Point of View Columns

The Congressional Black Caucus – MIA

Begun as the Democratic Select Committee, the Congressional Black Caucus was founded in February of 1971 with twelve members. At the time, it was the only voice of black elected officials with a national platform. The CBC, as it came to be known, was a voice of opposition to the Nixon presidency and supported what became the successful liberation movement in South Africa. Now that the CBC has 49 members, one should expect that it would be a strong and mighty voice in the face of the storm that is the Trump Administration. But that is clearly not the case. The CBC is MIA – Missing in Action.

Over the years, the CBC has spoken out on a number of issues that affected black America. Every American President since 1971 has met with the CBC and on many occasions, listened to the CBC. And, although most CBC members did not initially support the candidacy of the man who became the first black President of the United States, it continued to elicit the perspective that it was important, influential and relevant.

And now, when this unofficial of voice of Black America needs to stand up to President Trump and his minions, the CBC is curiously muted, and many times it seems that it has joined the ranks of the Silent Minority. And this is not a matter of opinion. Recent news proves that this is a fact.

Consider that just three weeks ago, Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, a CBC member from Florida along with the widow of a slain black serviceman were called a liars by not only the Liar-In-Chief, President Trump, but also by his Chief of Staff, John Kelly. And after it was absolutely proven that Trump and Kelly had lied about Representative Wilson, Mr. Kelly went on to lie about her public record and insulted her in a most base and common manner.

If the CBC took a position on this outrageous incident, if the CBC called out Donald Tinyhands and his minion Kelly, it must have been hidden on the back page of a shopping mall handout. If the CBC took to the steps of the United States Congress to denounce the President for treating Congresswoman Wilson like the field hand he thinks she is, they must have done it in the dead of night when no one was watching. Obviously, the CBC was MIA.

And it gets worse. Earlier this week, Mr. Kelly reiterated his lies about Congresswoman Wilson and virtually pledged never to apologize to her. And then………..Kelly claimed that the Civil War came about because of a failure to compromise. He stated that there were men and women of “good faith on both sides” and that Robert E. Lee, was a heroic figure even though he led a rebellion that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of soldiers who were fighting for the United States of America. And in the face of these horrific and demonic lies and distortion of history the CBC has been silent. Once again the CBC is MIA.

The notion that the enslavement of black Americans could be the subject of compromise is a vile notion. It is the dehumanization of black lives that permits someone like John Kelly to say something like that. To suggest that there are people of “good faith” on the side of slavery is to offer a view of the speaker’s mind that does not believe that black people are as human as white people. And to suggest that Robert E. Lee was a hero is more unpatriotic and insulting to the stated ideals of this country than all of the kneeling NFL players put together.

And yet, the CBC is MIA. And what is so ironic is that when the CBC consisted of only twelve members it was more vocal than now, when the CBC consists of forty nine members. That is more than a tenth of the entire   House of Representatives, almost a third of the Democratic members of Congress and close to double the number of the Freedom Caucus, aka Tea Party. Nevertheless, with that kind of clout, the CBC remains the Silent Minority even as black Americans suffer insults and true degradation by reason of the policies of the Trump Administration.

Why is the CBC not standing on the steps of the U.S. Congress every day denouncing the Trump Administration as it attempts to shred the social safety net? Why is the CBC not speaking out on the floor of Congress at every opportunity, reading into the Congressional Record the litany of terrible deeds that are defining the Trump Administration?

Ironically, the CBC was more vocal about criticizing what President Obama wasn’t doing for the black community than it is in attacking President Trump for what he doing to black people. A most curious double standard indeed.

To put it most simply, why is the CBC MIA silent or muted at just that moment in history when it is needed the most? Unless and until the CBC finds its voice, it will be judged very harshly by history – and that would be a shame.


5 thoughts on “The Congressional Black Caucus – MIA

  1. Jeffrey N. Maclin says:

    Well said! It’s outrageous. I’ve heard more criticism from the Opinion pages of the Times and Washington Post about Kelly and the Civil War distortion than from black electeds. I am frankly surprised Maxine Waters has not been more outspoken on this.

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. wbarnard says:

    Yes, we have the best government money can buy, including the Congressional Black Caucus. It has not been lost on any potential black leader that the system will not tolerate any resistancefrom any charismatic black leader, thus the gaping lack of black leadership. Historically, whitesupremacy will never consider blacks equal and will destroy any black leader who dares rise upand challenge it. Of course, we continue to look in all the wrong places for solutions and are becoming more andmore embittered and discouraged by our failures. We cannot exclude the Congressional BlackCaucus for after all, they are human too. We have a spiritual problem, not a political, military or economic problem. Until we are willing andable to grasp that fact, we will continue to be frustrated. With all due respect, what do you expect? Shalom… Yosef aka Wes Bernard “Every established order tends to make its own entirely arbitrary system seem entirely natural.” — Pierre Bourdieu

    From: Point of View To: wes98311@yahoo.com Sent: Thursday, November 2, 2017 7:25 PM Subject: [New post] The Congressional Black Caucus – MIA #yiv6002893969 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv6002893969 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv6002893969 a.yiv6002893969primaryactionlink:link, #yiv6002893969 a.yiv6002893969primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv6002893969 a.yiv6002893969primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv6002893969 a.yiv6002893969primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv6002893969 WordPress.com | Wallace Ford posted: “Begun as the Democratic Select Committee, the Congressional Black Caucus was founded in February of 1971 with twelve members. At the time, it was the only voice of black elected officials with a national platform. The CBC, as it came to be known, was a vo” | |

  3. Bill Huckabee III says:

    Your normally spot on commentary takes a bad hit with this attack on Kelly and Robert E Lee.
    Keep it up and you will lose a fan and supporter.

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