Tribal Parties

*Re-post of a column I wrote for the “Gun Toting Liberal” political website in 2010…

An old friend of mine from the Deep South happens to be an African American. He’s an educated professional, graduating from a historic black college (Tuskegee) with a degree in veterinary science. As a small business owner, he also pays his “fair share” of taxes, local, state, federal, including outrageous malpractice insurance rates. You can’t have Mrs. Smith suing you because you let the family dog die, now can you.

“Doc” as we called him, was a great guy with grand illusions that he could be the next Magic Johnson, belongs to a” tribe”. His tribe is much like a political party, with specific ideologies, talking points, and traditions. This group consists of family members primarily of African American ethnicity, fraternity brothers from college, and of course business associates and friends. The members of his tribe share common ideas and values, some of which involve politics. I became aware of some of his tribe’s beliefs through a common bond that began on the basketball court. Our mutual passion for the game of golf allowed even more insight into his tribes worldview, as we whacked the little “white” ball around for hours on end

To this day, I’m not sure why I was privy to these tribal secrets. Maybe because I could shoot a basketball and he wanted to pad his assist stats on the court, or that I was a decent golfer and pretty good teacher. Perhaps we just enjoyed our time together as friends, regardless of race or our separate “tribal parties”. At times, I felt like Kevin Costner, the white pioneer in the movie, “Dances with wolves”, as he experienced the culture of the Native American Indian tribes. I was accepted and offered access to the doctrines that dictate his life and those in his group. This is some of what I learned as a Northern white male, from a black male’s tribe in Alabama, circa 1990 – 1993:

· All Republicans are “rich fat cats” and he would NEVER vote for one…

· Republicans/white leaders created crack cocaine to destroy the black race…

· Aids was invented by white scientists to again, destroy blacks…

·Clinton will be a great President and will restore “fairness”…

· Healthcare is a “right” and it should be “free” to all…

· Corporations are run by greedy white men and should pay more in taxes…

· O.J. was innocent….

I promise you, I almost drove off the road as he sincerely expressed these beliefs with conviction. At first I thought he was kidding, joking about the stereotypes and urban legends about black households. I don’t hear Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton, or even the good old reverend Wright make these comments in public (at least outside of the pulpit). But my old buddy Doc claims they speak of their doctrines in the confines of the tribes…

The “radical right” and “right wing conspiracy” tribes have nothing on this mindset. When will CNN do a special report on black conspiracy theories in America, or is that not politically correct?

I often wonder what “Doc” thinks today, as we lost touch years ago? Of the Michael Jackson media circus, Obama and his pork laden “stimulus” that had to be passed before the next sports center aired. Most likely, he supports it all, unconditionally, as he did his beloved Lakers when they had Magic and Worthy. Win or lose, right or wrong, he was a fan, he was part of the “tribe”

Leaders in the Democrat tribe today are proposing building “jungle gyms”, walking paths and farmers markets, in a national health care reform bill. Democrats (or should I say “Progressives”) now control all branches of tribal law in these “United” states, and are trying to reshape all tribes. As ludicrous as providing “jungle gyms” so as to “promote healthy lifestyles”, certainly is, the Chieftains of the controlling tribe smokes the policy pipe as it’s passed down the line…

The lowly Republican tribes can be just as ignorant, circling the wagons around whatever the leaders declare as outrage. Blindly following the “elders”, tribal behavior was on full display every time George W. waved his hand frantically (or should I say Karl Rove). Regardless of the issue, the war party fell in line like lemurs. Obviously, the Democrats march in lock step every time Obama reads his teleprompter or some new party line is floated through the state run media. They are BOTH guilty of “tribal worship”…

We all have our own little tribes, (immediate family, co-workers, etc), and belong to national or “global” versions. The ethnic tribes (Italians, Hispanics, Blacks, etc), the
Environmentalist tribes, the Gay tribes, the political tribes, you name it. I think it has finally dawned on me WHY something as idiotic as a jungle gym in a health reform bill or imposing taxes on everything from energy to tobacco is accepted; Tribes. If the leader says so, it’s a go, commons sense and sanity aside…

What’s really sad is that most tribal leaders let outside forces influence the direction of individual tribes. Government agencies and media outlets (aren’t they the same thing now?) dictate what we should believe, what we should do, and how we should live.

Seth Godin proclaims “change” can be best implemented through and within these “tribes”(YouTube), rather than mandated by an entity outside that tribe, like the federal government. He is usually right, yet I doubt even he can bring all the tribes together to smoke the peace pipe. Hell, we couldn’t afford the tobacco since the Obama “S-chip Bill”.

The Mayan tribes as well as the Aztecs practiced ritual “sacrifices”, murdering civilians to appease their Gods. Our modern day tribes are killing this country, with laws and regulations stifling individual and business growth, destroying traditions that created the “great nation”. What will it take to awaken the sleeping giant, to mobilize the most powerful tribe known to man, what happened to the American tribe?