Shelby07 – Tommie Shelby is the Professor of African and African American Studies and of Philosophy at Harvard University. (“We Who Are Dark: The Philosophical Foundations of Black Solidarity”)
Even if it were possible to effectively mobilize a multicorporatist Black Power program without running afoul of democratic values or compromising broader egalitarian concerns, this form of black solidarity may not be pragmatically desirable because of factors that are exogenous to black communities. Thus far I have discussed this program without much consideration for how other ethnoracial groups would be likely to respond to its institutional realization. It is reasonable to assume that Black Power politics would engender a countermobilization on the part of nonblacks, and not just whites, seeking to protect their own interests. Indeed, if Carmichael and Hamilton were correct about the essentially ethnic basis of American politics, we should fully expect this kind ofresistance. With increased political centralization and organizational autonomy, openly aimed at advancing black interests, we would also likely see a rise in white nationalism, where some whites increase their collective power through greater group self-organization and solidarity, as they have often done in the past and, to some extent, continue to do even now.51 Such resistance would not come solely from racists, however. Some potential allies would also be alienated by this nationalist program and may consequently become(further) disillusioned with the ideal of racial integration, indifferent to black problems, or disaffected from black people. Nonblacks would naturally view their relegation to "supporting roles" within black political organizations as a sign that their help in the struggle for racial justice is unneeded or unwanted; that their commitment to racial justice is in question; that blacks are more concerned with advancing their group interests than with fighting injustice; or that blacks do not seek a racially integrated society. Moreover, because those who have status and exercise power within institutions generally have a stake in preserving these institutional structures, even if they no longer serve the goals for which they were initially established, nonblacks have well-founded reasons to worry that black political organizations may, through sheer inertia or opportunism, become ends in themselves. Thus, although institutional autonomy might increase the organizational independence of blacks, the overall power of the group could be reduced because of isolation from other progressive forces. This situation would be particularly disastrous for blacks who live in minority-black electoral districts, for they cannot elect effective political representation without the support of like-minded nonblack citizens.
Discussion alone fails—demands upon the state can change the way it functions
Sharpton13 – Al Sharpton. (“We Need More Than Just a Conversation on Race; We Need Legislative Action,” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rev-al-sharpton/we-need-more-than-just-a-_b_3636142.html?utm_hp_ref=black-voices, July 22, 2013)
This past Saturday, we witnessed a historic moment across this country. In 100 cities from coast-to-coast, people rallied against 'Stand Your Ground' laws and called on the Department of Justice to investigate whether the unarmed teenager's civil rights were violated. With only days to organize, the National Action Network (NAN) spearheaded these demonstrations that proved how people were engaged, visibly frustrated by injustice and most importantly, knew that nothing would change going forward without a demand for substantive action.Discussions about race are good, we need that as well, but unless those conversations are leading to legislative change, they aren't doing much for us as a nation. Many thought organizing a 100-city vigil in four days was unthinkable; many simply didn't believe we could do it. But we did. It was grassroots mobilization that brought tens of thousands out on a Saturday where the weather ranged from pouring rain to sweltering heat in different cities. We watched men, women, children, Black, White, Brown, the elderly, the young and folks from all socio-economicbackgrounds join together to rally on the side of truth, fairness and justice. We witnessed celebrities like Beyoncé and Jay-Z lend their support in places like New York. And we saw peaceful protesters in these cities energized to take the battle for equality to the next level. Now we just need the law to catch up. There are those that try to pull the wool over people's eyes. They try to twist and alter facts so that we may not get a clear picture of reality. That may work sometimes. But sooner or later, the truth shall prevail. And sooner rather than later, the people will demand change. Trayvon Martin was an unarmed 17-year-old. Trayvon Martin committed no crime. Trayvon Martin went to store to buy Skittles and an iced tea. Trayvon Martin was shot dead by a civilian who had no authority to stop him. Trayvon Martin's killer wasn't arrested for weeks until after the horrible incident. Those are facts. And facts cannot be denied no matter how they may be twisted or spun. In another case in the state of Florida, an African-American mother by the name of Marissa Alexander fired a warning shot to scare off her abusive husband. She was denied the ability to use 'Stand Your Ground' in her defense and is currently serving a 20-year sentence. How is that justice? The man who killed Trayvon, George Zimmerman, gets to return to his old life; meanwhile, this mother of three who was protecting herself and her children is rotting in a prison cell. That sort of blatant injustice cannot be hidden.People will see through the hypocrisy and they will accept nothing less than our laws becoming modified so as to protect all of us equally. We cannot live in a society that continues to give preferential treatment to some, while castigating and punishing others. That is not progress; that is where our work remains. Whenever I speak about the fight for civil rights today, some try to attack me and say this isn't the 1960s. Well on August 24th, NAN and Martin Luther King III will actually be conducting a massive demonstration to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s 'March on Washington'. As we pay homage to his vision, some try to argue that there's no need to rally anymore. To compare today's challenges to those of the '60s is just as disingenuous as comparing the '60s to the days of slavery. Even though sitting at the back of the bus was better than being a slave, it did not mean that segregation should be accepted. Sure, times are much better now overall because so many of us fought tirelessly to make it that way, but that does not mean that we have arrived at a fully equal and fair society. Women today earn more than their grandmothers did, but that doesn't solve the problem of gender income disparity. Every generation makes progress, but every generation must continue the journey.Our next step is making sure we all receive equal protection under the law. In the aftermath of the Zimmerman verdict, we've seen a lot of talk. A discussion on the state of race in America is of course needed, but to reduce the worth of our lives into highbrow intellectual discourse is in itselfprofiling. When young men of color in places like New York City are disproportionately stopped and frisked by the police, we need more than just talk. When a mother of three fires a warning shot to scare off an abusive husband (whom she had a protective order against) gets 20 years in prison, we need more than just talk. When our prisons and courtrooms are overwhelmingly filled with minorities, we need more than just talk. And when a young boy like Trayvon Martin can be shot to death while simply heading home from the store, the time for talk is over. Now's the time for legislative action.