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CONGRESSIONAL BLACK CAUCUS (CBC) Printer Friendly Page

Pushing the Black Liberal Agenda
By Randy Hall
July 2006

In Black Caucus, a Fund-Raising Powerhouse
By Eric Lipton and Eric Lichtblau
February 14, 2010

The Black Caucus War against Obama
By Dick Morris and Eileen McGann
December 5, 2009

Congressional Black Caucus, Blue Dogs Join Conservatives to Oppose Internet Regulations
By Fred Lucas
October 21, 2009

Black Leaders Ignore Black-on-Black Crime
By E.W. Jackson Sr.
October 6, 2009

This Is Not about Race
By Donald Lambro
September 18, 2009

Black Caucus Members Agree with President Obama's Criticism of Cambridge Police, Call Harvard Professor’s Arrest ‘Racial Profiling’
By Penny Starr
July 24, 2009

Congressional Black Caucus, Congress, and ACORN - Corruption at the Highest Level
By Dianna Cotter
May 18, 2009

Congressional Black Caucus Blind in Cuba
By Nat Hentoff
April 22, 2009

Castro Sympathizers Forget Definition of 'Slavery'
By James L. Lambert
April 20, 2009

Castro's Clueless Caucus
By Dennis Prager
April 14, 2009

CBC: Congressional Bootlickers for Castro
By Michelle Malkin
April 10, 2009

Useful Idiots Caucus
By Mona Charen
April 10, 2009

Castro as the Second Coming
By Jamie Glazov
April 10, 2009

Why Did Congressional Black Caucus Overlook Racism in Cuba?
By Humberto Fontova
April 9, 2009

CBC Members Praise Castro
By Alex Isenstadt
April 7, 2009

Democratic Leader Wants Rove Jailed and a Cop-Killer Freed
By Michael P. Tremoglie
January 30, 2009

Racism of the Congressional Black Caucus
By WorldNetDaily
January 26, 2009

Racism in the Big House
By Les Kinsolving
January 20, 2009

Do Facts Matter?
By Thomas Sowell
October 6, 2008

White Congressman Shut Out of Black Caucus
By WorldNetDaily
October 1, 2008

Democratic Coverup for Fannie and Freddie Led to 2008 Meltdown
By Ross Kaminsky
September 30, 2008

Barack Obama and the Strategy of Manufactured Crisis
By James Simpson
September 28, 2008

Earth to FCC: What Part of "Unconstitutional" Is Unclear?
By William Perry Pendley
August 3, 2008

An Opportunity Squandered
By Roy Innis
October 11, 2007

The Naked Bloggers
By Emmett Tyrrell
April 12, 2007

Fox and Hounds
By Wall Street Journal
April 10, 2007

Black Caucus: Whites Not Allowed
By Josephine Hearn
January 26, 2007

Racist Democrats Enforce Segregation of Their Own Party
By Jeff Emanuel
January 24, 2007

Pushing the Black Liberal Agenda
By Randy Hall
July 2006

Another Disappointment from the Black Caucus
By Star Parker
June 19, 2006

A Real Culture of Corruption
By Rich Lowry
June 13, 2006

Nancy Pelosi Yields to Black Caucus on William Jefferson
By NewsMax.com
June 2, 2006

Black Caucus to Nancy Pelosi: Hands Off William Jefferson
By NewsMax.com
May 26, 2006

Failing Their Own
By Jonah Goldberg
March 31, 2006

Congressman Linked to Katrina Charity Controversy
By Marc Morano and Monisha Bansal
January 18, 2006

Bush-Bashing Black Charity Sits on Katrina Cash
By Marc Morano
December 22, 2005

Black Voter Suppression Blamed for Weak Katrina Response
By Marc Morano
September 29, 2005

Nader Angers Congressional Black Caucus with Demand for Apology
By Hans Nichols and Peter Savodnik
July 14, 2004

 


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Congressional Black Caucus (CBC)'s Visual Map


