The following planks are what we, the OMCBV&C, agree to, and will expect of ourselves and various “leaders” to support, if they want OUR support and contribution. These planks will be used as a public policy and empowerment guide on issues relevant to the needs and concerns in America’s Black community. These planks serve as OUR “constitution”, our “living document”, that is designed to stay attuned to the needs and interests of the Black community in America:
PLATFORM PLANKS – OMCBV&C (Click Here to Download)
1. No Party Affiliation (NPA) Campaign
THE One Million knows all too well the pitfalls of casting nearly all of our votes in favor of one party over another. Carter G. Woodson said, “Any people who would vote the same way for three generations without thereby obtaining results ought to be ignored and disenfranchised.” Malcolm made a similar, albeit, much stronger case against voting for one party election after election. Currently, Black voters are either ignored or taken for granted by the two major parties because of our predictability. We strongly suggest that members of THE One Million Movement register to vote as not having any political party affiliation whatsoever. In many if not most jurisdictions this would mean registering as “No Party Affiliation” (NPA), or whatever is its equivalent in a particular state or other subdivision of government. Do not register as “independent” because in some jurisdictions, independent may itself be an official political party. The objective here is to assure that OMCCBCV participants’ loyalties are to the collective black community and not to some externally controlled partisan political party. We must adopt the advisement of former U.S. Representative from Missouri, William “Bill” Clay, who said, “Your political philosophy must be selfish and pragmatic. You must start with the premise that you have no permanent friends, no permanent enemies, just permanent interests.”
2. “Blackonomics Activism”
Our public protests against political issues and deadly misconduct by police oftentimes result in economic windfalls to some of the very people and institutions being protested against. Police are often cozy with and enjoy free benefits provided by hotels and motels, bars and restaurants, retail stores, and other venues frequented by marchers and the media when they gather for a protest in a given community. OMCCBCV strongly urges protesters, to the fullest extent feasible, to use black-owned bus companies for transportation to and from the protests, black-owned lodging and food establishments, and purchase promotional material (t-shirts, etc.) from black vendors. By doing this, the protesters will contribute economically to our own people. Unfortunately, when we march and demonstrate we count the people; White folks count the profits.
For more than twenty years the term “Blackonomics” has been the clarion call for Black people to move from psychological enslavement to economic freedom by implementing the examples of our ancestors and acting appropriately upon the knowledge we have attained. This plank is of primary importance in that it directs us to our responsibility and obligation to be self-reliant, self-determined, and economically self-sufficient.
THE One Million is about “activism,” not empty rhetoric; we know that economic progress comes from economic activity on our behalf, and we are willing to be among the first responders to this truism. Therefore, this internal plank calls for Black people, starting with THE One Million, to make a concerted effort to redirect One Billion Black dollars to Black owned businesses during 2017, thereby paying “Internal Reparations” to ourselves with part of our $1.2 trillion aggregate annual income. We call it “THE Billion Dollar March.”
Make it your business to spend a minimum of $1000.00 in 2017 on Black-made products and services. You can get a jump on that commitment by going to our “Products” tab and buying a few bags of Sweet Unity Farms Coffee, and then go to the links we have provided and buy something made by Black folks. That is the essence of “Blackonomics Activism.”
We owe it to ourselves to practice Blackonomics Activism. The onus for our economic freedom is on us.
3. Juneteenth Observances
The OMCCBCV supports the effort of the Juneteenth Observance Foundation to establish “Juneteenth” as a “National Day of Observance” in America; and the corresponding effort of the ‘150 Years.net’ group to designate “Juneteenth” as an official “Day of Observance” In the State of Texas.
4. Cooperative Economic Empowerment
The OMCCBCV endorses and supports the “Us Lifting Us Economic Development Cooperative” (ULU), based in Atlanta, Georgia, as a model of a cooperative approach to economic empowerment for African-Americans. ULU “marts” are envisioned for black communities in every metropolitan area in the country with a significant population of people of African descent. The ULU web site is www.usliftingus.com.
5. “Hot Black Coffee Party” Study Groups
The OMCCBCV endorses and supports the efforts by Brother Louis Ali and his associates in the State of Louisiana to conduct a series of discussions to study the feasibility of establishing an official independent black political party, which would be named the “Hot Black Coffee Party, No Sugar, No Cream.” The proposed HBCP-NS-NC would build on the ill-fated effort initiated in Gary, Indiana and Chicago, Illinois in 1972.
