“We are the only group of folks who didn't ask to come here. And so the fundamental existential question of Black politics, is now that we are here, what do we do about it?”, shares Dr. Albert Samuels. Dr. Samuels is a professor of Political Science ...
“We are the only group of folks who didn't ask to come here. And so the fundamental existential question of Black politics, is now that we are here, what do we do about it?”, shares Dr. Albert Samuels. Dr. Samuels is a professor of Political Science at Southern University as well as the Chair of the Department of Political Science and History. Today, he joins host D-Rich to discuss the history of post-civil rights Black political science and symptoms of injustice in today’s society.
As a community, Black people have never been on the same page about how to deal with the fact that they are the only group that did not come to America by choice. The fundamental question at the root of Black politics is simply now that we are here, what do we do about it? Instead of one unifying theory of what to do, Black people have separated into several different groups including Black Traditionalists, Black Reformists, Critical Race Theorists, and Limited Separationists. Although these groups differ in what they ultimately believe to be the solution, all are seeking a way to uplift Black people from the systems of oppression that have existed in America since day one.
There are unique differences between all types of Black political theories, but all are simply a reaction to the fundamental issue of being the only group that was forcibly brought to America and oppressed. Young Black and Brown people deserve access to more nuanced history lessons and can handle learning the truth. Many white people are opposed to teaching Critical Race Theory, because they want to continue presenting racism as something only individual bad people do and not a systemic issue. If racism is an individual issue vs. a systemic issue, then it does not require affirmative action, Federal rights protections, or any sort of reparations.
• “The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members.” (1:11-1:19 | D-Rich sharing quote by Mahatma Gandhi)
• “As a Black female attorney, I am literally crying right now. #KetanjiBrownJackson” (13:22-13:32 | D-Rich sharing quote by a social media user)
• “As long as outward-facing Control is still allowed oxygen to breathe, people will continue their ‘love-hate’ relationship with Liberty. We will ‘love’ to Control the things around us, while we simultaneously ‘hate’ to be controlled by the things around us. If both definitions of Liberty are allowed to exist–as they do in Capitalism’s version of Democracy–Fairness is doomed to always skate somewhere between the two. In our current ‘environment’, Fairness is not even something anyone is looking for; if we do not constantly try to get more than we ‘deserve’, we will invariably end up getting less. If any one of us was to stumble or ‘let go of the rope’ in this tug-of-war we have mistaken for Liberty, they would automatically forfeit all their ‘Fairness’ to someone else.” (1:40-2:49 | D-Rich sharing quote from Toward a Unified Theory of Justice in America by Forebrain Underground )
• “Our young people are now asking for more nuance and things about history, and they can handle it.” (2:53-3:07 | D-Rich quoting Dr. Samuels)
• “We are the only group of folks who didn't ask to come here. And so the fundamental existential question of Black politics, African American politics, whichever term you prefer, is now that we are here, what do we do about it?” (14:39-15:03 | Dr. Samuels)
• “We have never been of the same mind as to how we deal with the fact that we were forcibly brought here and oppressed.” (16:50-17:08 | Dr. Samuels)
Dr. Albert L. Samuels is a native of Shreveport, LA. He holds a B.A. in Political Science and a M.A. in Social Sciences (both from Southern University) and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Louisiana State University. He has taught political science at Southern University since 1999 and is the Chair of the Department of Political Science and History.
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