  • Organization of solely black congressional representatives
  • Functions as an arm of the Democratic Party



The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) is an organization of black congressional representatives. While it is officially "nonpartisan," the CBC since its founding has functioned as part of the left wing of the Democratic Party

The CBC was established in January 1969. Its founders were Representatives John Conyers and Charles Diggs of Michigan, Ron Dellums and Gus Hawkins of California, Charles Rangel and Shirley Chisholm of New York, Louis Stokes of Ohio, Ralph Metcalf and George Collins of Illinois, Parren Mitchell of Maryland, Robert Nix of Pennsylvania, William Clay of Missouri, and Delegate from the District of Columbia Walter Fauntroy.

Until 1994, when voters returned a Republican House of Representatives, the CBC had been defined as an "official office of Congress" and as such was provided its own offices, staff and lavish budget. The CBC now claims as its address the office of whichever member is serving as Chairman. CBC funding flows largely through the tax-exempt Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. and is used to fund conferences, parties and other activities to benefit caucus Democratic leaders and their families. Membership in the CBC is accorded automatically to any African-American elected to the House of Representatives, unless that member refuses membership. As of April 2006, the CBC consisted of 5 officers and 38 additional members. All 43 were Democrats, and 22 of them were also members of the radical Progressive Caucus in the House of Representatives.

In the 1990s Republican Congressman J.C. Watts of Oklahoma refused CBC membership and described unnamed black Democratic leaders as "race-hustling poverty pimps." He was elevated to the third highest position in the Republican congressional leadership but chose not to seek reelection in 2002.  Another Republican, Rep. Gary Franks elected from Connecticut in 1990, accepted membership in the CBC but soon found that, despite paying $5,000 in dues, he was never informed of some of its meetings and was locked out of others by Democrats who wanted to keep what they discussed in those meetings secret from Republicans. In 1993, after Franks threatened to quit the Caucus, then-chairman Kweisi Mfume of Maryland persuaded him to stay by agreeing to a deal. Chairman Mfume's deal was that the "Democratic Caucus" of the CBC -- i.e., every member except Republican Franks -- would continue to exclude him from their private meetings where they voted to set policies. But these policies, Mfume promised, would then be discussed and voted on again by the full CBC, where Franks was a minority of one.

When Franks was defeated for reelection in 1996, CBC member Bill Clay of Missouri wrote a six-page letter to the departing lawmaker, characterizing Franks as a "foot shuffling, head-scratching 'Amos and Andy' brand of 'Uncle Tom-ism'" and a "Negro Dr. Kevorkian, a pariah, who gleefully assists in suicidal conduct to destroy his own race." Rep. Clay described Franks as one of those "Negro wanderers" whose "goal … is to maim and kill other blacks for the gratification and entertainment of -- for lack of a more accurately descriptive word -- ultra-conservative white racists." No other member of the CBC was willing to condemn or criticize Clay's remarks. 

According to Carol M. Swain, writing in the The American Prospect, "[T]he most costly mistake" made by the CBC "was probably its apparent embrace of Louis Farrakhan." The Caucus made a "covenant" with Farrakhan in 1994 which it was forced to rescind shortly thereafter as result of public outrage. "...Khalid Muhammad, a disciple of Farrakhan, delivered a venomous speech at Kean College attacking Jews, Catholics, and other groups," wrote Swain. "The ensuing public outrage was so great that it led the Congress, for the first time in history, to pass a resolution condemning the speech of a private citizen. Twenty [Congressional Black] caucus members voted for the resolution, eleven voted against, four voted present, and three failed to vote as the measure passed the House 361 to 34." But in 1995, a year later, new CBC Chairman Donald Payne led his Caucus to endorse and take part in Farrakhan's "Million Man March" in Washington, D.C.

