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Congressional Black Caucus

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    The Big Sell-Out: The Congressional Black Caucus and the Internet

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

    Before the pivotal elections of 2002, when corporate money started systematically wooing Black Democrats, the Congressional Black Caucus was a consistent voice on the (relatively) leftish side of the Congress. Only a few years later, the Black Caucus was more firmly in the pockets of huge telecom corporations than the rest of the Party. As a bloc, the CBC is no friend of Internet neutrality.

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    Thanks to the Congressional Black Caucus “Remy” from “House of Cards” is Real

    by Pascal Robert

    The truth is more evil than Netflix fiction. Staffers at the Congressional Black Caucus – doubtless mimicking the morals of their elected bosses – eventually formed their own mercenary lobbying structures to sell out the interests of African Americans. Their principal clients are “those same financial institutions and corporations that caused the Black community to be targeted during the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis.”

    Kidnapped Girls Become Tools of U.S. Imperial Policy in Africa

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    The “humanitarian” U.S. military occupation of Africa has been very successful, thus far. “The Chibok abductions have served the same U.S. foreign policy purposes as Joseph Kony sightings in central Africa.” Imagine: the superpower that financed the genocide of six million in Congo, claims to be a defender of teenage girls and human rights on the continent. If you believe that, then you are probably a member of the Congressional Black Caucus.

    Black America More Pro-War Than Ever

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    During President Obama’s run-up to war with Syria, “African Americans were, for the first time in polling history, the most bellicose major ethnicity in the United States.” How could such a political role-reversal come to pass? “The progressive, peace-seeking African American worldview is out of sync with the deep imperative to support the First Black President.”

    Who Are the Minions of War in the Black Caucus?

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    For the first time in five years, “the Black Caucus was treated like royalty, rather than a nuisance, as is usual, at the White House.” The reason: Obama needs their votes to continue his rush to war against Syria. “If past voting behavior is a guide, the majority of the Caucus is likely to put Obama’s political interests ahead of their constituents’ wishes and the welfare of humankind.”

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 6/3/13

    Philly Cops on Killing Spree

    A rash of police shootings of Blacks has prompted Philadelphia police commissioner Charles Ramsey to call for a federal investigation of his own department. “This is not a few rogue cops,” said Dr. Tony Monteiro, professor of African American studies at Temple University. “I think Ramsey recognizes that this is institutional and structural.” Mayor Michael Nutter’s political rhetoric “gives sanction to this type of behavior,” said Monteiro, “and there is also the sense that the DA is not going to rigorously pursue killer cops.” All three officials are Black.

    Obama = Bush on Secret War Guidelines

    Just like his predecessor, President Obama wages illegal wars behind a screen of secret “guidances” and classified interpretations of the law, said Coleen Rowley, a former FBI agent and noted whistleblower. If Obama is serious about eventually ending America’s perpetual wars, he must begin by making his war-making guidelines public. Otherwise, said Rowley, “he doesn’t have a leg to stand on, after giving that speech, for why he’s so secretive,” said Crowley.

    Obama Big Liar

    Barack Obama’s portrayal of himself as a morally conflicted commander is pure play-acting, said Chris Hedges, the former war correspondent and complainant in a suit against Obama’s preventive detention legislation. “It’s called the Big Lie,” said Hedges. “It worked pretty well in Nazi Germany and it’s working pretty well, here.” U.S. culture “is utterly awash in lies and very sophisticated forms of propaganda,” said Hedges. “The snuffing out of the First Amendment is pretty far advanced, if we are not already there.”

    Obama’s Killing Touch

    Black America’s long legacy of opposition to U.S. military adventures abroad “has been destroyed under Obama,” said Black Agenda Report senior columnist Margaret Kimberley. African Americans “see everything through a prism of protecting him. There are now 30 million Secret Service agents in the Black community who think they have to throw themselves in front of Obama and defend him from his critics,” Kimberley told Solomon Comissiong, producer of the documentary film The More Effective Evil: The Impact of Barack Obama on the Black Community and Humanity. “It’s killed Black politics.”

    McKinney Book Details Black Caucus Subservience to Pelosi

    In her new book, Ain’t Nothing Like Freedom, former Georgia congresswoman Cynthia McKinney says she was “shocked” to discover that “my friend, my buddy, my brother” Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. was “an FBI informant.” The veteran lawmaker, who ran for president in 2008 on the Green Party ticket, recalled the Congressional Black Caucus’s subservience to House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi. When orders came down to avoid ANSWER Coalition anti-war demonstrations, McKinney was “the only one who showed up.” Democrats were forbidden to take part in Republican hearings on Katrina – and all but McKinney complied.

