The Congressional Black Caucus -Friend or Foe of Black Americans?
While attending Howard University, years ago, I was invited to a Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) event. Since the event, I haven't thought much about the CBC. But when Donald Trump was elected President, my interest in the CBC was triggered. The issue was their refusal to agree to a second meeting with President Trump, continuing the discussion of Black issues. I researched the refusal to understand why the CBC dismissed such an important meeting. Unfortunately, I didn't find a legitimate reason. This was the impetus of my distrust of the CBC, equally my quest to understand their ideology.
The Congressional Black Caucus is made up of fifty-five members and represents 26 States and the District of Columbia. All members belong to the Democrat Party and hold seats in the House of Representatives and the Senate. The group was organized in 1971, by Charles Diggs (D-MI). In its inception, the CBC seemed to have good intentions. Current day, The Majority Whip of the House of Representatives is James E. Clyburn (D- SC). Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY)is the chairman of the House of Democratic Caucus. The co-chair of the House Democratic Steering/Policy committee is Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA). Both Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Kamala Harris (D-CA) are members of the CBC. Former President Barack Obama was a member of the CBC. These are just a few of the esteemed and powerful political positions the CBC holds in government. The Congressional Black Caucus is arguably the most powerful political force Black Americans have.
Surprisingly, I uncovered a shocking fact, at least to me. The CBC does not, exclusively, represent Blacks in America. Their mission statement claims they also represent "marginalized" persons. "Marginalized" can include anyone. Blacks (Negros) in America are approximately 12% of the population. The CBC claims they represent 25% of the total U.S. population. Yet, in perusing their budget requests, statistical claims, and promulgations, Black Americans were always the fixed subject base. So, their data is tricky. The money they receive is supposed to be spent on Black Americans. The question is, how much is spent on Black Americans as opposed to "marginalized' people? Who are these marginalized people? Since 1971, the CBC has collected billions of dollars. Yet, as a Negro in America, I've not experienced this invisible assistance reserved for me.
This brings me to my ultimate disfavor of the CBC. Reparations rhetoric, recently, initiated by Sheila Jackson (D-TX), member of the CBC. Representative Sheila Jackson has been in office since 1995. She's had 25 years to push reparations. Why reparations weren't the 1st agenda item for the Congressional Black Caucus in 1971, is a mystery to me. Again, I think the reparations wordplay is a scheme to get Blacks to continue to vote Democratic. It should be noted there are no Republicans in the CBC.
My experience in a district, run by members of the CBC.
I'm a native Washingtonian, a product of DC Public Schools and know, very well, what the public schools looked like before Michelle Rhee, DCPS Chancellor 2007-2010. In three years Rhee revolutionized the DC Public School System. Eleanor Holmes Norton has represented DC my entire life and is a member of the CBC. What happened to the chocolate city? A Chinese American woman, Michelle, Rhee, improved the DC school system, although, seemingly in anticipation of gentrification. I would agree Rhee re-established DCPS, only, to conform to the new DC but, inevitably, she proved it could be done.
I've also worked in Prince Georges County Public Schools and live in the county. Prince George's County is a sanctuary city and the schools, available funding, affordable housing, and overall services are suffering. The two Black districts in Maryland are Baltimore (Elijah Cummings (D-MD) and Prince Georges County AnthonyBrown (D-MD) Donna Edwards (D-MD). Baltimore and PG County have the lowest-performing school systems in the state.
My summation of it all is the CBC is an illusive organization profiting greatly from "The plight of Black Americans". Most of their accomplishments have been their stance against overplayed enemies. In their 2018 end-of-the-year-report, many of their noted accomplishments were simply opposing President Trump on one thing or another.
I challenge you, who live in an area run by a member of the CBC. Assess your living conditions. Your schools. Your neighborhoods. Your access to small business loans, homeownership, etc. Are you satisfied?