What if I told you there was a single political affiliation:
- • Whose adherents represent every U.S. political party as well as independents,
• Which successfully courts conservatives, liberals/progressives, and moderates,
• That overcomes all color and ethnicity barriers,
• That bridges social and economic divides,
• That ignores differences in education and intellect,
• That has operated since the 1960’s, with its origins in the nation’s earliest governance, and,
• Though it impacts all U.S. politics, most Americans have neither name nor label for it…
Is that conceivable, seeing that Americans seem more “divided” now than at any time since the Civil Rights Era, or World War I, or even the Civil War? Not only is it conceivable, it has dominated U.S. politics over the last half-century, and promises to stay influential for generations to come. What is this affiliation?
This writer calls it, “Nigg-mo-can”, a political ideology and affiliation based on the current answer to a nation-old question: “What shall we do with the Negro?” Interestingly, its varied adherents – black, white, Democrat, Republican, conservative, liberal, moderate, etc. rarely agree, on anything; however, since 1964, they are united in their response to that ancient query.
The young nation’s first response to that question came while determining how best to divide influence in the National Legislature among the States:
- Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.
— United States Constitution, Article 1, Section 2, Paragraph 3
By the Constitution’s drafting in 1787, American slavery had a decidedly black face. So, why did the Founders not simply end the above passage, “three fifths of all Negros”? Because there were also white (especially Irish), partly white, and Indian slaves. The word “Persons” accounted for the mix of people in bondage at that time. The Constitution addressed slavery as a class problem – which it was; the race angle was not a primary governance issue.
Nevertheless, when the Civil War ended slavery in the U.S., a leading question of the day was what to do with those newly freed. Regarding blacks, Frederick Douglass, himself a former slave, offered this compelling response in 1865:
- What I ask for the Negro is not benevolence, not pity, not sympathy, but simply justice. The American people have always been anxious to know what they shall do with us. Gen. Banks was distressed with solicitude as to what he should do with the Negro. Everybody has asked the question, and they learned to ask it early of the abolitionists, “What shall we do with the Negro?”
I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us. Do nothing with us! If the apples will not remain on the tree of their own strength, if they are wormeaten at the core, if they are early ripe and disposed to fall, let them fall! I am not for tying or fastening them on the tree in any way, except by nature’s plan, and if they will not stay there, let them fall. And if the Negro cannot stand on his own legs, let him fall also. All I ask is, give him a chance to stand on his own legs! Let him alone!
If you see him on his way to school, let him alone, don’t disturb him! If you see him going to the dinner table at a hotel, let him go! If you see him going to the ballot-box, let him alone, don’t disturb him! If you see him going into a work-shop, just let him alone, your interference is doing him a positive injury. Gen. Banks’ “preparation” is of a piece with this attempt to prop up the Negro. Let him fall if he cannot stand alone! If the Negro cannot live by the line of eternal justice, so beautifully pictured to you in the illustration used by Mr. Phillips, the fault will not be yours, it will be his who made the Negro, and established that line for his government. Let him live or die by that.
Not surprisingly, a beaten, but unbowed, South chose not to “do nothing” with its former black chattel. After readmission to the Union, white Democrats not only overturned black political advances in South Carolina and elsewhere; they worked to disenfranchise blacks and, by the early 20th century, virtually eliminated their electoral possibilities.
Yet, blacks demonstrated that the vote is not the “be-all and end-all” of political power. By 1900, some 30,000 trained black teachers were working in the South, and most blacks were literate. In 1909, the National Negro Committee, the precursor to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, formed. In 1926, Carter G. Woodson launched Negro History Week, the forerunner to Black History Month. The Army formed the Tuskegee Airmen in 1941. 1955 launched the 386-day Montgomery Bus Boycott. These are a few of the significant accomplishments blacks made in pursuit of their rights as citizens, despite strong opposition…and without the vote. Those successes did not go unnoticed by Lyndon Baines Johnson, who came to Washington, D.C., in 1937 as a Congressman from Texas and, in 1955, began his second Senate term.
