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HARRY C. ALFORD

“The Congressional Black Caucus is a racial political organization made up of the African-American members of the United States Congress. Although they claim race and party affiliation are not official requirements for membership, no white person has been allowed to join and most of them are Democrats. Its chair is Representative Cedric Richmond of Louisiana,” according to Wikipedia.

The above seems rather bland and vague. But that probably makes it accurate. The Congressional Black Caucus was formed because of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Congress started to be populated by newly elected Black congresspersons. The original body consisted of 13 founding members. Today, there are 45 members, but Black elected congresspersons don’t automatically belong to the body. Some Republicans do not wish to join or don’t feel welcomed. Basically, it is a democratic organization siding with the Democratic Party platform regardless of how that impacts the Black community—positively or negatively.

For example, when the Clinton Administration decided to crack down hard on crime it implemented programs that would result in longer sentences for Blacks. The Congressional Black Caucus, at the time, supported this. The racial disparities in sentencing and convictions that went on for the last couple of decades were approved by the CBC. How could that be? It is simple, the Congressional Black Caucus is basically an arm of the liberal and progressive side of the Democratic Party. Allow me to show you some examples of just how ironic things can become.

Back in the 1980’s there was an up and coming group known as the Black Manufacturers Association. Congressman Parren J. Mitchell, one of the founding members of the CBC, thought it would be great to formally introduce them to members of the CBC and start a positive, pro-active relationship. To Parren’ s surprise the group were met with Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm shouting, “I don’t give a damn about businesses. All I am concerned with is jobs!” Then Congresswoman Cardiss Collins chimed in and said, “Besides that, you all are a bunch of Republicans!” The meeting went down hill from there. Their ignorance did not do much to help form an alliance based on Black empowerment regardless of political party. That has been pretty much of the winding and sometimes, circular story of the Congressional Black Caucus in terms of Black economic empowerment, quality of life, health, and education.

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