There it was. The abyss, the singularity, the end times. The Democratic Party was on the edge of implosion. Yet another email scandal proved that the primary process was rigged and that Bernie Sanders never had a fair shot at winning the party nomination. Compounding that, even after a rocky convention, Donald Trump had jumped to a 5pt lead nationally. At the Democratic National Convention, protesters shouted down speakers and blocked entrances. The Chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, Debbie Wassermann Schultz was forced to resign in disgrace and the entire convention looked to be on the edge of disaster.
But then it happened. Something so surprising, yet so expected. Black women got into #Formation and saved democracy. This is no exaggeration or overstatement. This is simply a direct articulation of what was at stake if the convention had collapsed into chaos. If the Democratic party had fractured, if they lost the Battle of Philadelphia then President Trump would end up with not just the White House; but also the House, Senate and several vacancies on the Supreme Court. If Philadelphia had fallen our Republic very well could have as well.
The rescue began with Donna Brazille being appointed interim Chair of the Democratic National Committee and Rep. Marcia L. Fudge being appointed Convention Chairperson. Next Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was chosen to gavel to order the convention in the stead of the disgraced former chairwoman and an invocation was delivered by Rev. Dr. Cynthia Hale of Ray of Hope Christian Church. We heard the black women in the choir of the Mother Bethel AME Church sing “Glory, Glory Hallelujah” and we saw Rev. Leah Daughtry, Mayor Shirley Franklin, Lorraine Miller – Chair of the Credentials Committee, Rep. Maxine Waters, State Rep. Stacey Abrams and finally the house was shut down by First Lady Michelle Obama.
These women follow in the long tradition of black women just getting the job done. No talk, no praise, no accolades, just results. There was so much #BlackGirlMagic in that arena that I expected them to make it rain with Harriett Tubman $20 bills and #Beyonce to descend with a jet pack to restore order to the arena.
As expected, the cable news networks refused to acknowledge what took place and the significant role that black women played in saving the convention and the election from the progressive movement. Part and parcel of American history is the failure to recognize the contributions of black women. They are the silent backbone which holds this nation together. Black women would breastfeed Master’s baby by day and then lead slaves on the underground railroad by night. Every step of the civil rights movement was organized by black women but the credit went to black men. Shirley Chisolm put the first crack in that highest and hardest glass ceiling that Hillary Clinton is attempting to break through but you will not hear her name mentioned at this convention. Mary Mcleod Bethune and Fannie Lou Hamer are the shoulders on which this convention stands but they will not be acknowledged. Thus it is up to us to recognize them and their sacrifices. Their work, their diligence and their organization.
But the true organization will be difficult in a world where they are a double minority. Our society is happy to call on them in times of emergency. But what about the rest of the time? Knowing their power and prowess we have to push for them to be in charge of National Parties, Corporations, Nonprofits and everywhere else where we need to get things done. If Hillary and the Democrats do indeed win in November, we cannot let them forget what these brave women did on this night to save the convention, save the Party and in many ways save our Republic. So when it is time for the next President to pick their cabinet, to appoint justices to the Supreme Court or to pass legislation; let us not let them forget, who was there to save them.
Attorney Robert Patillo