Johnson spent his first 20 years in Washington, D. C., opposing all federal civil rights legislation…then, as president, morphed into a Civil Rights champion…
Politicians who make 180⁰ position changes rarely do so for reasons they give the public. So, while it is possible Lyndon Johnson repented of his segregationist stance, it is also (more) likely Johnson, watching the building black momentum, changed, not his position, but his tactics, deciding, “If you can’t beat ’em, cheat ’em”. In his 2013 book, Inside the White House, Ronald Kessler quotes then-president Johnson:
- “These Negroes, they’re getting pretty uppity these days and that’s a problem for us since they’ve got something now they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we’ve got to do something about this, we’ve got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference.”
In 1964, Johnson announced his intent to visit, upon blacks, the very “mischief” and “positive injury” Frederick Douglass implored the nation to avoid, during the State of the Union address:
Johnson followed the War on Poverty declaration with the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1968, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Johnson also issued Executive Order 11246 in 1965, establishing “Affirmative Action” throughout the federal government’s Executive Branch. These are hailed among the greatest civil rights accomplishments in U.S. History…and it was a political master stroke.
In the space of four years, Johnson gave blacks Civil Rights “victories” that killed the momentum of their Civil Rights movement; by the end of the 1960’s, black civil rights was less about the societal changes which lifted all blacks, and more about the individual accomplishments of a few, of which all blacks could be proud…while changing nothing. So, Lyndon Johnson gave those “uppity” Negroes “a little something”, that proved “not enough to make a difference”.
Some dispute that, pointing out the benefit of securing the vote. Yes, but whom did the black vote benefit? Kessler offers this Lyndon Johnson quote, spoken to two governors aboard Air Force One, “I’ll have those n—–s voting Democratic for the next 200 years.” Fifty years later, Johnson’s words have Bible-prophet accuracy; blacks have given at least 74% of their votes to the Democrat Party since 1964, and are not 50 years better served for that loyalty.
Lyndon Johnson implemented the policies which make up the Nigg-mo-can response to the question, “What shall we do with the Negro?” By those policies, one can ascertain their beliefs:
- • Nigg-mo-cans believe blacks deserve “a little something”, like the “benevolence” of unearned money; enough to quiet them down (in subsistence), not enough to make a(n economic achievement) difference. White Nigg-mo-cans seem to vote for dispensing these funds so they can either level, or avoid, a racism accusation. Dancing around the “racist” label allows whites, of all political stripes, to unite under the Nigg-mo-cans banner. For their part, black Nigg-mo-cans support nearly every conceivable government program for blacks as “payment for the struggle”. No Nigg-mo-cans, black or white, confront the black family devastation wrought by government programs, though they recognized the damaging links as early as 1965.
• Nigg-mo-cans believe blacks deserve “a little something”, like voting laws, which quiet them down by duping blacks into believing political power comes from ballot boxes – that others count – instead of united communities, accountable among themselves, actively pursuing their interests. They persist in telling blacks that the vote matters, despite a failed Detroit, an impotent and irrelevant Congressional Black Caucus, and an unhelpful Barack Obama.
• Nigg-mo-cans believe blacks deserve “a little something”, like civil rights and Affirmative Action laws, which quiet them down with assurances that others will not receive greater consideration than do they. Yet what difference do civil rights make, when that for which America’s blacks suffered are easily claimed by hispanics, homosexuals, and others, who neither waited as long, nor shed as much blood, to secure them? What difference Affirmative Action, the greatest beneficiary of which is white women, and which has actually worked against minorities in important situations.
Nigg-mo-cans believe, as did Lyndon Johnson, in giving blacks “a little something”. Unfortunately, few of them acknowledge it was never intended to make a difference. Seduced by the “compassion” of giving (what belongs to others), and of setting things right for blacks (by inflicting the wrongs done to blacks upon others), they intentionally blind themselves to the mischief they play with blacks, and the positive injury they cause. At their core, they either do not wish for blacks to stand unaided…or fear what blacks might accomplish without “help”. This perspective will guide their response to the question, “What shall we do with the Negro?”, until blacks either confront them, or the positive injuries become fatal.
In either case, the Nigg-mo-cans will then take their ideology and focus it on their next target people, re-branding themselves as the Hisp-mo-cans.