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LeAlan Jones discusses racism and African-American leadership

LeAlan Jones, Green candidate for US Senate in Illinois, is featured in Chris Hedge’s 8/3 article on Truthdig, “So Much for the Promised Land”. Hat tip to Alex Walker of California Greening for spotting the story.

LeAlan Jones, the 30-year-old Green Party candidate for Barack Obama’s old Senate seat in Illinois, is as angry at injustice as he is at the African-American intellectual and political class that accommodates it. He does not buy Obama’s “post-racial” ideology or have much patience with African-American leaders who, hungry for prestige, power and money, have, in his eyes, forgotten the people they are supposed to represent. They have confused a personal ability to be heard and earn a comfortable living with justice.

“The selflessness of leaders like Malcolm X, Dr. Martin Luther King, Harold Washington and Medgar Evers has produced selfishness within the elite African-American leadership,” Jones told me by phone from Chicago.

“This is the only thing I can do to have peace of mind,” he said when I asked him why he was running for office. “I am looking at a community that is suffering because of a lack of genuine concern from their leaders. This isn’t about a contract. This isn’t about a grant. This isn’t about who gets to stand behind the political elite at a press conference. This is about who is going to stand behind the people. What these leaders talk about and what needs to happen in the community is disjointed.”

Full article at Truthdig.

Dave Schwab

8 Comments

  1. Thanks for this Important story for the country, and reminds of the need for inclusion of such Green Party candidates.

    I’m the Independent Green Party of Virginia candidate for House of Delegates District 9. Rocky Mount, Virginia. I’m African American

    Indy Greens have worked diligently to recruit diverse candidates.

    Of our entire Independent Green Party list of 27 endorsee/nominees http://votejoinrun.us/_wsn/page2.html
    many minorities are represented.

    African American
    The honorable Shirley Harvey
    Attorney Otis Brown
    Anthony Triplin

    Korean American
    Anna Maria Choi

    Native American
    Col. Jim Lewis

    Thank you for allowing us to post to Green Party Watch. Tell our story. Read your stories.

    Excellent venue!

  2. Dear Staff,
    My name is Raymond Carnation I along with two other white Philadelphia Police Officers that opposed racism
    against African Americans were fired in 1999 for doing so.
    In May of 2008 our law suite set precedent in federal court, Myrna Moore vs. The City of Philadelphia.
    Below are articles on our story and we want to ask President Obama to place police racism on our national agenda. In order for this to happen we need as much support
    as possible. I hope you can join this campaign and do a blog or a story on the wide spread problem of police racism in our country. Feel free to contact me if you wish. Thank you and God Bless.
    Warmest Regards,
    Raymond Carnation
    Philadelphia Pa. 19135
    267-231-8143
    around4life@aol.com

    http://www.counterpunch.org/washington05162008.html

    http://www.officer.com/web/online/Top-News-Stories/3-Former-Philadelphia-Officers-Win-10-Million-Lawsuit-Against-City/1$41422

    http://www.wongfleming.com/blog/blog.php?id=49&nid=27

    http://glendale.injuryboard.com/workplace-discrimination/-Philadelphia-police-officers-win-10-m-judgement.aspx?googleid=239622

    http://www.citypaper.net/article s/060399/news.cb.unfortunate. shtml

    Racism in Police Departments Must Be on the National Agenda

    By Keith Rushing
    I hope that the U.S. Department of Justice in the Barack Obama administration on will he do what no ne have done before: take serious measures to end the rampant racism and abuse of power in police departments across America. OF if course, we can’t expect miracles in the span of…
    URL to article: http://www .justdemocracy blog. org/?p=791

  3. Here is some interesting footage of LeAlan as a young man talking about some of the problems that are still with us today:

    http://www.youtube.com/user/ILGPmedia

    LeAlan has dedicated his life to exploring and understanding these complex issues, and now he’s ready to lead.

  4. LeAlen Jones’s comments are sharp & perceptive, except for not seeing drug prohibition as the basis for the permanent war on “inner-cities” all across the country. The prison – industrial complex sucks in millions of people because drug addiction is crimin alized instead of being treated as a medical condition. Alcohol prohibition was finally recognized as a failure, and it’s more than high time for all of us to understand the current drug wars, & end prohibition, again. *** Matthew Borenstein New York City Green Party

  5. I agree with you that drug prohibition is the source of many problems for American cities, but I think its pernicious effects go beyond the criminalization of addiction.

    1. Prohibition creates a lucrative black market, a source of economic mobility for people whose other options are limited.

    2. The black market for illicit drugs becomes concentrated in the hands of violent gangs in the inner cities, just as it did under alcohol prohibition.

    3. Police begin to see and treat all young African-American males as potential gang members, and in turn they see police as oppressors. This enmity permeates the whole community.

    Imagine you’re growing up in the inner city. The only people you see with money, power, and respect are gang members and drug lords. You can’t turn to the police because you fear them and they can’t really protect you anyways. Even if you want to try to get a good education from crumbling, violence-plagued schools and try to go to college or find a good job, you still have to spend 20 years of your life in a neighborhood ruled by gangs. There are many privileged people perpetuating the myth that it’s easy to get out of this environment with just a little personal responsibility, and that everyone in prison is there because they’re evil and bad… but there’s ample evidence that white Republicans are just as willing to murder for profit as Crips or Bloods are. See this video about Blackwater murdering innocent Iraqi civilians for sport: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MR4JjKhjigU&feature=player_embedded

    We as Greens need to articulate our criticism of prohibition and end this failed, unjust policy as soon as possible.

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