    Cuban Five Trial “Rigged,” Says Gonzalez

    Rene Gonzalez, the Cuban Five member who served his prison sentence and was allowed to return to Cuba for his father’s funeral, said he and his comrades were convicted in “a rigged trial, which took place in an atmosphere of fear.” The five Cuban intelligence agents infiltrated Cuban exile groups that were launching terror attacks from southern Florida. Instead of arresting the exiles, the U.S. charged the Cuban Five with spying. Four remain behind bars. “The American people, who are supposed to have been the victims of our ‘crimes,’ are not aware of the details of the trial,” said Gonzalez.

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    The Black Caucus’ Relentless Pursuit of Insubstantial Symbolism

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

    If only the Congressional Black Caucus would pay as much attention to the substantive areas of government policy – “how government policies affect the great mass of Black people” – rather than huff and puff over the symbolic trappings of power. Unfortunately, for the Caucus, “it’s the appearances that count.”

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    Just Like Crack in the 80s, the Police State Thrives on Gun Hysteria

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

    African American politicians and activists implored President Obama and others in authority to “do something” about gun violence in inner cities. Be careful what you ask for. The current gun hysteria will serve as an excuse to expand the police state, through a new wave of “mandatory minimum sentences and adoption of New York-type stop-and-frisk policies.”

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    The Shameless Vacuity of Susan Rice's Black Boosters


    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    Africa doesn’t matter, U.S. wars don’t matter, nothing matters to the Black Misleadership Class except the sickly prestige of basking in the (distant) glow of power. Susan Rice’s “Black boosters embrace an abettor of genocide and endless military interventions as one of their own – and indict themselves.”

    Is Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett the One Who Keeps Barack from Dealing with Black Issues?


    by Dr. Boyce Watkins

    We can no longer live in a world where anyone who asks President Obama to do something is defined to be an enemy of the administration.” Yet, it appears the president’s top advisor, Valerie Jarrett, believes her job is to silence Black critics. “It’s as if we’re being told to ‘stop snitching’ on the White House, while Obama Administration officials sit back and laugh at how stupid we are.”

    Many Years Too Late, the Black Caucus Turns on Artur Davis


    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    Former Alabama congressman Artur Davis’ name is mud with Black Democrats, for speaking to the Republican National Convention. They say he’s flip flopped on his old “progressive” policies. But Davis “was always among the worst, most right-wing members of the Congressional Black Caucus.” That’s why the Rahm Emanuel-Barack Obama wing of the party once considered him a “friend.”

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    The Need for a Black Agenda


    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    The African American Left’s failure to formulate a Black Agenda has made it “largely irrelevant during the greatest crisis of capitalism since at least the Great Depression, and the worst economic and social crisis for African Americans since the death of Reconstruction.” The default Black Agenda is Obamaism, which is corporatism, and the death of Black politics. “If all that matters is Obama, then there is no need for a Black political agenda – except four more years of Obama.”

    Freedom Rider: Silence on Cynthia McKinney

    cynthia mckinneyby BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
    The shallowness of what passes for Black leadership reveals itself most dramatically at times of outrage and death. “While Cynthia McKinney languished in an Israeli jail, black leaders mobilized to say and do absolutely nothing,” preferring to make themselves part of the Michael Jackson story. “The only national action requested by” Rev. Al Sharpton, “the president of the National Action Network, was a demand for a Michael Jackson postage stamp and a national day of mourning. 

    A Sincere and Painful Apology to the U.S. Congressional Black Caucus

    Alberto Jonesby Alberto N. Jones
    Mainly white Cuban exiles in Miami, Florida, and Union City, New Jersey, who have never been friends of Blacks in either Cuba or the United States, now claim to be champions of racial equality on the island. The author, an Afro-Cuban whose roots go back to Jamaica, apologizes to Black U.S. lawmakers for the antics of the hypocritical Cuban rightwingers. Afro-Cubans, who have the most loyal to all of Cuba's revolutions, need no assistance from "mercenaries" from Miami.

