February , 2019

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It’s Time for some pure soul searching and a much needed turn-around in behavior -  and the time is now

By Juanita Bratcher

Author, Publisher & CEO, CopyLine Magazine

In my 39 years as a Journalist/Publisher/Author, this is an article I never had intentions of writing although it has been a much talked about conversation between many Blacks at one time or another. I’ve been part of many of these conversations myself at private meetings, in one-on-one conversations and in telephone conversations. That is:  Why are Blacks so hard on each other? Why are Blacks so hard on Black candidates running for political office? Why are some Blacks so willing to forego their opposition to other ethnic candidates running for public office – who are not going to do that much of anything (about their concerned issues) for them, if they’re elected to office with their vote – and remain quiet on the same issues that they so readily scorn Blacks for when they do or say the same things? They have no problem bad talking or taking Blacks on, but they’re quick to look over things that other ethnic candidates do or say about them.

While this issue has been mostly a “hush, hush” conversation between some Blacks, it has now moved to a more public setting than ever before.

First, let me note that I am not writing this article as a racial issue; I’m writing it as a seasoned journalist writing about a factual and questionable issue. Every registered voter should take a more sophisticated look at any candidate that is running for public office and will be representing them with a jaundice eye – to review their campaign agendas and backgrounds very closely.

There are five candidates running for mayor in Chicago’s February 24th mayoral election – The incumbent Rahm Emanuel, William (Bill) Dock Walls, Bob Fioretti, Dr. Willie Wilson and Jesus “Chuy” Garcia.

In an article reported by Sun Times Columnist Mary Mitchell, “Willie Wilson is more than his words”, posted 01/30/2015, after all mayoral candidates met with the Sun-Times Editorial Board, she pointed out something that has been very vocal by many Blacks since Dr. Willie Wilson, a Black businessman with a $60 million international company announced his candidacy for mayor.

The following excerpt from Mitchell’s article stated: “Unfortunately, Wilson is mocked by parts of the black community because, like the former mayor, Richard M. Daley, he butchers the English language.

“That shortcoming has some calling his candidacy an embarrassment.

“It isn’t.

“Wilson did not let his circumstances limit his aspirations.

“That’s a model the black community desperately needs.”

Mitchell is right. I’ve heard the same criticism in regards to Wilson’s language.

Over the years there have been other ethnic candidates whose grammar wasn’t all that good, worst than what Wilson’s critics contend about him, but it didn’t stop them from running for public office. Wilson is a very good example of pull yourself up by your bootstraps and do something good for yourself and others. Think about it! And some of those criticizing him don’t have a terrific handle themselves of the English language.  As a matter of fact, no one is perfect when it comes to the English language.

One of the problems with Blacks that I see quite often in the city of Chicago is that many times they don’t plan or strategize that well, but expect successful results. Success most often come from excellent planning and starting way ahead of time to work on the goal or goals that one is seeking.

In 1983, the successful election of Harold Washington, the first Black mayor of Chicago, was a culmination of many years by the “Movement” mostly grassroots people who were fed up with the establishment – and the coming together of a progressive coalition of Blacks, Whites, Hispanics, Asians and others.

The election of Washington didn’t happen overnight. It was a well laid-out plan by Journalist Lu Palmer and many other grassroots activists who started the process long before the mayoral primary election. Those planners were successful in waking up the “sleeping giant” who turned out in numbers to vote Harold in.

They noted that historically, Blacks had worked in the campaigns of others to get them elected to public office, why not one of their own?

In their planning stages, the Political Action Committee CBUC, a part of Palmer’s CBUC organization, produced a survey flyer that stated: “A Black Mayor? It’s Up To You!” The initial list included some 21 names. Washington was elected and the rest is history.

I am reminded of a flyer that has been making the rounds in the black community for years. Most Blacks have heard of it because those who were not aware of it a friend, business associate or family member made certain that they got a copy of it.

That flyer is “From One White Slave Plantation Owner To Another,” in the words of “Willie Lynch in 1712, on the many ways in which plantation owners could keep control over their slaves.

In his speech to the slave owners, Willie Lynch told them he had a “fool-proof method for controlling your Black slaves…and if installed correctly it will control slaves for at least 300 years…

“…On the top of my list is “Age,” but it is there because it only starts with an “A”; the second is “Color” or shade; there is intelligence, size, sex, size of plantations, attitude of owners, whether the slaves live in the valley, on a hill, East, West, North, South, have fine or coarse hair, or is tall or short. Now that you have a list of differences, I shall give you an outline of action – but before that, I shall assure you that distrust is stronger than trust, and envy is stronger than adulation, respect or admiration.”

Distrust is stronger than trust, huh!

Later in his speech Willie Lynch stated: “Don’t forget, you must pitch the old Black vs. the young Black male, and the young Black male against the old Black male. You must use the dark skin slaves vs. the light skin slaves, and the light skin slaves vs. the dark skin slaves. You must use the female vs. the male, and the male vs. the female. You must also have your servants and overseers distrust all Blacks, but it is necessary that your slaves trust and depend on us. They must love, respect and trust only us.”

Black voters are the largest voting ethnic group in Chicago. It’s time that we put a death knell on plantation style politics.

After Mayor Harold Washington won the mayoral election in 1983, with a smile on his face and in glee, he declared, “patronage is dead.” Washington said he was putting the death knell on patronage, which over the years had bred waste and corruption. Certainly, there were some who didn’t like his declaration, because, let’s face it; he was talking about getting rid of something that was an integral part of the political culture in Chicago.

Blacks are in a struggle, a high unemployment rate and more victims to a lagging economy than others. So there’s no time for sellouts and buyouts. The natives are restless; tell people the truth with no sugar-coating whatsoever. Leaders owe that to their following.

An excerpt from my book, “I Cry For A People: In Their Struggle For Justice & Equality”, Copyright ©, 1994, one of my poems was entitled “Hey, Mr. Politician”.

Excerpt: “You have armed yourself with speeches

Dishing out all that double talk

Calling yourself a “Change” agent

But you never walk the walk

Your talk is ever so mindboggling

As you promise the sun and moon

But I got news for you, Mister Politician

An early defeat is coming soon

Please, wake up before it’s too late.  Let’s put a death knell on plantation style politics and a distrust of each other; when there is no reason whatsoever to do so. Plantation politics is not a good idea for Blacks in the here and now, and it’s certainly not a good idea for our future.

Juanita Bratcher is an Award-Winning Journalist, the Publisher of www.copylinemagazine.com and the author of several books, songwriter and poet. She has been a Journalist for more than 39 years covering politics, education and a wide-range of other topics.

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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