For The Congressional Black Caucus, Race Trumps Economic Prosperity

This week, The Hill reported that for many black Americans, racial identification and empathy with the first black president trumps economic concerns.  This unfortunate bit of news- though a shock to absolutely no one- remains troubling, nonetheless.

This “empathetic” response was triggered by president Obama’s so-called impromptu remarks regarding the emotional reaction, mainly from pockets of black America, to the not guilty verdict of the George Zimmerman trial.

The Hill lists several economic indicators such as declining income, declining home ownership and the high unemployment rate to demonstrate just how poorly black Americans have fared under the nation’s first black president.  Yet, for the black political class (as well as black Americans generally), racial identification with the president takes precedence over socio-economic prosperity.

The Hill also notes how black politicians- some being members of the Congressional Black Caucus, are reluctant to criticize the president- constructive or otherwise- for fear of emboldening the political opposition.  Black politicians and black intelligentsia prefer the salve of racial identification to the hard and responsible task of genuine congressional and executive leadership- all at the expense of economic opportunity.

Unfortunately, “black leadership” is just as much a euphemism as “choice” and “equality.” These racial tribal chiefs are again publicly- and foolishly- embracing “race” and passivity regarding Obama’s economic stewardship rather than fighting for improved economic opportunity for their constituents.

It’s not the first time members of the Congressional Black Caucus have chosen the commonality of the president’s color as a priority over increasing economic opportunities for blacks. Last summer, Emanuel Cleaver noted: “With [such high] unemployment, if we had a white president we’d be marching around the White House.” He also said: “The president knows we are going to act in deference to him in a way we wouldn’t to someone white.”

So “racial empathy” means the president’s blackness trumps black unemployment.

For progressive black politicians to be this trivial with regard to the economic plight of so many Americans is disrespectful and shameful.

Since Barack Obama has been president, unemployment rate for blacks has been below thirteen percent only once (Jan. ’09) and has risen above 16 percent, thirteen times.  Furthermore, the unemployment rate for black teens has yet to drop below 30 percent and has risen above 40 percent, twenty-nine times.

The Congressional Black Caucus is obviously not too concerned with the unemployment rates in its representative districts.  But it should be known how their constituents have fared during president Obama’s “recovery.”

Keep in mind that the national unemployment rate is currently 7.6 percent and 13.7 percent for blacks.

– Karen Bass (CA-37) – 11.9%;

– Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18) – 11.6%;

– Joyce Beatty (OH-03) – 12.1%;

– Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08) – 15.2%;

– Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) – 14.6%;

– Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30) – 11.7%;

– Corrine Brown (FL-05) -17.4%;

– Hank Johnson (GA-04) – 15.6%;

– G.K. Butterfield (NC-01) – 15.5%;

– Robin Kelly (IL-02) – 17.9%;

– Andre Carson (IN-07) – 13.9%;

– Barbara Lee (CA-13) -11 %;

– Donna M. Christensen (VI) – no stats given;

– John Lewis (GA-05) – 15.5%;

– Yvette Clarke (NY-09) – 12.7%;

– Gregory W. Meeks (NY-06) – 8.7%;

– William Lacy Clay Jr. (MO-01) -14.7%;

– Gwendolynne Moore (WI-O4) – 14.4%;

– Emanuel Cleaver II (MO-05) – 10.7%;

– Eleanor Holmes-Norton (DC) – 11.4%;

– James E. Clyburn (SC-06) – 16.4%;

– Donald M. Payne Jr. (NJ-10) – 15.7%;

– John Conyers, Jr. (MI-13) – 24.7%;

– Charles B. Rangel (NY-13) – 14.9%;

– Elijah E. Cummings (MD-07) – 13.4%;

– Cedric Richmond (LA-02) – 12.5%;

– Danny K. Davis (IL-07) – 16.5%;

– Bobby L. Rush (IL-01) – 16.8%;

– Donna Edwards (MD-04) -9.5%;

– David Scott (GA-13) – 15.1%;

– Keith Ellison (MN-05) – 9.5%;

– Robert C. Scott (VA-03) – 13.1%;

– Chaka Fattah (PA-02) – 16%;

– Terri Sewell (AL-07)-16.1%;

– Marcia L. Fudge, Chairwoman of the CBC, (OH-11) – 17.7%;

– Bennie Thompson (MS-02) – 14.4%;

– Al Green (TX-09) – 10.7%;

– Marc Veasey (TX-33) – 13.3%;

– Alcee L. Hastings (FL-20) -17.1%;

– Maxine Waters (CA-43) -11.3%;

– Steven Horsford (NV-04) – 12.9%;

– Melvin L. Watt (NC-12) – 15.3%;

– Frederica Wilson (FL-24) – 16.0%.