6.Support Black Banks and Credit Unions
The OMCCBCV supports and endorses the efforts of the National Bankers Association’s (NBA) member banks to serve distressed communities plagued by social and economic challenges, and to provide employment opportunities, entrepreneurial capital, and economic revitalization in neighborhoods which often have little or no access to alternative financial services.
The OMCCBCV supports and endorses Black Banks and Credit Unions. These institutions are key service providers in our community and can be greater service providers with more equity (investors) and more depositors. The community needs their services, and they are a critical component in reaching economic parity. We suggest all Black businesses that maintain a cash reserve, deposit an amount up to the limits of FDIC insurance into Black Banks. We suggest that Black Businesses maintain operating accounts with Black Banks that are in their service area if those banks can provide the services they need. We suggest that all black families maintain an account with a Black Credit Union if there is one in their service area. This is consistent with each of us learning to do for, with, and in support of one another.
We will also advocate for legislative and regulatory matters concerning and affecting the nation’s Black-owned banks, its members, and the communities they serve. Additionally, in alignment with the NBA's mission, we desire to see an increased expansion in the variety of financial products available to better serve our communities.
6. Misconduct Insurance for all Law Enforcement Officers
All “sworn” law enforcement officers and their administrative superiors should be required at their own expense, or with assistance from their unions, to purchase and maintain in effect, misconduct insurance, similar to “malpractice insurance” that is required of doctors and other medical professionals, so that they are held financially accountable to whomever they wrongfully harm in violation of rights assured by the U.S. Constitution, or financially accountable to family members of anyone they murder without due process of U.S. Constitutional provisions.
7. Class-Action Lawsuit against Anti-Constitution States
OMCBV&C and our collaborators will file a Class-action lawsuit against all states in the union that have passed laws granting law enforcement officers legal authority to murder U.S. citizens without due process as guaranteed in the Constitution of the United States A variation on this theme which we heartily support is the “groundbreaking legislation to help stop police killings” proposed and being drafted by the organizations ONUS, Inc. and Black Communities United for Progress. The proposed legislation is titled: “Uniform Reporting Law Enforcement Improvement Act” (URLEIA), and is posted on the web site: www.changeisonus.org.
8. Unlawful Stop Recording
Many involved in the “Black Lives Matter” protest movement advocate that in addition to the use of “dash-cams” in police vehicles, law enforcement officers should be required to wear devices on their uniforms to record encounters with citizens. The OMCBV&C contends that having police control the recording of their confrontations with citizens is bad policy. Police cannot be trusted to decide whether or not an incident they have with a citizen should be recorded. We oppose police having the authority to deny citizens’ the right to use devices of their own, be they cellular phones or otherwise, thereby interfering with objective recording of deadly encounters, the number of which are escalating at an alarming rate. We urge citizens to familiarize themselves with the web site www.unlawfulstop.com to view a variety of recording devices soon to be made available to the public.
9. Community Control of Police
OMCBV&C is calling for the re-establishment and use of Civilian Police Review Boards to monitor misconduct by police. As all branches of the U.S. military are subordinate to civilian authority and oversight, domestic law enforcement officials should be under the control of the citizens they are supposedly “sworn to protect and serve.” We further contend that members of such police review boards should be elected on a non-partisan basis, rather than appointed by elected officials who often owe allegiance to or are fearful of, police and their politically-active unions. Toward these ends, we support the National Coalition of Law Enforcement Officials for Justice, Reform and Accountability’s (NCLEO) efforts to reign-in the out-of-control police establishment in America.
10. The Right to Community Based Self-defense
The OMCBV&C supports the efforts of Black Americans to organize for neighborhood self-defense against violent criminal activity visited upon the Black community; to include rape, assault, murder, and chronic abuse; especially concerning those who victimize our youth and our elderly citizens; regardless of their “race” or ethnicity. Therefore, the OMCBV&C supports such neighborhood self-defense groups that cooperate with law enforcement individuals who RESPECT the civil and human rights of Black Americans, and work closely with advocates for community control of law enforcement, in an effort to prevent such crimes and swiftly bring to justice those individuals who commit such crimes.
