Why did the Congressional Black Caucus invite Rep-elects Allen West of Florida and Tim Scott of South Carolina to join? Remember: It was Rep-elect Allen West who controlled the narrative by feigning offense at "not being invited," like a jilted teen-aged socialite with no dance invite. But he wasn't invited or dis-invited. No one was thinking about him one way or the other.
Why did the Congressional Black Caucus invite Rep-elects Allen West of Florida and Tim Scott of South Carolina to join?
Remember: It was Rep-elect Allen West who controlled the narrative by feigning offense at "not being invited," like a jilted teen-aged socialite with no dance invite. But West wasn't invited or dis-invited. No one was thinking about him one way or the other. He then turned the fact that there was no heralds-at-the-gate announcement of his ascendancy into an insult. All manufactured. A month before the election many asked: Would West be invited? With the "black intolerant left wing liberals" theme aglow and stories of an impending snub, CBC Chair Barbara Lee invited him and Mr. Scott. What else could she do at that point? If she didn't invite Mr. West and Mr. Scott the CBC is then accused as "intolerant of outside views" and "closed minded," and Megyn, Bill, Sean and the gang explode. Right?
Funny how in this tech driven world the level of ignorance on basic work Congress does is high. Who does the "CBC represent?" Try the top secret government site, THOMAS.GOV, to view the legislation they introduce for people no one else pays attention to. The "least of these," (aka: their constituents). Just because you're ignorant and just because their legislation doesn't lead the 5 p.m. news doesn't mean it doesn't exist. I understand we in the press are busy reporting on what Beyonce and Kanye did yesterday but do yourself a favor: Check the facts. You can start with Brooklyn members Ed Towns, Greg Meeks and Yvette Clarke but a complete list of members is here.
If you look at what this "blacks-only private Congressional social club" has passed this year you'll find they focused on the disadvantaged see here. It was Rep. Jim Clyburn who got over $10 billion in the health care bill for community health centers. Who does that help? read here The uninsured and the low in income. You know the health care bill right? The one Mr. Scott and Mr. West will be hot to repeal. Will Mr. Scott be acting in his constituents best interest when he does that? Those community health care centers will serve over 40 million people many of which may be his constituents. Does this meet the standard of promoting "....the public welfare through legislation designed to meet the needs of millions of neglected citizens."
Last year, Rep. Maxine Waters' delayed the Wall Street Reform Act as she and the other nine members of the CBC members on the House Financial Services Committee held things up. Why? To push for regulation on predatory lenders and credit card fee games. This year there was a change in the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine. Many black males have been jailed over the last 26 years for longer periods because of the mandatory minimum attached to that penalty... while their caucasian powder cocaine using counterparts walked. Rep. Bobby Scott pushed to change the law for 15 years, along with Reps. John Conyers, Sheila Jackson Lee, Mel Watt, and Waters. The result: The only mandatory minimum reduced in 40 years. "Three strikes you're out" laws turned the U.S. into the world's biggest jailer... 2,300,000 (39% black) in the pen and counting to the tune of $63 billion a year. There are only two members of Congress who speak regularly on the American prison system: Rep. Bobby Scott and Sen. Jim Webb. That's it out of a 535 people.
Instead of worrying about Rep. Steve Cohen and West and Tim Scott, we should be asking why it is, with few exceptions (like Sen. Webb) the CBC are the only ones speaking to these issues. There are plenty of things to critique the CBC on but advocating for the disadvantaged is not one of them.
Who was it who said two weeks ago, "there's not enough attention paid to poor people" by Pres. Obama? A CBC member: Rep. Alcee Hastings. Who else? Who else even mentions the poor on the federal level? Rather than simply looking at percentages in districts look at their legislation. Can we place the spotlight of that standard on the many Republicans who represent the white working poor and continue to forward policy that does nothing to improve their lives? So that's it brooklynbadboy. See you on Eastern Parkway (if it's been plowed...).
Lauren Victoria "bronxbadgirl" Burke (I was born in the Bronx, I don't hide...)