The average unemployment rate of the districts represented by the CBC is 13.8 percent.

Members of CBC currently represent many of the districts that are suffering the highest unemployment rates in the country.  Yet these so-called leaders choose to embrace racial empathy and racial solidarity rather than being actual leaders who should be pressuring the president to implement policies or reduce regulations that could diminish the absurd levels of unemployment for their constituents.

The CBC has become a national embarrassment- not only to their constituents, but to the congressional body itself.

And that’s saying something.

Black Americans who continue to elect political charlatans like these are unfortunately complicit in their own socio-economic asphyxiation.

With loyalty like this one can understand why the Democrat party takes blacks (elected and unelected alike) for granted and why the GOP ignores them completely.

It’s far past time- in a twenty-first century America which will soon celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s unforgettable “I Have a Dream” speech- that blacks rethink their reflexive and emotional embrace of race and “racial empathy.”

Refusal to do so in favor of the continued idolization and commodification of race will inevitably facilitate black America into a moral and political irrelevancy.

And the sad fact is that the black Americans who do so will have no one to blame but themselves.

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Race Fatigue

It’s been a week since the jury found George Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder for the killing of Trayvon Martin.  And it’s been that long since America has been unmercifully subjected to non–stop coverage of false indignation manifesting itself in “demonstrations,” self-righteous laments about the verdict’s implication, continued emotional manipulation of black Americans for political gain ($harpton, Jack$on, M$NBC, the NAACP, the president, Eric Holder, etc.) and so-called discussions about race and what it means to be “a black man in America.”

As a parenthetical, president Obama injecting himself- again- on Friday was particularly and expectedly disappointing.  Rather than saying something constructive, seeking to extend a sense of calm regarding the situation, he did the exact opposite.  But what else can one expect from a community organizer.

Now to be honest, all this “talk” about race is intentionally shortsighted, disingenuous to those who actually need to hear the tough talk surrounding race- namely black Americans, and self-serving of those who would benefit most- specifically the dishonest and soulless profiteers of the racial grievance industry.

And because of the proliferation of media attention regarding the “discussions about race” and its implications- especially in such a short period of time, I’m suffering from a diagnosed case of acute racial fatigue.

I’m sick and tired of hearing superficial “discussions” about race.  Especially when such talk implicates whites and infantilizes blacks.

Actually I’m sick of “race,” period.

I’m tired of Trayvon Martin being compared to Emmett Till- which by extension projects upon contemporary America a racial ethos similar to that of 1955. Martin was no Till, period.

I’m tired of hearing that Martin sacrificed his life or that he was some kind of martyr.  Please, already. Those making these comments deserved to be slapped and or openly ridiculed.

I’m tired of seeing the Rev. Martin Luther King photoshopped into a hoodie.  This is nothing short of repulsive and it denigrates the memory of Rev. King’s contribution to racial justice.  Our country shall forever be in debt to Rev. King; the same cannot and should not be said nor insinuated about Trayvon Martin.

I’m especially exhausted of hearing talk from condescending white progressives who enable and encourage blacks into maintaining their embrace (revelry) of the false narrative of victimization at the hands of “the system,” the amorphous, undefinable organism whose sole purpose is keeping blacks from “getting ahead.”

These embarrassing “demonstrations” happening across the county increase racial fatigue because those engaging in them do so at the expense of their dignity and credibility.  These people have willingly ignored the facts and evidence of this case in a grandstanding attempt to keep whites responsible (guilty) for perpetuating racial discrimination and at the same time obligated to perform penance of indeterminate length- defined by the racial grievance industry- with no assurance of absolution.

And they do all of this in light of the black-on-black crime that is much more destructive and prevalent in America than a “white Hispanic” killing a black male.

The whole charade is disgusting.

And I’m tired of it.

This trial wasn’t about race. Martin’s family and attorney admitted it; so did the defense.  The FBI’s investigation of this incident last year, which saw at least forty-five people interviewed, found absolutely no evidence of racial bias, further reinforcing the fact that Zimmerman’s actions- and this case- weren’t about race.

Martin wasn’t racially profiled; he was criminally profiled.  In the previous fourteen months prior to Zimmerman’s confrontation with Martin, the Retreat at Twin Lakes apartment complex had been burglarized eight times with all suspects being roughly the same height, build and color as Trayvon Martin.

