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Opinion | Black Power: Now or Never

This is why I think Mitch McConnell was playing sly when he demanded that Democrats maintain the Senate filibuster as part of a power-sharing agreement.

He tweeted on Tuesday:

“Today, I made clear that if Democrats ever attack the key Senate rules, it would drain the consent and comity out of the institution. A scorched-earth Senate would hardly be able to function. It wouldn’t be a progressive’s dream. It would be a nightmare. I guarantee it.”

He then dropped that objection without getting any concession in return. I believe he is playing a Brer Rabbit-style trick with the ultimate goal of creating a nightmare scenario for progressives. While abandoning the filibuster would indeed be advantageous to liberals in the short term, in the long term — when it may become harder and harder for Democrats to maintain control of the chamber — it could be a disaster, allowing the minority in America to say what becomes law and which judges get confirmed.

Republicans will look back on these days and say that we begged the Democrats to keep the filibuster, but they wouldn’t listen. Now that Democrats have gotten rid of it, we Republicans will play the game by the rules they established: “Scorched-earth.”

Furthermore, a Pew demographic analysis has found that by 2065, Hispanics in America will nearly double the population of Black people, and Asians will overtake Black people as the nation’s second-largest minority.

Each of these groups have their own specific legislative agendas. How high on the list of priorities will be the agenda of the third-largest minority group at that point?

Furthermore, if Hispanics and Asians vote then the way they vote now — a third of each group voted for Trump — their combined votes for Republicans will eclipse the Black vote for Democrats.

In a book I published Tuesday, “The Devil You Know: A Black Power Manifesto,” I argue that it is urgent that Black people consolidate political power now. In my view, the acquisition of Black power has reached a level of urgency rivaling that of the climate crisis: Immediate action is required, but it may very well already be too late.

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