*Why are hate crimes against Black and Brown people rising precipitously in America? Why are states across America changing voting laws following the 2020 presidential election that will make it more difficult for Black people and others of color to vote? Why is the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, being called a dress rehearsal for something more nefarious against democracy and people of color?
In his riveting new book, “Race Against Time: The Politics of a Darkening America,” CNN political commentator, Keith Boykin, writes about how covert and overt strategies and efforts are being launched to stop the fast-moving population growth of Black and Brown people and voters in America.
“My book is about the darkening of America that’s going on in our country right now,” Boykin tells EURweb.com’s Lee Bailey in an exclusive interview. “Our country is becoming blacker and browner. There’s a census report that came out in March of 2015 that said White Americans will no longer be the majority population of this nation by 2044. A few months after the report, Donald Trump launched his campaign to become president of the United States. And in October 2021, another census report revealed that the White population in America is declining for the first time in American history.”
Boykin continues by saying, “This scares a lot of White people,” he explains. “America has now elected a Black president and a Black woman as vice president. And there are five states where Latinos will become the majority of the population in the next three decades. There’s also an Asian population that’s growing rapidly. That’s the race against time, the desire to stop this diversification of America. There’s the desire by some in White America to make America what it once was, which is a White male-dominated society.”
“The first part is about 2020 and what an extraordinary year it was,” says the author. “In 2020, we had these four concurrent crises: the COVID-19 crisis, the economic crisis, the racial injustice crisis, and the crisis of democracy. In each instance, Black folks were disproportionately impacted or victimized.”
The second part of the book, according to Boykin, is about how Black people got to 2020. And the third part conveys Boykin’s vision for the future.
“I write about where we go from here by envisioning how America will look 40 years from now,” he says. “I offer two different visions. One is a positive, constructive, and inclusive vision of America. The other is a very dark and divided vision of the country if the country is still even together at that point.”
In his book, Boykin writes about three concrete approaches for America to turn from its dangerous pathway, now in the midst of widening racial and social disharmony. Boykin believes White America must first atone for the history and the impact of the past on the present. Additionally, White America must take concrete and affirmative steps to reconcile and compensate for the past.
“The second concrete approach is accountability, where I encourage those of us who are Black to hold our leaders responsible,” Boykin explains. “We have to be savvy enough as political actors of democracy to hold people on local, state, and federal levels accountable regardless of what political party they represent.”
The third part, according to Boykin’s book, is changing the goalposts.
“I believe the primary focus of American race policies over the past three centuries has been about reducing a little bit of harm for Black people,” Boykin says. “Instead of passing a law here and there that might reduce the harm to Black people, we need to move the goalposts forward so that our new goals are racial equity and that we eliminate those persistent racial disparities connected to employment, healthcare, education, homeownership, criminal justice, and the environment.”
And on the future of the United States of America, the world’s oldest democracy, Boykin says, “We are currently in a cold civil war that could easily tilt into a big civil war.” We could have a race war in the very near future. I don’t think the insurrection on January 6 was the end. Many people think that it was a dress rehearsal for something bigger, more devastating in the future.”
While Boykin’s book chronicles the strategies and ploys that many in the Republican Party are using – or plan to use – to derail the advancements of Black and Brown people, Boykin, a self-described lifelong Democrat, also chides leaders of his party for levels of division and decades of promises made, promises not kept to a loyal base of Black voters in search of civil and social rights and justice across broad spectrums.
Yet, Boykin believes there’s hope for change, but Black people, he says, must keep pushing.
“Our jobs as Black people are to push the envelope for change as far as we possibly can, but we know from Frederick Douglass and others that ‘power concedes nothing without a struggle,’ ” Boykin says. “White people, at least those who have access to power, will have to understand eventually that they have no potential for maintaining any semblance of a country without radical reorganization with Black inclusion and equity.”
Boykin adds, “If White America doesn’t do anything to change, these crises in America will get worse and worse. My argument is that White America will never feel safe in America until Black America feels safe in America. If there is no justice for Black people, there cannot be peace for White people.”