The national Black infrastructure has failed utterly to respond to the Katrina crisis – the wiping out of a majority Black city.
The Congressional Black Caucus, which claims to be the “conscience of the congress,” has shown itself to be an appendage of the white House leadership. They slavishly followed Minority Leader Nancy Pelosiâ€™s command to make the Democratic Party look good – as opposed to the Republicans – rather than directly address the crisis that was affecting their own people.
Forty-one of the forty-two Black members of congress obeyed Pelosiâ€™s edict, that the House Committee on Katrina be boycotted. They accepted the order that Democratic legislators would not attend the meetings of the Katrina committee, because it was stacked against the Democratic Party.
Of course, every committee of congress is stacked against the minority, Democratic Party. Thatâ€™s the way congress works. All committees of congress are controlled by the majority party. But Democrats go to committee meetings every day, faced with a Republican majority. Nancy Pelosi, however, was able to convince the Congressional Black Caucus, as a body, to stand down in the face of a horrific crisis: the displacement of hundreds of thousand of residents of New Orleans.
The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) failed to step up to the plate – to act as the legislators that folks voted them into office to be. Only Georgia congresswoman Cynthia McKinney broke the Pelosi-invoked boycott. full article
From Stan: I cannot too highly recommend Black Commentator, and as a follow on from this exceprt, I am also linking the two-part series by Dr. Martin Kilson on the Republican-engineered rise of Black conservatism… a VERY important piece:
BOOKER T. VS. DUBOIS
BY Dr Martin Kilson
The development of the 20th century African-American intelligentsia occurred in the unique historical context of a White supremacist defined status for Black American citizens. The 20th century African-American intelligentsia also developed in the historical context of two generic types of Black leadership that evolved among African-Americans from the end of Reconstruction in the late 1890s into the World War II era.
This two-part article provides a retrospective overview diagnosis of the two core leadership methods associated with the African-American intelligentsia personalities of Booker T. Washington – an educator who headed an Emancipation Era Negro college, Tuskegee Institute in Alabama – and W.E.B. DuBois – a university scholar who fashioned and executed a civil rights activism challenge of the American racist edifice. The Washingtonian/DuBoisian Black leadership contest shaped important facets of the political and ideological contours of the Black intelligentsia in general and of particular Black intellectuals during the first half of the 20th century. Accordingly, an understanding of key features of the Washingtonian/DuBoisian leadership dynamics provides a foundation for a clearer view of more complex Black leadership dynamics confronting African-American society as it enters the 21st century. full article
I commenced Part I of this article by reflecting on the generic question that engaged the small sector of leadership and intelligentsia personalities available to African-Americans at the dawn of the Emancipation Era after the Civil War. Namely: “How do you lead the formerly enslaved Negro American?” I then proceeded to delineate the core ideas and political proclivities that constituted what I call the two major competing “Black leadership paradigms” that held sway among Negro Americans as the late 19th century closed and the 20th century dawned.
Those two major competing “Black leadership paradigms” were identified with the intelligentsia personalities of Booker T. Washington of Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, and W.E.B. DuBois of Atlanta University in Georgia. There is probably still no better graphic characterization of the competing Washingtonian/DuBoisian leadership paradigms at the dawn of the 20th century than the deft and acute one made by African Methodist Episcopal Bishop Reverend Ransom, at the second gathering of the Niagara Movement in 1906 in Harpers Ferry, Virginia, the 100th Anniversary of which will be commemorated by the Association of African American Life and History and other groups at Harpers Ferry in the fall of 2006. full article