November 26, 2002
FIELD VS. HOUSE:
Black Democrats Concerned on House Posts
(JANELLE CARTER, Nov 26, Associated Press)
As House Democrats pick a new leader for their fund-raising committee, black lawmakers are again protesting about being overlooked for key positions despite delivering millions of votes each year.
Louisiana Rep. William Jefferson (has been lobbying to replace Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., as chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
But Jefferson's prospects of getting the plum assignment are anything but certain since the elevation earlier of this month of Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to House minority leader. The job may go to Rep. Martin Frost, a Texan who challenged Pelosi for the leader's job before dropping out of the race. Frost has chaired the committee twice before.
Pelosi, the first woman to lead the party in either the House or Senate, also approached Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., about taking the job, but he declined, according to a Markey aide.
Jefferson would be the first black to chair the campaign committee. Many black Democrats are clearly frustrated that his appointment is not a done deal.
"It is time for diversity to show its head," said Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, the chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus. All 38 members of the caucus are Democrats. "We want to have input with the Democratic caucus of the House. We get frequently labeled as the base but the base is rarely heard from when it comes to decisions related to the DCCC."
And yet two weeks from today, in Louisianna, a Senate seat will be decided by how many blacks turn out to vote for Mary Landrieu. How long will blacks keep giving something for nothing?
Posted by Orrin Judd at November 26, 2002 10:24 PM
Borrowing the words of a certain entertainer, I would say that on the Democratic plantation the slaves are not allowed to enter the house.
So right, Peter, but when can we get a black entertainer to point this out? After watching the very first Chris Rock HBO comedy special I thought he might be the man. He rescued his career from the edge of oblivion, failing as performer on SNF, by re-inventing himself as an edgy anti-PC, acerbic social critic. Alas, as soon as he showed his comedy claws and reinvigorated his career he immediately rejoined the fold...conveniently forgetting that his neo-conservative views were exactly the reason he had finally become interesting...and wildly successful. I was hoping that this had been a real metamorphosis--it was certainly a transforming experience for my young black (and white) students who began to quote his politically incorrect 'act,' (Rock's shocks on welfare and black parenting were to the right of Howard Stern.) He immediately sold out. His tangible threat to conventional, liberal race politics turned out to be nothing more than bait-and-switch--his payoff was a HBO series. that traded on all the old and tired race cliches and was subsequently cancelled.
Re: Belafonte--I wasn't around when he made his outrageous comments so I wasn't aware of how it all played out in the blogging universe. I understand my local paper, the liberal Boston Globe, took Belafonte's side--no surprise. But did anyone point out that Belafonte was describing himself far more than Powell? Poor Harry is a maginally talented performer who sold his faux-calypso fare to a full house of honkies desperately desiring to believe themselves to be partaking in an authentic, if safe, black experience: give a listen to his only successful album @ Carnagie Hall. He was about as heavy as Burl Ives. He parlayed his white liberal-friendly, totally non-threatening image into a near invisible Hollywood career. He's ignored for real work, only useful as a reliable and obedient token for every leftist cause that needs a biege face on point. No wonder he is so angry at Powell, Rice and Thomas--they made it big time while the unemployed Belafonte waits for his payoff...boy, are liberals ingrates!
How ling will blacks keep giving something for nothing? To borrow from a commercial = until we (I'm black) get sick and tired of being sick and tired. Sometimes it takes a little while for some people to get a clue, but the fact that the CBC is grumbling may be a good sign.
As these posts show, it seems simply nuts for the Democrats not to find a young, attractive black Representative to put front and center. Among other things, it would actually fit into their professed politics, which otherwise seem like "diversity for thee, but not for me."
But I do have two caveats. First, the Dems have not been wrong yet in thinking they can have almost unanimous black support for very little return. Second, feminism has always been, mostly implicitly but at times explicitly, based on keeping white women "ahead" of blacks.
Second, feminism has always been, mostly implicitly but at times explicitly, based on keeping white women "ahead" of blacks.
Ouch! Truth to tell, I had not noticed this. It is obvious once you point it out.
I think there's really only one solution to this sorry situation... and that's to finally, at long last, elect Jesse Jackson for President!