12 min readMar 16, 2020

Our Ancestors Did Not Die For The Right To Vote (Part 2)

Huey P Newton, the cofounder of the Black Panther Party.

Many people may say, “there are many black people who are well off”, as a way to claim that black people do not suffer from colonialism. When the British colonized India, they propped up a class of Indians that would act as a buffer. They used this buffer to prevent resistance to colonialism.

Thomas Babington Macaulay a member of the British Empire touched upon how to continue the colonization of India.

“We must at present do our best to form a class who may be interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern; a class of persons, Indian in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals, and in intellect.”

This type of divide and conquer has been seen in America as well. The author of The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander made a good point when she stated how even during slavery there were free black people. Although there was a black population that was free, the masses of black people in America were enslaved.

As people have put it before, it is the “Illusion of Inclusion.” Due to the small amount of black people that assimilated into white society, it makes it look like black people made it in America. Despite the achievements of a portion of black people the masses of black people are living in poverty.

For example, Washington, D.C. has always been known for it’s black professional population. Despite this, the average income of black people in D.C. is around 40 thousand dollars, which is poor. D.C. has one of the highest rates of black unemployment, and has been experiencing gentrification at a rate higher than most of America.

Outside of Native Americans, black people have the highest rates of poverty in America. Many civil rights leaders admitted that the civil rights movement only benefited a portion of black America.

Dr. King,

“ The civil rights movement had too often been middle-class oriented and had not moved to the grassroots levels of our communities. So I thought the great challenge facing the civil rights movement was to move into these areas to organize and gain identity with ghetto dwellers and young people in the ghetto”

Civil rights activist, Bayard Rustin

“People have to understand that although the civil-rights bill was good and something for which I worked arduously, there was nothing in it that had any effect whatsoever on the three major problems Negroes face in the North: housing, jobs, and integrated schools…the civil-rights bill, because of this failure, has caused an even deeper frustration in the North.

Malcolm X,

“Job segregation is one of the worst situations. Washington D.C., is one of the best examples of how integration has failed. I know about the desegregation of the theaters and restaurants and all that in Washington. But the only Negroes who have been helped by that are the Negro bourgeoisie. They are the only Negroes who can afford to go to the theaters and the white restaurants. New York, which is supposed to be liberal, has more integration problems the Mississippi.”

Black people have been voting for 50 years and everything our ancestors marched, protested, and died for, still exists. In 2053, Black wealth is expected to fall to zero.

All of these negative statistics, have nothing to due with our inability to succeed but everything to do with colonialism. When organizing on the South Side of Chicago, Dr. King made it clear that “The Chicago problem is simply a matter of economic exploitation, every condition exists simply because someone profits from by its existence”

Dr. King stated in 1966 that,

The Northern ghetto had become a type of colonial area. The colony was powerless because all important decisions affecting the community were made from the outside. Many of its inhabitants even had their daily lives dominated by the welfare worker and the policeman. The profits of landlord and merchant were removed and seldom if ever reinvested. The only positive thing the larger society saw in the slum was that it was a source of cheap surplus labor in times of economic boom. Otherwise, its inhabitants were blamed for their own victimization.”

Colonialism involves control over land. In the early 1900’s, the mayor of Baltimore stated “Blacks should be quarantined in isolated slums.” This became the mission of the American government. Congress created the Federal Housing Administration(FHA) in 1934. Between the 1930s through the 1960s, black people across the country were prevented from buying homes and moving out of these slums. This was done through bombings, lynchings, and the policy called “redlining.Redlining still exists, meaning black people are still being systematically isolated into specific sections in cities throughout America.

In the quote above Dr. King stated how all the important issues that affect black neighborhoods, are made from outside the community. One of the biggest examples of that is environmental racism. Environmental racism is when toxic waste cites that pollute the air, water, and soil, are systematically placed in black or minority neighborhoods. These toxins cause all types of illness, ranging from cancer , heart disease, and lung diseases.

Black residents have no say in whether we have clean air or water in our community , and it is killing us.

One town in Louisiana called Reserve, Louisiana, has a risk of cancer from air toxicity that is 50 times the national average in America.

Just to highlight how nothing has changed in America since Jim Crow, I will compare quotes from Dr. King during his housing campaign in the slums on the South Side of Chicago, to the issues black people face today in 2020.

“Federal Housing Agencies: Federal housing agencies will not insure loans for purchasing real estate in Negro communities and make little money available for financing any low-cost housing or renovation of present housing.”

“Banks and Mortgage Companies: Banks and mortgage companies charge higher interest rates and in many instances even refuse to finance real estate in slum communities and transitional communities, making the area easy prey for loan sharks.”

“Real Estate: Real Estate Boards restrict the supply of housing available to Negroes to the result that Negro families pay an average $20 per month more in rent and receive fewer services that persons in other neighborhoods.”

Today, blacks are still systematically being access to this same type of wealth.

“As we define and interpret the dynamics of the slum, we see the total pattern of economic exploitation under which Negroes suffer in Chicago and in other northern cities.”

“Education: … slum education is designed to perpetuate the inferior status of slum children and prepare them only for menial jobs in much the same way that the South African apartheid education philosophy does for the African.”

Recent studies show, that white school districts receive 23 billion dollars more than nonwhite black schools.