    Obama Pulls U.S. Out of UN Conference on Racism, But Congressional Black Caucus Should Attend Anyway

    Cynthia McKinneyby Cynthia McKinney

    When Eric Holder, the new U.S. Attorney General called the nation to account for its historic reluctance to honestly talk about race and racism, its manifestations and consequences, he could have been talking about his boss the president.  By withdrawing from the UN Conference on Racism he is leading backwards, in the direction of Clinton and Bush rather than forward into the 21st century.  The fact that the President of Change wan't bring himself -- or us --- to an honest discussion about race says a lot for his willingness to lead on the subject.


    But Obama's willingness to cave in the face of white racism and business as usual is no excuse for the Congressional Black Caucus, supposedly among the best and brightest Black America has to offer.  It's time for the CBC to step up where the president has stepped back.


    CBC Monitor Report Card: Black Caucus Adrift


    by Leutisha Stills, CBC Monitor

    Financial meltdowns and election tensions have had a negative effect on CBC Monitor Report Card scores. Under tremendous pressure to "buckle to party discipline and to align with standard bearer Barack Obama," the Congressional Black Caucus performed generally badly, this past grading period. Not one member made a perfect score, and six were rated as "Derelicts." Most dramatic were the two votes on Pelosi-Bush-McCain-Obama Wall Street bailout bills. Obama's intervention doomed the resistance. Ten members topped off the class with B+.

    Black Caucus Pitches Fit at Union Over Wynn Loss

    CBCEdwardsHeadShotby Leutisha Stills, CBC Monitor

    Members of the Congressional Black Caucus are "seething" with anger over Rep. Al Wynn's Democratic primary defeat at the hands of Donna Edwards, in Maryland earlier this month. The Service Employees International Union did what unions are supposed to do: financially support a progressive challenger over a corporate-bought incumbent. But enraged CBC members see the handwriting on the wall: they too can be ousted by BlackCBCseiuLogo progressive campaigns energized by labor dollars. Given the CBC's continuing drift to the Right, members feel threatened. In typical fashion, they insinuate that the heavily Black SEIU is meddling in intra-Black political affairs - when the truth is, Caucus members increasingly rely on corporate funding for job security, and vote accordingly. The CBC's panicked reaction to Donna Edwards' victory speaks volumes about their growing capitulation to Big Business.

    The Tavis Smiley Presidential Forum: "Showtime At The Apollo!"

    by Leutisha Stills, senior correspondent, CBC Monitormontage_037
    Tavis Smiley's presidential forum, before a black audience, with questions by black journalists, focusing on the issues ignored or bypassed in the mainstream media, but vitally important to the African America community, was billed as a historic occasion.  But what we got was something else --- a game show format, driven by shallow sound bytes, all of it summed up for us by the same Republican pollster who gave us the "Contract For America" and the "death tax."  Tavis Smiley's presidential forum shows what we get when we confuse black celebrity with black leadership, and marketing with journalism.

    Congressional Black Caucus: Divided on Trade, Immigration

    CBC Monitor Report Card, Second Session 109th Congress

    by Leutisha Stills, CBC MonitorCapitolBlackCrowd

    There is still reason to believe that the Congressional Black Caucus can be rescued from its slide into irrelevance - but only if energized constituents mobilize behind "bright line" issues that members dare not cross. The new CBC Monitor Report Card documents the Caucus' inability as a body to resist massed corporate power on trade issues, and a retreat by a quarter of its members in the face of mounting police state pressures. Nevertheless, the CBC's overall grades are up - most likely because only a few bills challenged them on matters of principle.

    “Black Leaders…or Leading Blacks?”

    by Leutisha Stills, CBC MonitorTavisAtMic

    "Are you empowered by this conversation?" Tavis Smiley asked the thousands drawn to the annual State of the Black Union conference. The crowd roared back in the affirmative, but power - and a plan to use it - was precisely what was missing, this past weekend. The most important lesson learned from the event, was the awesome absence of coherence in a Black politics that is no longer fueled by a mass movement. Tavis, the hugely talented impresario, can't fix that.

    Leadership from Below

    Black Agenda Radio, from Bruce Dixonmic01

    African American leadership, including the Congressional Black Caucus, are demanding that the ‘base' reaffirm our priorities as a people.

    Leadership from Below


    Click here to listen to this Black Agenda Radio commentary (3:51)

    Black Caucus Caves to Corporate Power

    In response to a flood of cable and phone company propaganda and millions in campaign and charitable donations, two thirds of the Congressional Black Caucus vote to redline broadband deployment in their own communities and kill the relatively open and free internet.  Is it time to re-evaluate the Black Caucus?
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