By Deric Muhammad
‘The Fiddler Factor’
In Alex Haley’s historic account of slavery in America Roots, an unforgettable character named “Fiddler” plays an interesting role on the plantation. Fiddler was an entertainer, comedian, dealmaker, and peacemaker who, through the sheer force of his personality, kept the slaves calm and the slave master “grinning from ear to ear.” Fiddler was the quintessential “plantation politician” who understood the art of saying all the right things in order to keep the peace and keep the crumbs falling from the slave master’s table.
Just as every slave plantation had its own version of a “Fiddler,” every Black community in modern-day America has a Black elected official who does the bidding of the rich and powerful while paying supreme lip service to his or her constituency. At no time have we had so many Black elected officials in office and at no time have they collectively been so powerless. Imagine squeezing a blackberry only to find it filled with white juice. So it is with many Black elected officials. If you squeeze them hard enough you will find that they are filled with White ideas, White agendas and unparalleled fear.
The day after President Barack Obama secured the Democratic nomination for the presidency of the United States he did not go to Harlem, his hometown Chicago or any Black community for that matter. He didn’t stop by his alma mater Harvard or any other place where his hardcore supporters worked their tails off to get him nominated. Instead of busying himself thanking the majority, he paid a visit to a small minority. He went to Israel.
Why would the first Black man to be nominated for the American presidency make his first stop in the Jews’ self-proclaimed homeland? It is likely because he felt that he could go no further without the proverbial “thumbs up” from the Jewish community. He had to pledge allegiance to Israel’s flag before he could pledge allegiance to America’s as her president. He was following the course of the vast majority of Black politicians who fear the Jewish lobby more than they fear the Black vote.
Earl Hilliard was a celebrated Congressman from the state of Alabama. A Morehouse graduate, he was elected to Congress in 1992, the first Black man to represent Alabama in the U.S. Congress. In 2001 he dared to vote against a bill funding increases in military support to Israel. This angered the Jewish lobby, who then demonized him in the media and used its economic prowess to fund his opponent in the next election. Hilliard lost his seat. Because he refused to sign off on a “pledge of allegiance” to Israel during a time when Israel was committing war crimes against the Palestinians, he was strategically unseated.
What about Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney of Atlanta, Georgia? She was labeled an anti-Semite for merely speaking her mind. A candidate was recruited to run against her and was well-financed by the Jewish community. Many Jews switched political parties just so they could vote against her, and they succeeded in forcing her out of office. It is situations like Hilliard’s and McKinney’s that instill absolute fear in Black politicians for the Jewish community. And wherever there is fear, control is not far behind.
If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a billion times. “Black people fought, bled and died for the right to vote”, is what we say. But how effective is our vote if the people we elect are controlled by an element who had a historical hand in our oppression? As stated in the Nation of Islam Historical Research Department’s book titled The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews, Vol. 2, “Jews were about twice as likely to be slave owners as the average White southerner.” This same powerful book makes the case that the very Jim Crow laws that Dr. King and others marched to change were actually put in place by Jews in the South.
So let me get this straight. Jewish people bankrolled the Civil Rights Organizations that marched to uproot the Jim Crow laws that Jews put in place so that we could secure the right to vote for Black politicians that would eventually end up under Jewish control. You have got to be kidding me.
It is sickening to me the way Black elected officials genuflect and kowtow at the mere mention of AIPAC and the Jewish lobby. It’s unconscionable to see our elected officials pledging allegiance to Israel, yet turning their noses up at Africa. Black congressmen are lauded for their support of Israel, yet have to go jail for protesting a humanitarian crisis in the Sudan. Jewish forces should not have more control over Black politicians than the Black community and if this is the case, we need to face the music and change the tune.
The other side to this dynamic serves as an indictment of us as a people. Because we don’t pool our resources as we should and financially back good candidates, the Jewish community can always use the might of their unified dollars to bully our elected officials into becoming cheerleaders for “all things Jewish.” The same is true for corporate America. If we are going to participate in the politcal process as a people, we must do so from a position of great strength. Brothers like Hilliard should be free to be men and vote the conscious of the community without having to suffer a targeted attack like the one that removed him from his seat.
We must give supreme political protection to strong politicians who are unafraid to represent our legitimate interests and issue pink slips to those who compromise our aims and aspirations in order to please our former slave masters. Politics is war. And we ought to be sick and tired of sending soldiers to the battlefield who fight for everyone else’s interest, except for their senders’.
(Deric Muhammad is a Houston-based activist in the Ministry of Justice. Visit his website at www.dericmuhammad.com.)