Fighting for Choice While Eliminating Choices

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DC Mayor Vincent Gray’s arrest over the budget debate shows again the dysfunction over what Black America will and will not fight over.

DC Mayor Vincent Gray’s arrest over the budget debate shows again the dysfunction over what Black America will and will not fight over.

Sorry.

Some may see Washington DC Mayor Vincent Gray’s recent arrest while protesting budget cuts for his city as heroic, noble, and necessary.

I don’t. In fact, I view it as quite the opposite in many ways. Couple this with the recent arguments coming from much of Black America – including the recent protests here in Chicago over billboards and the fight by African-Americans to continue federal funding of Planned Parenthood while education funds are being cut (and often agreed to by both political parties) – and it all seems to epitomize the very essence of what’s wrong with Black America today.

Too often, we stand up for the wrong things for the sake of political correctness and doing what we are expected to do without looking at the long-range impact for the communities due to our stances. Gray’s recent protest a few weeks ago was against the current deal cut by politicians on Capitol Hill. This deal highlighted two big items: a cut to federal funding of abortions in Washington, DC and a return of the DC School Choice/Voucher program – both initiatives spearheaded by Republicans in the House of Representatives. Both items are vehemently opposed by Gray. Of course, upon looking at the issues, one would have to conclude that this has nothing to do with people but has everything to do with politics.

Standing up for government-funded abortions and protesting against school vouchers in educationally-failing Washington, DC has less to do with values within the collective Black community than it does with the political allegiances of the collective Black community. In following lock, stock, and barrel with the whims of two of the biggest lobbying factions of the Democrat “progressive” base – the pro-“choice” lobbying base (a base that, ironically, only seems to push the choice of abortion to our communities) and the teachers’ unions- too many of us are willing to forfeit our future in order to win today’s political battles.

And, in essence, we are willing to be both pro-choice and anti-choice all at the same time, a contradiction that rapidly leads us down the road of irrelevancy and, quite possibly, practical civic extinction.

It’s not a coincidence that the biggest fight on Capitol Hill – the one that almost shut down the government to the chagrin of the nation and to the heightened dismay to the Black community that disproportionately relies on the federal government for basic living from employment to benefits – centered around the pro-Planned Parenthood funding debate. Of course, to get most of us on-board with this fight, the context was wrapped in the guise of being another civil rights issue that Black Americans should run to the rescue to, all while ignoring one of the primary civil rights issues from America’s past – educational equality.

Lock, stock, and barrel – we collectively fell for it again.

At some point, when do we ignore the partisan altar calls coming from Washington, even when they are conveniently labeled “basic rights” issues that basically do not change the conditions found in most Black working class communities today?

Funding of Planned Parenthood or abortions in Washington, DC are not paramount issues that will overturn the culture of crisis and death within Black America that is strangling our youth. Educational inequalities and ineffectiveness do. Unless more Black Americans are willing to exert the same amount of vigor and veracity of concern with items of education as they are with the liberal voting agenda, we will continue to follow down the path of the partisan pied pipers that come along, all while leaving the American political and social landscape in the near future without much more than a song and a dance and nothing else for our future – if we are even so lucky to have one.

Lenny McAllister is a syndicated political commentator and the host of “Launching Chicago with Lenny McAllister” on The Talk of Chicago 1690 AM WVON (http://www.wvon.com). He is a featured guest on the My50Chicago website for the show "Perspectives" with host Monique Caradine. He will host “LCWLM – The Big Show” this Saturday starting at 1 PM (2 PM EST / 11 AM PST). He is the author of the upcoming edition of the book, “The Obama Era, Part I (2008-2010): Diary of a Mad Black PYC (Proud Young Conservative).” Follow him at http://www.twitter.com/lennyhhr and on Facebook at http://www.tinyurl.com/lennyfacebook

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