Thus Martin wasn’t stalked or “hunted down like a rabid dog” because he was black.  Suspicion was raised because of his questionable behavior and because he fit a very specific criminal profile, evidenced by testimony given under oath.

The verdict isn’t an indictment of America being racist toward blacks in general or black males specifically.  All insinuations or outright declarations made by “demonstrators,” the media, so-called public intellectuals or the president himself are bull$#!t.

Blacks aren’t helpless victims abused by “the system” and the facts point that out.  The reason that blacks-specifically black males- are disproportionally represented in the criminal justice system is because we commit a disproportionate amount of violent crime.  Period.

According to FBI statistics in 2011, of the 2,938 murder offenders counted that year, 1803 were black.

The total number of black murders regardless of age in 2011 was 2695. Of that number, 2447 were committed by blacks.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, of all homicides committed between 1980 and 2008, 47.4 percent of the victims were black while 52.5 percent of all offenders were black. Of all felony murders during the same time period, blacks accounted for 44.1 percent of those murdered while accounting for 59.9 percent of the offenders.  Blacks accounted for 56.9 percent of all gun homicides.

And this violent, self-inflicted destruction doesn’t include the high rates of abortion in the black community, either.

Blacks are complicit in their own demise.  The “system” that blacks “fear” which they claim is out to get them are in reality, blacks themselves.

Not whites.

In other words, there are too many black and progressive fingers pointed out and not enough pointed inward.

But you won’t hear any of this mentioned by the proprietors of the racial grievance industry because there’s no political capital to be gained, no emotions to be exploited and no whites to morally indict as racists.

And it’s a damn shame.

Does racism exist?  Yes, of course.  Especially among blacks.

Does racial discrimination exist?  Yes and both will continue to do so on this side of heaven.

But for blacks and their enablers to continue to foment this notion that racism is America’s number one problem is self-defeating, it’s immoral and it’s a lie.

Especially in light of a recent Gallup poll that says otherwise.

Blacks have no idea how irresponsible and embarrassing they look in regards to their behavior.  And I fear very soon, they will be called on their Dream-killing, commodification and idolization of race.

And by then, I hope I’ve recovered from race fatigue.

George Zimmerman Verdict

The jury has ruled- considering the evidence presented, and rightly in my opinion- that George Zimmerman is innocent.  Despite the considerable emotion surrounding this case, justice has been served.  Not “justice for Trayvon” and not “justice for George”; but simply justice.

To celebrate justice rendered in this case is not an admission or an articulation that Trayvon Martin deserved what happened to him that fateful night in February of 2012. As most will acknowledge, it’s a sad and unfortunate thing that Trayvon Martin lost his life resulting in his parents having to bury their son.

At the same time, George Zimmerman also did not deserve what has happened to him either.   The death threats, the editing of the 9-1-1 tapes to make him appear as a zealous racial profiler; the releasing of his Social Security number, the tweeting of an address thought to be his by Spike Lee, the violent bounty offered by the New Black Panther Party, the dishonest projection onto him that he hunted Trayvon “down like a dog” simply because Trayvon was black, was simply unwarranted and unjustified.

It’s also a travesty that some self-seeking, infamously, well-known people would seek to emotionally and politically manipulate this incident for their own selfish benefit, regardless of the damage caused.  They have objectified Trayvon Martin, making him a mascot for all things racial, real or imagined, and that’s a shame.

More to the point, the sad reality is that Trayvon Martin was just as much a victim of the lawlessness of the black suspects who criminalized the apartment complex as he was of George Zimmerman’s gun.  And yet, there’s a lack of indignation regarding that.

It’s also especially shameful considering that very, very few people who profess anger regarding this incident and trial have shown no emotion and have given no attention to the very real fact that in the inner cities across America, there is an epidemic of violence that sees Trayvons killing other Trayvons at an embarrassing rate which gives credibility to the belief that the only black lives that are of value are the ones taken by white suspects.

My prayers continue to be with the Martin family as they attempt to move on from this ordeal in hopes of finding closure and a sense of peace.

My prayers are also with the Zimmerman family that they too find closure and can move on with their lives, in the safety and security they deserve after the unfair treatment they’ve received.

Lastly I pray that the usual suspects who find a perverted sustenance in inflaming racial animus resist the impulse to incite violence among the city of Sanford and that ordinary Americans resist the temptation to participate in violence, destruction and vigilantism.”