11. Amending 13th Amendment
“The 150th anniversary of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was celebrated in December 2015 by President Barack Obama and Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Paul Ryan, who said: ‘The 13th Amendment is just 43 words long. It is so short that you can almost miss its whole significance. Today we celebrate this 43-word amendment; this new birth of freedom. It is altogether fitting and proper that we do this.’
“The 13th Amendment states: ‘Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction…; Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.‘ This plank calls for making the amendment even shorter by reducing the word count to 29; the OMCBV&C calls for the elimination of the “exception” in the 13th Amendment, i.e.; “except” as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.’ The 13th Amendment would thereafter read: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.'”
“We call on the Congressional Black Caucus, the President, and candidates for the 2016 Presidential election, to publicly support amending the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as proposed by the One Million Conscious Black Voters & Contributors, via House/Senate Bills; resolutions; executive order; or through any other means at their disposal.
12. Student Loan Debt Forgiveness
Insofar as both the current and previous federal administrations saw fit to “bail-out” ‘Wall Street’ and certain major corporations after their own sleazy practices had brought them to the brink of failure, and American taxpayers were compelled to pick up the resulting ‘tab’ in the trillions of dollars because those who controlled the government declared the subject companies were “too big to be allowed to fail,” it would be just and fair for the government to extend the same type and level of courtesy to the public that pays the taxes that support the government’s “too big to fail” friends. Therefore, we of the OMCBV&C Campaign call upon the U.S. Government to “bail-out” all American citizens who still owe any balance on student loans for education. This would give taxpaying citizens the same “fresh start” unencumbered by debt that was accorded Wall Street and major corporations during the 2007-08 financial debacle. Toward these ends, we support the “Campaign for America’s Future” in its efforts to bring about the abolition of all student loan debt in America.
13. Restore All Citizens’ Right to Vote
The One Million Conscious Black Voters and Contributors (OMCBV&C) supports the efforts of a growing number of organizations around the country calling for the restoration of voting rights to ALL American citizens, including those who have been adjudicated “felons,” but have “paid their debt to society.”
14. Reparations for Enslavement & Restoration of Humanity
The One Million Conscious Black Voters and Contributors (OMCBV&C) recognizes the ongoing, debilitating effects of the abominable process used to convert African captives into human ‘beasts-of-burden,’ commonly referred to as “slaves” in the western hemisphere, and that until those effects are reversed, it will continue to be difficult to regain all the traits and attributes that constituted our pre-European-contact humanity. To help repair the incredible damage done to the psyche of African-descended people, and restore what was taken from us in order to carry out the Europeans’ slave-conversion process, a realistic, practical plan for reparations is in order. We therefore support wholeheartedly the recently conjoined efforts of the Institute of the Black World (IBW), and the CARICOM Nations’ Reparations Commission (CRC), “…to achieve reparatory justice for the victims of genocide, slavery, slave trading, and racial apartheid.”
15. Support for Black Farmers
After a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) historic acknowledgement of widespread, systemic, intentional discrimination against Black farmers, the situation remains unsettled — despite headlines to the contrary — and the USDA is poised to seize the remaining Black-owned farms and the fertile virgin land on which they sit. By way of a series of legal maneuvers, lawyers for the farmers have won a bonanza in U.S. Government payments, but the farmers are yet to be made whole for the generations of discrimination and persecution that they have endured. The situation is even worse now because the very same employees who committed the acts of discrimination against the farmers are still at USDA. Our demand is that the USDA debt owed by Black farmers be relieved in its entirety, and that the accelerated foreclosure process that has been initiated against many of them be terminated immediately.
We must compel parents of students from the pre-k to 12 grade levels to take a proactive role in the continuing education of their children. Toward that effort we encourage the development of productive, critically thinking, economic producing, contributing members first to the African/African American community and the larger global society.
Given the current environmental changes in neighborhoods and communities, Black parents must be given vouchers equivalent to the funds given to public/charter schools for our children so they can choose appropriate independently owned and operated Black schools and other Black educational institutions for our children.
