In the wake of the previous week’s discussions shaquanda cotton and black bloggers, I thought I’d end the week with a couple of Nation articles that I found interesting:
I had the chance to interview Mayor Coleman A. Young the year he passed away. When I asked him about the role the black upper class played in his first election, he scoffed and talked about what he called “ass power.”Â For him the thing that got him the election was folks willing to go door to door to register people to vote, door to door to get people out to vote.
Black working class people in Detroit tended to have it. Black upper class men and women tended not to have it.Â Now there are some things that black men and women in the upper strata can give that black working class folk cannot–money, professional services, etc. But if we’re talking about building politics from the ground up, ass power is essential. Engaging people who had previously not been engaged in politics is also essential.
For the first time in the modern era more of our nation’s poor are concentrated in the suburbs rather than in the cities. Over the long haul with the right type of political activism this could lead to both a partisan shift away from the GOP, and an ideological shift to the left. When suburban folks get to the point where the services they need cannot be provided for at the suburb, county, or state level, perhaps they’ll look to the federal government for significant intervention. There are other options, but I don’t even want to give them weight by linking to them. (Think Germany around the 1920s.)