Loose Lips

Omari Musa Wants to Be Mayor, Smash Capitalism

SWMC 188When it comes to the lowest paid, the likely mayoral candidates are only a few dollars apart. Tommy Wells wants a minimum wage of $10.25. Muriel Bowser wants a commission on what the wage should be; Vince Gray wants more study. Omari Musa, the Socialist Workers Party candidate for mayor, has a slightly grander plan.

"We think we can't move forward as human beings without getting rid of the dog-eat-dog system called capitalism," says Musa, a 69-year-old self-described "industrial worker" originally from New Orleans.

Musa came in dead last among candidates on the mayoral ballot in 2010, hundreds of votes behind trumpet-playing perennial candidate Faith and White House party crasher Carlos Allen. Undeterred, he's trying again this time around.

Some of Musa's campaign items—he's pro-choice and pro-statehood—wouldn't look out of place at a Ward 3 Democrats meeting. Others, like supporting the imprisoned Cuban Five and demanding that the U.S. withdraw from South Korea, might be generously described as outside a mayor's purview. On the more mundane issues facing the District, Musa says he's in favor for marijuana legalization and opposed the Large Retailer Accountability Act on the grounds that it would divide the working class.

Musa also does his opponents one better on corporate contributions. While Wells won't accept contributions from companies, Musa wants to make sure they aren't even around to make those contributions.

"No corporation's going to give money to the Socialist Workers Party, who are for the elimination of corporations," Musa says.

Photo courtesy Omari Musa

  • tony

    I don't know if Mayor Gray will seek re-election or not. But if he does, he will face a divide black community that could very well undermined his re-election bid. The Mayor must begin to heal the real and great divide in the black community through his policies or his re-election efforts will be very tough. The harsh reality is that the Mayor must win east of the river hands down however more than 60 percent of those voters are black working class folks who see the Mayor far differently than they did 4 years ago.

    Mayor Gray owe a political debt to the black working class folks in this city particularly east of the river. Its a debt he must pay before any real consideration is given to another term.

    The black middle class will learn the hard way in this city that a divided black community is not politically sustainable.

  • DC Native

    This is a joke. This is a dynamic, progressive, world class city that needs to be represented by someone who can push it into the next generation. Not someone who is 4 years past retirement age who cannot relate or keep pace with its progressive residents. The last senior citizen internationally ruined the reputation of the District at the highest levels just by being out of touch; with his campaign, his staff, his decisions. Time to move on. And for the record I am black and a native of the city. I have seen the old school. I am done with the old school.

  • tony

    DC Native,

    I have seen the new school (fenty, Rhee, etc) and I AM DONE WITH THE NEW SCHOOL.


    YOU write, "This is a dynamic, progressive, world class city that needs to be represented by someone who can push it into the next generation." I agree. The only question is: Who will that person be?

    And unlike yesterday, not just your kind gets to decide.

  • Typical DC BS

    Hopefully the electorate decides it won't be this twit Mr. Musa, who represents a failed ideology that the left wing of the Dumocratic party seems to believe is still viable, even though ALL nations who followed this foolishness are economic backwaters, at best.

  • DC Native

    So what exactly does the Mayor owe the working class blacks in DC East of the River? Blacks have been in DC and FREE for more than 200 years and we are still the poorest residents of the city. Cultures come from all over the world with less in the pockets than in one week of your pay check and become middle to upper middle class in a matter of years. They pool their resources, get organized, save their money, start their own businesses, get educated, work hard. Somehow, someone still owes the black working class. Sorry Tony but the divide is decades old and wider than you imagine. The world is well past that. The black middle class is not looking to band together with the black working class to vote. They know what they need to know. Their Affluent, educated, politically astute, determined and driven. They will not be voting for Mayor Gray. They will be voting for who makes economic and political sense for them. I suggest the black working class catch up to the rest of the planet.

  • tony


    Your response really speaks to an attitude more than to any factual evidence as it concerns the great divide in the black community. However, your views are really shared by many black folks in this city even the ones in my own little circle. So I get it but I will never abide by it. I am not cut from that cloth. You know, “I HAVE MINES AND YOU HAVE YOURS TO GET.”

    Because I clearly understand that whatever success that some of us may have achieved in this country it’s directly related to the efforts of those who came before us. And the hard work and sacrifices that they made so that this generation of blacks could have the opportunity that they did not. In any event, I am going to engaged you for just a minute because your statements and views are so widely held by so many of OUR people that I think that this is a good dialogue and one really worth having for the public good.

    I will attempt to address some of the points you made in your statements.

    -Blacks have been in DC and FREE for more than 200 years and we are still the poorest residents of the city.

    This is not true. Black’s wealth in his country and city is extreme. In fact, blacks in this country have a buying power of more than 1.1 trillion dollars. The 13 richest black folks in this country have a net worth of over 13 billion dollars. Black folks in this city are some of the most affluent and well educated people in the world. Much of the wealth and success blacks have in this city came only once black folks gained political power. That new political power was used to provide the black community with opportunities that were traditionally denied them. Prior to blacks rising to political power, we received less than 7 percent of all city contracts. There were no blacks in the upper echelon of this government. The schools were separate and unequal. The police department and fire department was bastions for racial intolerance. In fact, for more than 150 of those 200 years that you speak of blacks were treated as second class citizens in this city. ALL BLACKS

    -The black middle class is not looking to band together with the black working class to vote. They know what they need to know. Their Affluent, educated, politically astute, determined and driven.

    This statement is really laughable because I know for sure as a well-to- do 28 year old brother who came from the hood but who now lives in one of the richest zip code in the city and who owns a very lucrative firm in Columbia Heights that many of US are not what we proclaimed to be. The AMI (Annual Median Income) for blacks in this country is just over 40k. YES 40K. Only 4 out of 10 black folks in this country owns their own homes. And nearly 70 percent of all blacks in this city are renters. The average Wealth for black women in this country is a little over 7 dollars. In DC, the average wealth for black women is practically zero. And black men, on a whole, are ranked at the bottom in nearly every category in American society across the board. So where is that great and vast black middle class in this city and country? In fact, some could argue that black folks as a whole have not really progressed at all since 1860. In 1860, of the nearly 300 blacks that were free they owned ONE HALF OF ONE PERCENT OF THE COUNTRY’S WEALTH. Today, in the era of Ophra Winfrey and Obama, Blacks on a whole STILL owns only ONE HALF OF ONE PERCENT OF THE COUNRTY’S WELATH.

    The hard reality is that much of the division in the black community is based on a mentality fostered and cultivated by a racist political, social and economic system which has given US the allusion that success and social nobility is rooted in materialism and social acceptance.

    Black folks are one people who are bonded together by a certain and unique experience. And no education, zip code, bank account can or ever will break that bond whether we like it or not.