In April 2009, a delegation of seven CBC members traveled to Havana to meet with former Cuban president Fidel Castro. After the meeting, they praised Castro as a warm and hospitable host, and called for an end to America’s longstanding ban on travel to Cuba. According to CBC Chairwoman Barbara Lee, “The fifty-year embargo just hasn’t worked. The bottom line is that we believe its time to open dialogue with Cuba.” Reflecting on her moments with Castro, Lee said, “It was quite a moment to behold.”  Rep. Bobby Rush said of his conversation with Castro, "It was almost like listening to an old friend…. In my household I told Castro he is known as the ultimate survivor."  Rep. Laura Richardson, meanwhile, said Castro was receptive to President (and former CBC member) Barack Obama’s message of reconciliation. “He listened,” said Richardson. “He [Castro] said the exact same thing as President Obama said.” Added Richardson: “He looked right into my eyes and he said, ‘How can we help? How can we help President Obama?’”

When conservative Republican (and Tea Party Caucus member) Allen West was elected to represent Florida's 22nd District in 2010, he joined the CBC and became its only non-Democrat and non-leftist. In 2011, West objected to hostile language used by members targeting the Tea Party movement and threatened to leave the caucus unless its chairman, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, would agree to condemn those remarks. Among those comments were Rep. Maxine Waters' assertion that the Tea Party "can go straight to hell"; Rep. Frederica Wilson's characterization of the Tea Party as “the real enemy” that was seeking to hold Congress “hostage”; and Rep. André Carson's claim said that Tea Party-affiliated members of Congress viewed African-Americans as "second-class citizens" and would be happy to see them "hanging from a tree." 

Ultimately, West decided to remain a CBC member because the caucus needed a conservative presence. “I will not be resigning from the Congressional Black Caucus,” West wrote on his Facebook following a meeting with Cleaver in early September 2011. “Cowards run from challenges, while warriors run to the sound of battle.”

In September 2011, Emanuel Cleaver, addressing the subject of the skyrocketing unemployment rate among African-Americans, said: "If [former President] Bill Clinton had been in the White House and had failed to address this problem, we probably would be marching on the White House. There is a less-volatile reaction in the CBC because nobody wants to do anything that would empower the people who hate the president" -- a reference to Barack Obama, a black man who once belonged to the CBC.

The CBC reacted with outrage when a black Sanford, Florida teenager named Trayvon Martin was shot and killed in an altercation with a "white Hispanic" man named George Zimmerman on February 26, 2012. When Zimmerman was subsequently acquitted of murder and manslaughter charges in a June/July 2013 trial, CBC chair Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) lamented that the case was evidence of a broader racial problem in the United States: “We are being attacked from so many sides that you have to at some point decide where you can have the most impact.” Calling for “a broader discussion that we need to have [about] how we are treating and minority people in this country,” Fudge cited as evidence of racial discrimination a recent Supreme Court ruling which overturned the 1965 Voting Rights Act’s requirement that mainly Southern states must undergo special federal scrutiny before being permitted to change their voting laws in any way -- e.g., by instituting Voter ID requirements.

In a November 2012 press conference, CBC chair Marcia Fudge accused Republican Senator John McCain of "sexism and racism" because of criticism he had directed against U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, who is black, for false testimony she had given regarding a September 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Said Fudge: There is a clear, a clear in my opinion, sexism and racism that goes with these comments that are being made by, unfortunately, Senator McCain and others.” During the same press conference, Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wisconsin) said: "What unmitigated gall for these [Republican] men to attack the permanent representative to the United Nations Susan E. Rice. We all understand that all of us have been disappointed in one way or another about the results of the election -- but to batter this woman because they don’t feel they have had the ability to batter President Obama is something that we, the women, are not going to stand by and watch."


See also: Corinne Brown, Andre Carson, William Clay, John Conyers, James Clyburn, Chaka Fattah, Alcee Hastings, Jesse L. Jackson, Jr.Barbara LeeSheila Jackson Lee, John Lewis, Cynthia McKinney, Kweisi Mfume, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Barack Obama, Major Owens, Charles Rangel, Bobby RushMaxine Waters, Melvin Watt, and Diane Watson.

 

 

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