“ Building Trade Unions: Building trade unions bar Negroes from many employment opportunities which could easily be learned by persons with limited academic training.”

Today, blacks still face systematic job discrimination. A study done by Northwestern University, Harvard University, and the Institute of Research in Norway confirmed that despite equal qualifications, white people were 36% more likely than blacks to receive call backs from jobs.

“Slum Landlords: Slum landlords find a most lucrative return on a minimum investment due to inefficient enforcement of city building codes as well as inadequate building codes, overcrowding of living space, and a tax structure on slum property which means the more you let the building run down, the less you pay in taxes.”

Today in 2020, landlords make most of their money off low income residents, while the residents live in inhumane conditions, rodents, insects, toxic mold and lead in their water.

One of the most crucial stories that shocked me was how Syrian refugees escaped to the inner city of St. Louis and stated how they preferred the refugee camps compared to the living conditions that black people have been living in for decades.

“The Welfare System: The welfare system contributes to the breakdown of family life by making it more difficult to obtain money if the father is in the household and subjects families to a dehumanized existence at the hand of impersonal self-perpetuating bureaucracy.”

The welfare system is a form of colonialism, because colonialism destroys the culture of the one being colonized. Systematically destroying families, destroys the culture.

“The Courts: The courts are organized as a tool of the economic structure and political machine. Judges are political appointees and subject to political influence.”

Today we have the “Cash Bail System.”

Around 75 percent of people being held in jail nationwide, have not been convicted of any crime. They are only there because they can’t afford bail. This cash bail system exploits the poor, who are predominately black.

“The Political System: The established political system deprives Negroes of political power and, through patronage and pressure, robs the community of its democratic voice in the name of a Democratic Machine.”

Today the political power overwhelmingly rests in the hands of white men.

“ The City Administration: The city administration refuses to render adequate services to the Negro community. Street cleaning, garbage collection and police protection are offered menially, if at all.”

Self explanatory for today in 2020.

“ The Federal Government: The federal government has yet to initiate a creative attempt to deal with the problems of megalopolitan life and the results of the past three centuries of slavery and segregation on Negroes.”

This is self explanatory, due to the fact that reparations have yet to be paid.

Many people cite Affirmative Actions as a way that America has paid reparations. Affirmative Action is “tokenism.” It only helps a small portion of Black Americans, while the masses are still left out. More importantly, it has been documented that White women are the main beneficiaries of Affirmative Action.

Below is an article showing how affirmative action is still not affective.

As mentioned before, Dr. King stated that, “The only positive thing the larger society saw in the slum was that it was a source of cheap surplus labor in times of economic boom.”

Part 1 showed how the War on Drugs was a racist scheme meant to systematically arrest black people. Once incarcerated, inmates are exploited for their labor. Prison’s are overwhelmingly black due to the racist origins of the War on Drugs. The Prison Industrial Complex is a billion dollar industry and is modern day slavery. The more people are incarcerated, the more money the prisons, (which are run by white people) make. Prisons are also built in poor rural towns, which provides jobs to white people.

Prisoners do labor for little to no pay. Companies such as Whole Foods, Walmart, Microsoft, Target, Mcdonalds, and many more, have all used prison labor. Last week, the governor of New York stated that the prison inmates in New York are making over 100,000 gallons of hand sanitizer, most likely due to the Coronavirus that has been going around.

So let’s say black people make it past all of these hurdles that America places in front of us, there is still a factor of control and white America is still hoarding the wealth.

You go to school, study, work hard and get a degree, the stats say black people are systematically discriminated through hiring.

Then you say “forget it, I will start my own business.”

Black business owners are still systematically denied loans.

You make it past all the racial discrimination from real estate agents and banks and you manage to buy a home. Black homeowners are undervalued by 156 billion dollars. It is a “racial tax” that robs our community of billions.

Let’s say you are Barrack Obama, you rise to hold one of the highest offices in the world, yet Congress, which is predominately white still uses their political power to block you from trying to pass bills.

Or you become a judge and try to change the system from within and get suspended or reprimanded for calling out racism within the system.

Or you gain a platform on one of the biggest media stations in America and try to speak about injustice, yet you still get fired.

No matter how far you rise up on the ladder in America, the white establishment still has you under it’s control.

In conclusion, when we talk about our ancestor’s dying to vote, some of our ancestor’s knew America would never change. People like Marcus Garvey, Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm X , and the Nation of Islam advocated for black people to become separate from America and have our own homeland and homeland.

Dr. King started to doubt integrating into this system when he stated, “I fear I am integrating my people into a burning house.”

Over 50 years after Dr. King was assassinated, the same issues still exist, and with Trump in office, America looks more like a “burning house” than ever. The colonization of black American’s was here before Trump and it will continue after Trump. As stated, black people live under a system of colonialism, and we have yet to gain our independence. As shown through out the article we are controlled politically and economically.

The quote by Dr. King that was mentioned earlier where he stated, “every condition exists simply because someone profits from by its existence” should be eye opening enough. All of the issues that oppress black people exist because there is a segment of White America that profits from it. In order for our people to not be controlled or exploited, we must have tribal sovereignty (the right to govern ourselves), which is what Native Americans have.

The end goal can NOT be trying another 50 years to change the system from within. That is insanity and the epitome of an abusive relationship. Tribal sovereignty and independence from America is the only way. Our ancestors died to become free from colonialism.