I made a quick run this past weekend to the Congressional Black Caucus in D.C. expecting to see bright (albeit liberal,) innovative, empowered folks being all congressional, being all black and being all caucus-y. The thing about one outta three? It ain’t even half the damn battle.
First, lemme say that I only attended one CBC-sponsored event and that was a party (Heyyyy!) But as I looked around at the beautiful, well-heeled, superbly educated black folk sipping expensive cocktails and eating overpriced rubber chicken, it occurred to me that the difference in buying power between poor and middle class black folk has polemically displaced the folk who are caucusin’ from the folk who are strugglin‘. So, what the hell is the purpose of this conference again? After all, shouldn’t the plight of strugglin’ black folk in America be at the top of the agenda for the CBC? That would make sense to me but I didn’t see any poor black folk in the room. C’mon! There’s an endless supply of poor black people in D.C. – seems to me, with those kinda numbers, it would be harder to keep ‘em out then get ‘em in.
Ok, so – benefit of the doubt- maybe they couldn’t figure out how to get strugglin’ black folk engaged in the caucus. Other than INVITING SOME (do I need to repeat that?) one option would be to employ some. Coulda killed two birds with one stone. Mighta held a party or two at a black owned restaurant. Perhaps you coulda had some black folks provide catering — maybe that cooning, grinning, she-buck of an Aunt Jemima from the Popeye’s commercial coulda whipped up some chicken and shit. That woulda been impressive! There were some missed opportunities here, guys. Standing near the dance floor listening to “Play That Funky Music, White Boy” – I surprised to see that, well, he was. WTF? How ‘bout a black DJ? You a damn lie if you say you couldn’t find one. Finding a black DJ in D.C. is easier than finding your own ass…in your own pants…with an ass map. And what about security? Wait – the bouncers WERE black. They’re always black.
Maybe I’m overstepping since I only attended one event and quite frankly I have neither the time nor inclination to fact check the vendor list. But if there were some strugglin’ black folk in there, I swear they were hiding behind the ice sculpture or the big punch bowl with the two little silver cherubs pissing out champagne punch.
So, the whole thing just seemed like a masturbatory exercise designed for the black middle class to showcase not only our own perceived success but also our continued willingness to push black dollars out of our own communities where they are sorely needed. How very liberal indeed.
Yet, even in the face of this political Mardi Gras, I still had to address the “sellout” topic this weekend because I’m a Republican.
Let’s clear the air, I confess – the Republican party don’t want yo’ black ass. Sorry. They don’t want my black ass, either. Stop worrying about folk wantin’ us and worry more about what’s going on in our families and communities. I don’t give a damn if a Republican wants me at the rally, in the PAC, at the reception, in the neighborhood. They may not want me there but they sure as hell want my ass contributing to their party – in the pocketbook and in the voting booth. And as a result, I have a voice and an opportunity. Particularly, if I combine that voice with other like-minded people – those who put community, not politics, first. That’s what I thought CBC was about. Not a back patting festival for liberals and their financially crippling ideology.
And quit giving default and undeserved credit to these impotent Democrats. Democrats don’t want our black asses anymore than the Republicans do. The biggest con in the history of mankind is the presupposition that the Democratic Party has a particular affinity for minorities. Designing policies that keep folks dependent on government programs and handouts is no evidence of affinity, my friends. To quote J.C. Watts, “race-hustling poverty pimps” is a more accurate description.
The problem is, black folk, we still ain’t raising our voices adequately. CBC 2010 would have been the perfect platform for raising our voices. But what was painfully obvious this weekend is that most of us are so disconnected that we clearly don’t know what the hell to say when we do. Racism and it’s deleterious effects are alive and well – and so deeply ingrained in our culture and our collective psyche that every policy ever created, even the “FUBU” one, has two sides – the white side and the black side (with other minority groups falling somewhere in the middle.) And you can bet a howler monkey’s big red ass, the black side is on the wrong the side of both parties. The job of a bi-partisan, yes, bi-partisan CBC should be to empower us to work our way around it.