Sunday, April 02, 2006

Congressional Backwards Caucus by Akindele Akinyemi

What pathetic leadership we have in the the Congressional Black Caucus. Here are a group of legislators that we elect every two years to the House (with the exception of Sen. Barack Obama) and yet we are getting the same piss-poor results.

When are we going to begin electing brothers and sisters who cares?

Let us take a look of how pathetic they are as exposed by Black Commentators Glen Ford and Peter Gamble:

"The Congressional Black Caucus, which claims to be the "conscience of the congress," has shown itself to be an appendage of the White House leadership. They slavishly followed Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s command to make the Democratic Party look good - as opposed to the Republicans - rather than directly address the crisis that was affecting their own people.

Forty-one of the forty-two Black members of congress obeyed Pelosi’s edict, that the House Committee on Katrina be boycotted. They accepted the order that Democratic legislators would not attend the meetings of the Katrina committee, because it was stacked against the Democratic Party.

The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) failed to step up to the plate - to act as the legislators that folks voted them into office to be. Only Georgia congresswoman Cynthia McKinney broke the Pelosi-invoked boycott. She attended every session, and made good use of the experience, challenging the administration’s witnesses every step of the way. The rest of the Black Caucus abstained from the hearings except for the occasional appearance of New Orleans Black Rep. William Jefferson, who, as a representative of the affected region, was given a pass by Pelosi.

Collectively, the CBC abdicated any semblance of leadership. They failed to make use of the forum in which the New Orleans debacle was being discussed. Why? Because they collectively had nothing to say. And, as a body, they deferred to the Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi, who had decided that Katrina was not something that the Black Caucus should bother their minds about. She ordered them to boycott the Katrina hearings, and CBC chairman Mel Watt (NC) obliged her. Only Cynthia McKinney did her job, on our behalf."

The writer then says:

"We have a dysfunctional Black Caucus. It cannot cope with the biggest crisis that has befallen our people…ever. A whole Black city wiped off the face of the map. Yet the CBC allows itself to be manipulated into towing the party line - a white line - based on the logic of a bunch of white consultants who are in search of some mythical white American heartland. That’s not where we live."

Where was Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick on this issue? Remember, she was a member of the acclaimed Shrines of the Black Madonna in Detroit? Not to mention the number of times she has gone to Africa (for what I do not know).

Remember Rep. Elijah Cummings "God is not pleased" remark on TV? Even Mychal Massie has a response:

"Why didn't Cummings ask his "god" why the "school and municipal buses, government-owned vehicles, vehicles provided by volunteer agencies" weren't deployed during the mandatory evacuation according to the Louisiana disaster plan, page13, paragraph 5, dated January 2000? Why didn't he ask his "god" why the local and state government didn't address this inevitability decades ago instead of just paying it lip service? This was not a question of if, but rather when. "

Of course Mr. Cummings did not have a response to this. Just like the rest of the CBC.

The reality is the CBC is outdated and need some fresh faces. Any BLACK legislator that supports same-sex marriage, abortion and government ran schools are out of touch with their constituents. They support all of this so they can receive their 4.0 GPA on the NAACP report card.

Question: why have the vast majority of black Americans beholden themselves to a political party that seems unwilling to share any substantive political power? The Congressional Black Caucus is all well and pathetic, but they've often been hostile to black Republicans like Condoleeza Rice and Michael Steele. Isn't it silly that these paid legislators practice segregation within their own race because one choose to be a Republican?

Despite the steadfast political allegiance of black Americans to the Democratic Party, has there ever been a black Speaker of the House? Has there ever been a black chairman of the Democratic National Committee? Remember former Democratic chairman Clinton crony Terry McAuliffe called black Americans "colored" during his acceptance speech in 2001. Current Democratic Chariman Howard Dean never hired Blacks in his cabinet while serving as governor of Vermont. Yet, he tries to crack jokes on Republicans as of his show was running on NBC.

After 40 years of lip service, liberals are being placed on the scales of integrity, and I find them wanting. The same issues that are being griped about in 2006 are the same issues from 1976, 1986 and 1996. In order to truly succeed, urban blacks need educational and economic opportunity to compete. They don't need the same old tired rhetoric from the same old leadership.

Urban black cildren must grow up in safe neighborhoods, free from the worry of drugs, crime and gang violence. They should be able to graduate from good schools with the ability to read and write well so they can compete in the global economy. Until black Americans can achieve the sense of self-respect and accomplishment that comes from succeeding on one's own merit and not via government handouts and set asides, the intellectual and economic enslavement of black America will continue. The CBC will continue to suppress us as a whole.

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