CBC Under Siege by Republicans
NNPA Chairman Urges the Black press to support members of the Congressional Black Caucus and other Black public officials
By Yussuf J. Simmonds
Sentinel Managing Editor
There is a concerted effort afoot by the conservative elements throughout the nation to destabilize, and eventually destroy, the work of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC)… an organization that is the basis of some of the sweeping reforms that have taken place in the nation. Though named “Black,” its work has not only benefited Black people, but America has benefited from the CBC’s work, and that is why it is called the “Conscience of the Congress.” The work of the CBC is analogous to Civil Rights because though Black people were in the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement–they bled and died–the passage of civil rights laws have benefited all of America.
According to the news reports, more than 15 percent of the number of Black members of the House of Representatives are being investigated and the conservatives are not just stopping there, recently the focus has zoomed in on the White House.
Many political observers have openly dismissed the fact that it is racially motivated but that cannot be discounted when most of the focus is on African American public officials across the board.
During the campaign last year, at one of the Republicans’ conventions, they openly stated that they would be going after the Democrats. And of course, the coded inference was primarily African Americans Democrats. So it is no accident that African Americans, especially in Congress, are being besieged by probes that seem to be more nuisance-driven than anything else.
Recently while speaking to a former representative, he said that Washington, the nation’s capital, is not a very nice place. And it appears that since President Barack Obama was elected, race relations that seemed to have improved, have taken a nosedive in certain areas.
Headlines such as: “Lawmakers targeted in ethics probe”; House ethics panel probes Democrats”; How long will the Dems last?” and the latest and most frightening of all, “Gangster Government in White House.” It is not surprising that meaningful debate on health, the economy, energy and other relevant issues cannot see the light of day, because those who represent the people in government keep fighting among themselves needlessly.
One of the issues that’s driving the confusion is committee chairmanships. Power in the House is often delegated by seniority and many African Americans who rode the Civil Rights Movement into office, have recently and presently positioned for committee chairmanships, and to some in Congress, that is unthinkable.
The end result of power is economics; they go hand in hand. Those who are in power also control the economy. For example, the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee has the ultimate say in how much of the taxpayers’ dollars. That committee is the chief tax-writing committee of the United States House of Representatives. Normally its members cannot serve on any other House Committees; they have to apply for a waiver from their party’s congressional leadership. The Committee has jurisdiction over all taxation, tariffs and other revenue-raising measures, as well as a number of other programs.
Hence the reason in a closed-door face-to-face conversation between U. S. senators and the top leadership of the nation’s premier Black institutions and new NNPA Chairman Danny J. Bakewell, Sr., soon after he was elected, was on the front line demanding of the nation’s salons: “We’ve had landmark legislation in terms of the stimulus bill. Yet, when you talk to Black businesses, when you talk to newspaper publishers, where is the money? Where is the money?” as the audience inside the Mansfield Room of the U. S. Capitol broke into applause.
So the right wing attacks on African Americans is not only about race, it is also about power and economics, and their ultimate goal is the White House.