In the 1960s, Rep. Charles Diggs (D-Mich.) established the Democracy Select Committee (DSC) to bring the nine elected African American House members together. They were organized in order to help them strategize around their common issues and develop policy initiatives that would address the problems facing their African American constituents. “The sooner we get organized for group action, the more effective we can become,” Diggs said. The operative words in Diggs’ statement are “group”, “action” and “effective”. Is the current iteration of the CBC as a group taking effective action? By the beginning of the 92nd Congress, (1971-1973) the number of African American Representatives had risen from nine to 13. Rep. Louis Stokes (D-Ohio) said, “In addition to representing our individual districts, we had to assume the onerous burden of acting as congressman-at-large for unrepresented people around America.”
Congressional Black Caucus
“You know me, and I know you.” Those words were spoken by president Joe Biden at the recent Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Annual Legislative Conference. No doubt he was purposefully evoking Congressman James Clyburn’s 2020 endorsement. Clyburn famously said , “I know Joe. We know Joe. But most importantly, Joe knows us.” The identity of the other party in the first person plural was never stated, but was widely assumed to mean Black people. The oligarchs of the democratic party had chosen Biden and that meant Clyburn went along as well. He is not the king maker he is made out to be. Of course the importance of his endorsement extended beyond the South Carolina primary and was considered to be a stamp of approval for all of Black America.
The Biden Administration's recent decision to return U.S. troops to Somalia represents another effort on the part of the U.S. to deny agency and independence to African people. On the 59th commemoration of African Liberation Day, the Black Alliance for Peace expresses its unequivocal opposition to this redeployment. The 500 U.S. troops sent to Somalia are the latest to violate that nation’s sovereignty. As is the case with all U.S. interventions, the underlying reasons are not only depraved but also indifferent to the constant suffering of African people caused by western-induced militarism and war. The reintroduction of the U.S. military (AFRICOM ) on the ground is related to a dispute between Somalia and the U.S. oil company, Coastline Exploration Ltd, over the validity of an oil exploration agreement.
The Black political class and the democratic party are once again infantilizing Black voters instead of giving them what they need and want. They pass useless legislation and stage political performances because they have lost the trust of the people. Biden’s poll numbers continue to drop. He now has a lackluster 40 percent approval rating for the simple reason that he hasn’t done what he promised during his 2020 presidential campaign. Biden said he would provide student loan debt relief, raise the minimum wage, and improve the government response to the covid crisis. His friends in corporate media covered for him by claiming that stimulus and child tax credit payments would “cut child poverty in half.” That claim was never true and now that tax credit is gone along with the much touted Build Back Better legislation.
On June 11, 2015, the late Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) member John Conyers made this statement about Ukraine. “House passed my amendment to prohibit assistance to Azov Battalion—a far-right white supremacist militia at front lines of Ukraine conflict.” Conyers was right of course. The Azov Battalion was and is a core part of Ukraine’s military. They have Nazi roots, as do many other organizations in that country. But after the Pentagon objected the amendment was stripped from the spending bill and never saw the light of day. It is important to remember what Conyers tried to achieve the year after Barack Obama sided with right wing Ukrainians and brought down the elected president of that nation. The Conyers amendment passed unanimously in the House but was killed because the administration was well aware of the Azov Battalion’s role and approved of it.
What should Black people think about the United States manufactured crisis in Ukraine? There are many details worth knowing. The most important being that Ukraine’s current troubles began with a U.S. regime change operation in 2014. The Barack Obama administration and NATO overthrew the elected president and sided with right wing neo-Nazi groups such as the Azov Battalion and the Right Sector. Of course destabilizing Russia was always the goal and should be immediately suspected whenever former Soviet republics experience any upheaval. As important as these facts are to understanding the current situation, there is more basic information which explains any and all international events that are designated as crises by this country.
“Let Black Democrats Be Black!” was written by Glen Ford in the November 1, 2006 issue of Black Agenda Report. The title is evergreen and could be used again as the 117th Congress was sworn into office this week. The same issues of corporate control, austerity policies, imperialism, and Democratic Party corruption prevail and make these issues salient year after year. Ford’s piece appeared as the Democrats were poised to take control of the House of Representatives for the first time since 1994. Black people were supposed to be particularly happy because veteran Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) members like Charles Rangel and John Conyers were slated to chair House committees.
By Tyler Tynes for The Huffington Post - It's no secret that many Black Lives Matter and other African-American activists feel disconnected from members of the Congressional Black Caucus. From Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) telling protesters in Baltimore to "go home" after Freddie Gray's death to Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) scolding protesters for drowning out Hillary Clinton's remarks in Atlanta, the generation gap is clear. The CBC has a hard time functioning in a way that best benefits black Americans. He pointed to the pernicious effects of big money in politics, the gerrymandering of congressional districts and the lack of effective accountability to the voters.