It is imperative that parental choice be protected. Parents must not be coerced into vaccinating their children in order to go to school. Vaccinations are not safe and Black parents must not be forced into getting them or risk not being able to send their children to school.
Special education programs are woefully inadequate. Therefore the special education program component as it exists today must be eliminated. The current design contributes to the destruction of the Black mind. It uses drugs to adjust the behavior of Black children so they may conform under this racially biased system.
17. Support for Black Physicians
The over-prosecution of black physicians by law enforcement, medical boards, and regulatory agencies has led to the closure of many black medical businesses and services in our community. Black people continue to be the sickest, medically under-treated, and suffer from the highest death rates of any ethnic group in America because of the legacy of enslavement.
The One Million Conscious Black Voters & Contributors recognizes that a “Medical Emergency” exists in the black community that must not continue to be ignored! Government agencies must address this problem, and effective public policy needs to be implemented to combat the extinction of black physicians providing access to health care in our community through viable private and public black health care initiatives.
18. Support for African-American Media Ownership
When the media watchdog group “Free Press” released its first report on the state of TV ownership in 2006, there were only 18 African-American-owned and operated full-power commercial TV stations — representing just 1.3 percent of all such stations in America. By December of 2012, those 18 had shrunk to just five (5). Now, in 2015, they are ALL gone, and there are ZERO black-owned and operated full-power TV stations on America! Deregulatory changes (1996 Telecommunications Act) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is responsible for changes in TV owner-ship regulations.
19.Pay College Athletes for Their Labor!
According to the US News, the college sports industry generates $11 billion in annual revenues, which are passed along to NCAA executives, athletic directors, and coaches in the form of salaries. The Washington Post reports that two (2) sports bring in virtually all the revenue in college athletics -- football and basketball. The University of Pennsylvania's Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education found that 57% of football players, and 64% of men's basketball players in the six biggest conferences were black, though black males make up less than 3% of the overall student population. Meanwhile, athletic administrators and coaches are overwhelmingly white. Nevertheless, NCAA member colleges continue to vote to forbid the sharing of revenues with "student-athletes." By hiding behind a "veil of amateurism," the wealth of college sports is maintained in the hands of a select few administrators, athletic directors, and coaches. This "veil" not only insures great wealth for athletic directors and coaches, but it also insures sustained poverty for many of the athletes who provide their labor.
According to the US News author of the Jan. 6, 2014 article, "Not only are the NCAA rules that prevent colleges from paying student-athletes immoral, but they also are likely illegal" under Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act. The author concluded that "..the argument against allowing pay to student-athletes arises mainly from greed and self-interest." The author of the Washington Post article of 1/10/2016 concluded "...by refusing to pay athletes, the NCAA isn't just perpetuating a financial injustice. It's also committing a racial one;" and further, "The few players who do go on to NFL or NBA careers give up years of potential earnings, risking injury in the process. Most athletes, of course, don't make it to the pros."
The One Million Conscious Black Voters & Contributors (OMCBV&C) agrees with and supports enthusiastically, the Wednesday, March 26, 2014 ruling by a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Regional Director that Northwestern University football players qualify as university employees, and thus, can unionize. We further contend that the ruling should be upheld despite the university's appeal of it, and should be made to apply to all student-athletes in all revenue-generating sports at all colleges and universities throughout America.
20. Release Rev. Edward Pinkney from Prison!
Who is Ed Pinkney? He is a 68 year-old minister from Benton Harbor, Michigan, former President of the local NAACP, and most of all an unwavering activist who fights against social and economic injustice. Convicted on December 15, 2014, Pinkney now sits in an isolation cell at the infamous Marquette Branch Prison, located in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, nearly 500 miles from his hometown, his wife, Dorothy, and his supporters in an "out of sight out of mind" attempt by the State to make Brother Pinkney disappear from the public stage and from public discourse.
He was falsely accused of changing dates on petitions issued to recall Mayor James Hightower, and was sentenced to serve up to ten years in prison. He was denied a bond pending his appeal, which the ACLU determined he would win handily. By the time his appeal comes around, he will have served prison time for a crime he did not commit. According to the U.S. Constitution, Pinkney must be treated fairly and he must not be subjected to "cruel and unusual punishment" and must be tried by a "jury of his peers." Benton Harbor has a 90% Black population yet the Pinkney jury was all-White.
