16-20. This year, the theme of the conference is “Racial Healing and Collaboration for Black Empowerment,” and while the conference will feature a who’s who of Black leaders and thinkers (like Susan Taylor, Danny Glover, Mark Morial, Kimberlee Crenshaw, and others), it will also openly solicit the ideas of attendees. Panelists have been limited in the amount of time they will talk so that attendees can also put their ideas out there. The thought is that the many who work in local areas may have ideas that can be taken national. Consciously, Dr. Daniels and his team have structured a conference that encourages conversation and collaboration, especially intergenerational conversation.
For full disclosure, let me acknowledge that I will be receiving an award from the Institute for the Black World on Saturday evening, and that I am part of the Reparations Commission of IBW. And for full disclosure, let me also say how much I admire and appreciate the absolute tenacity that Daniels has shown for Black people and for the movement toward a progressive agenda. I am always delighted to acknowledge him first as a friend, and also as a colleague.