During an on the record meeting with publishers of Black-owned newspapers on Capitol Hill, Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) discussed a range of issues from symbols of the Confederacy to advertising in the Black Press and the impeachment of President Donald Trump.
Publishers and staffers representing the Daily Challenge, Cross Roads News, the San Diego Voice and Viewpoint, the Chicago Crusader and Gary Crusader, The Washington Informer, the Michigan Chronicle, Atlanta Daily World, New Pittsburgh Courier, Chicago Defender and the Houston Forward Times attended the meeting, that lasted more than hour.
When he learned that the Black Press was celebrating its 190th anniversary, Green, who represents Houston, Missouri City and Stafford, recommended that the milestone receive a formal Congressional citation.
Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., the president and CEO of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, said that Congressman Green is a servant of the people, adding that he was one of the best lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
“Each member of the Congressional Black Caucus, including Green, not only well-represents their constituencies—but when you are Black and you are something, you have to do more than what your title says you’re responsible for, that’s just who we are,” said Chavis. “Your congressional district is represented by one of the best, because you are one of the best.
Green said that he has taken up the cause to get Confederate monuments removed from public spaces and he lamented the proliferation of Confederate monuments and symbols across the South and in Houston, in particular.
According to ABC 13 Eyewitness News, “Spurred on by calls from the public, Mayor Sylvester Turner has agreed to begin a full review of Confederacy-related statues on Houston public lands.”
Green said that tax dollars shouldn’t go to supporting the Confederacy that fought to enslave Blacks.
“The Confederacy is dead,” said Green. “[Confederate monuments] won’t come down, if we don’t let our [representatives] know where we stand. It really requires our say…and we have to tell them why, because ‘Confederacy’ is a nice word for ‘rape’; it’s a nice word for ‘murder’; it’s a nice word for ‘stealing’; it’s just a nice way to say that a gang of cutthroats went through the South and tried to maintain an institution that was antithetical to our existence.”
Green also sought to debunk myths about Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution that involve impeachment proceedings for government officials.
Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution states that:
“The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”
Green noted that for the president to be impeached, the president does not have to commit a crime.
“That’s important, because the mainstream media isn’t telling the whole story,” said Green.
Green said that lawmakers, who are serious about starting the impeachment process, should not wait for the outcome of former FBI chief Robert Mueller’s special investigation into Russia’s tampering with the 2016 election.
“Impeachment is a political process, not a judicial process and, because it’s a political process, all of these rules that you normally apply to a case going to court don’t apply to impeachment,” said Green. “The president can be impeached whether he commits a crime or not.”
Green encouraged the Black publishers to read the Federalist Papers, especially “Federalist 65,” written by Alexander Hamilton.
“We have to find that the president has committed an act that would merit his removal from office because of the harm that he is doing to society,” said Green.
The Texan lawmaker said that the Constitution gives each member of the House the same amount of power when it comes to impeachment.
“I’m not giving my power of impeachment to anybody,” said Green. “No president ought to be above the law and be beyond the long arm of justice…I’m going to bring impeachment of Donald J. Trump to the floor of the Congress of the United States of America.”
Green continued: “I’m going to give everybody there the opportunity to make their own decision, their own consciences will be their guide, I won’t lobby a single one of them, but everybody is going to have to take a vote, everybody is going to have to take a stand…and you can tell the world.”
When he was asked about the status of the Government Accountability Office’s report on advertising spending by federal agencies, Green said that that invidious discrimination still exists.
“If we don’t acknowledge that racism still exists, others won’t either and it exists in the halls of power and it exists in the places where contracts are awarded and in banking,” said Green.
The federal government is the single largest advertiser in the United States, and Black-owned companies have been disproportionately left out of the bidding process for government contracts for years.
“We have a duty to at least let people know that we know what we have merit,” said Green.
Green concluded with a popular political quote that epitomizes Mahatma Gandhi’s nonviolent philosophy.
“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you and then, if you have a righteous cause, you win,” said Green. “We will win. We’re gonna win. We’re gonna win.”