The online publication 'Truthout' cited, "There was absolutely no evidence to convict Pinkney, and, legally, the altering of a petition document should have been a misdemeanor offense. Instead, they charged him with felony forgery - though no signatures were forged and all signatories testified that they signed willingly on the correct day. A forensics expert for the prosecution testified that there was no way to determine who changed the handful of dates. Incredibly, the all-white jury was urged by the prosecutor to believe that direct evidence was not required; they only had to "believe" that Pinkney was motivated to cheat and that he "could" have changed the dates while circulating the petitions."
We call on the Congressional Representatives from Brother Pinkney's district and the Congressional Black Caucus to focus on this case and get this man out of prison pending his appeal. We also demand that President Obama, who has released 248 prisoners thus far, order his Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, to investigate this case. And finally, we ask all conscious and conscientious Black people to contact President Barack Obama with demands for Pinkney's release, if not complete clemency, the same as George Bush did for "Scooter" Libby.
21. End Mass-Incarceration of American Citizens
The One Million Conscious Black Voters & Contributors (OMCBV&C) demands an end to the unconstitutional and immoral material support for the mass-incarceration of American citizens in the United States by local, state, and federal government entities!
Too often, officials at all levels of government law enforcement and the governmental judicial process purposely target Black Americans for mass incarceration, for the dual purposes of racist attacks against Black Americans, and to feed the prison economy, building up the Prison Industrial Complex (PIC). These entities use the PIC to unfairly target Black Americans in various forms: From the modern day "debtors' prison"/debt slavery system as shown by illegal and excessive court fines and fees in Ferguson, Missouri; the school-to-prison pipeline practices defined by excessive and unfair zero-tolerance policies in the public school system (including excessive use of School Resource Officers), further defined by Gestapo police practices in various Black communities; harassment and criminalization of citizens for imagined and trivial matters (as described by researchers like Dr. Michelle Alexander, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and many others). Our demand includes an immediate end to funding of private prisons by state entities, as well as an immediate end to legalized financial contributions owners and builders of private prisons make to political candidates (Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Rick Perry to name a few).
23. Support Posthumous Presidential Pardon of Marcus M. Garvey
In recognition of his lifelong and substantial contributions to society, his efforts to uplift peoples of African descent the world over, and his work to promote economic independence as a means of social progress, THE One Million Conscious & Conscientious Black Contributors & Voters (OMC&CBC&V) stand in support of the descendants of Marcus Mosiah Garvey, who now seek a posthumous presidential pardon on Mr. Garvey's behalf.
Marcus Garvey lives in history as one of the first leaders of what has come to be known as the American civil rights movement. In the early twentieth century, he was an advocate for the social, political, and economic independence of those of African descent across the world, and Garvey staked his name and his movement on the development of economic opportunity as a source of black empowerment. To unite his followers toward a common goal of social progress, Garvey founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA-ACL), which even his detractors acknowledged had upwards of six (6) million members in forty (40) countries. In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., "He was the first man on a mass scale and level to give millions of Negroes a sense of dignity and destiny and make the Negro feel that he was somebody."
Because of these achievements, Garvey was viewed as a threat to the established order by the U.S. Government. Decades before Dr. King would become targeted for his activism, J. Edgar Hoover led the Bureau of Investigation in its surveillance of Garvey and actively sought methods to disrupt and destroy Garvey's self-reliance movement. In 1923, based on allegations provided by undercover agents posing as Garvey supporters and aided by judicial proceedings that have largely been condemned as factually unsound and politically and racially motivated, Garvey was falsely convicted of mail fraud and sentenced to five years in federal prison. In partial recognition of the unsettling facts underlying the prosecution of the case, President Calvin Coolidge commuted the sentence in November 1927, but deported Garvey from this country.
The posthumous petition now filed on Garvey's behalf seeks to exonerate him from the stigma of that wrongful conviction. Following the commutation of his sentence, efforts to fully clear Garvey's name have been ongoing and concerted on the part of members of the U.S. Congress, civil society organizations, cities, state, and international groups. More than 90 years after the imposition of that injustice, it is time to exonerate Marcus Mosiah Garvey and let history reflect on the true nature of his legacy.