Black America is still experiencing a lot of “firsts,” including the first Black woman as vice president but civil rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton says he’s tired of empty “firsts.” Now is the time to put aside Black symbolism. It’s time for action, according to Sharpton.
“It’s a sign of our times that Black politicians can’t simply acknowledge that debt. They are expected to actually repay it by addressing the vast and immediate needs of Black Americans,” The Los Angeles Times reported.
Recently, several Black activists have developed a plan for the payback.
The Black to the Future Action Fund released its “Black mandate for the Biden-Harris administration” — also known as the Build Back Bolder plan, which is not to be confused with the administration’s own Build Back Better plan.
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This plan is being shepherded by the co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Global Network Alicia Garza. Other backers include Sharpton, the Rev. William Barber II of the Poor People’s Campaign, as well as several of the activists who helped turn Georgia blue in the last election, including LaTosha Brown of Black Voters Matter, Nsé Ufot of the New Georgia Project, and Deborah Scott of Georgia STAND UP, The Los Angeles Times reported.
On Feb. 19, the backers of the plan held an online launch event for the Build Back Bolder.
“America has consistently failed to deliver on its promise to Black communities,” Garza said. “But when we are focused, when we are organized, when we are determined, Black America has been successful in delivering on our promise to not rest until freedom comes. We pushed the Biden-Harris campaign to victory, not for them, but … for us because we can’t wait any longer.”
“We didn’t elect them because we like them or, you know because they’re our friends,” Brown added a few minutes later. “This is about power.”
Sharpton echoed the sentiments. “We did not put you there for symbolism. We are past the Jackie Robinson days,” Sharpton said during Friday’s launch event. “We don’t want a Black in the game. We want to win the game.”
So what debt does Harris owe to Black America?
According to her office, Harris is keen on pushing forward an agenda that will help Black America.
“Already, the vice president has been touting her involvement forming a White House task force to address health inequities that have been exacerbated by the pandemic. She also has been using her voice to counter conspiracy theories about covid-19 and encourage skeptical Black people to get vaccinated,” The L.A. Times reported.
Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 73: Jamarlin Martin Jamarlin makes the case for why this is a multi-factor rebellion vs. just protests about George Floyd. He discusses the Democratic Party’s sneaky relationship with the police in cities and states under Dem control, and why Joe Biden is a cop and the Steve Jobs of mass incarceration.
But there’s more Harris can do. And Sharpton is expecting more from her.
“What we’ve learned is that we only are going to get what we fight for,” Sharpton said. “And even though some [politicians] may be better mannered, it does not mean that they’re going to do what is right for our agenda. We’re not fans. We’re grown folks that have the power of our vote.”