The black misleadership class has no shame, only narrow ambitions. They are now called out to rescue the man who looks very much like a loser.
Black Agenda Report was quite intentional in coining the term black misleadership class. The misleaders include Democratic Party politicians and allies in civil rights organizations, journalism, churches, and the foundation world. This group is entirely self-interested as they work to get funding for pet projects, well paid jobs, election to office, media attention, or all of the above. They are subservient to the Democratic Party and its donor class while giving the impression of working in the interests of black people.
Joe Biden’s position as presumptive democratic party presidential nominee is a direct result of these corrupt relationships. It was Congressional Black Caucus member James Clyburn who gave him the seal of approval during the all-important South Carolina primary. Clyburn also gave Bernie Sanders the shove under the bus and resolved what the Democrats considered their biggest problem in the 2020 election.
Now the Democrats are stuck with a man who cannot be trusted to answer simple questions or read from a teleprompter. He also lacks any association with a policy initiative which might motivate voters to turn out in high numbers. The hapless Biden even lived up to Donald Trump’s moniker “sleepy Joe Biden” when he fell asleep during Hillary Clinton’s endorsement remarks. So far, he can muster only two selling points. He was Obama’s vice president and he isn’t Trump.
In addition to these problems, Biden was accused of committing a sexual assault by a woman named Tara Reade. His penchant for unwanted touching and overall creepiness is well known and has been documented over many years. Reade made her accusation in late March but Biden didn’t respond directly with a denial for another five weeks.
The black misleaders behaved true to form in addressing both the assault allegation and in letting Biden off the hook regarding his choice of a running mate. Biden promised to choose a woman. Of course that led to speculation that a black woman would be on the short list but that hope was short lived. James Clyburn stepped into his role as Democratic Party hit man and proclaimed that having a black woman running mate is “not a must.” The most loyal constituency has been directed to stand down yet again.
But politicians are not the only ones among the misleadership crew. Tarana Burke, known as the founder of the Me Too movement in support of sexual assault survivors, couldn’t find her way to support Ms. Reade. She tried to straddle the fence and said that Biden could be “electable and accountable” when the real issue is whether she believes Reade or Biden. The Me Too proponents are almost all Democrats and happily use such allegations against Republicans and claim to believe all women. Apparently the level of belief depends on the party affiliation and level of importance of the accused.
While Burke was wishy washy Stacey Abrams was more up front. She said, “I believe Joe Biden.” Abrams has been quite busy ever since her 2018 campaign for governor in Georgia. She is the darling of the Democratic Party neo-liberal elite and has invitations to such venues as the Bilderberg capitalist casting call to prove it. She didn’t disappoint in a recent article in Foreign Affairs , a bible of the United States establishment. She couched her criticisms of Trump with criticisms of Xi Jinping and blather about defeating communism, authoritarians and upholding the international liberal order.
Despite Clyburn’s direction that she may have to stand down, Abrams clearly has her hat in the ring. Her support for Biden’s denial didn’t turn out too badly because the Democrats used the last month to craft a campaign against Reade. They use weasel words about whether Reade’s 1993 Senate complaint mentioned assault or just harassment. Obama factotum David Axelrod and others assure us that Biden was vetted thoroughly back in 2008 and Reade was officially declared to be a liar.
In 2016 Democrats made hay out of Trump’s “grab them by the pussy” remark. Now that Biden is accused of the same act, they need all the help they can get to deflect attention from their awful candidate. The black misleaders are called out to rescue the man who looks very much like a loser.
Had black voters asserted themselves with concrete demands the Democrats would have a candidate with a better chance of winning. But that is the existential conflict for black people. The party they cling to doesn’t want a candidate who will address their needs because that would mean threatening their relationship with the donor class. Hence Sleepy Joe Biden gets their support by default. But he is unlikely to get the turn out he needs for victory. That suits the Democrats just fine. Trump is a useful foil who explains away their corruption while also benefiting the rich people and corporations they depend upon as well. The theater of fake opposition goes on and the misleaders make out just fine. The masses of people who think they have no choice but to go along with the con game will be the losers yet again.
Margaret Kimberley’s Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR, and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She maintains a frequently updated blog as well at patreon.com/margaretkimberley and she regularly posts on Twitter @freedomrideblog. Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgendaReport.com.