The time has come for a realistic political dialogue between the American national minorities and the dominant Anglo-American ethnic group.
The problem that arises in what American presidents Clinton and Obama have repeatedly called a “one-nation one-state” political system is: how will the state assure and protect the unique needs and interests of its historically oppressed national minorities? Most black officials in the United States government are in the same position as the president; they were not elected to speak or work for African Americans’ interests, but must represent the interests of their constituencies as a whole — the majority’s interests. When the majority-dominated platform of both political parties and the policy agenda of government ignore African Americans’ needs, then they have no democratic mechanism to solve their problems.
Hajji Malik Al-Shabazz understood that the African Americans were still in the grip of Anglo-American systemic domination. He feared that the majority would prefer to force the minorities to assimilate into its European culture, leading eventually to the disappearance of their unique collective identities (ethnocide) rather than to negotiate a collective equal-status integration which might enable them, too, to use the tools of government (law-making powers, access to tax dollars, the control of institutions) to address their needs.
As the presidency of Barack Obama is demonstrating, electing a Black president who is required to address the state’s interest as a whole is not the answer for improving the well being of African Americans.