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Cowardly, Hypocritical, Subservient Congressional Black Caucus Endorses Israeli Apartheid and Current War Crimes in Gaza

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    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    Only 2 of over 40 Congressional Black Caucus members voted against legitimizing the 2009 Israeli massacre of 1400 mostly civilians in Gaza, with seven CBC members abstaining. Last week, with the Gaza death toll climbing toward 1,000 not a single CBC member could be bothered to lift a voice against Israel's genocidal assault of the moment or its ongoing apartheid state in general. Black America should hang our collective heads in shame.

    Cowardly, Hypocritical, Subservient Congressional Black Caucus Endorses Israeli Apartheid and Current War Crimes in Gaza

    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    Back in the 1970s, when the Congressional Black Caucus began calling itself “the conscience of the Congress,” that was almost literally true. CBC members could be relied upon not just to reliably vote for raising wages and expenditures on housing, health care and education, but to keep the issues of full employment and opposition to unjust war near the front of their public agendas.

    By the late 1980s, a gaggle of former CBC staffers had moved through the revolving doors of elite affirmative action to become corporate lobbyists, with the same ethics and table manners as their white colleagues, but with black faces. Thanks in large part to their efforts, by 2000 a tsunami of corporate cash began filling up the coffers of incumbent CBC members, their black replacements, or in the cases of Alabama's Earl Hilliard and Georgia's Cynthia McKinney, their black opponents.

    Only a single member of the CBC, Rep. Barabra Lee opposed President Bush's blank check for invading anywhere he pleased in Septermber of 2001, and by the 2003 invasion of Iraq, four CBC members, some of them swimming in donations from military contractors, raced down to the White House to have their pictures taken with Bush as the bombs were about to explode over Baghdad.

    By the 109th Congress of 2005-2006 the CBC's political compass had been decisively reset. 2005 was the year of Katrina. For decades there had been predictions that whenever “the big one” hit New Orleans, a city where a majority of residents didn't even own cars, thousands or tens of thousands would perish. I lived in Chicago and read those predictions in the papers there several times during the 80s and 90s. Katrina ultimately proved to be the excuse for authorities to permanently expel more than a hundred thousand African Americans, mostly renters but also entire neighborhoods of black homeowners and black owned local businesses as well. As the highest ranking black politicians in the nation, the Congressional Black Caucus could have demanded and held federal hearings on every aspect of the Katrina disaster and its aftermath, ensuring a real public debate on how the region would be rebuilt and for whom.

    But House Democrats were focused narrowly on winning the 2006 election, and in their political calculus, having Democrats identified as the party of black people was not a winning strategy. Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi forbade the Congressional Black Caucus from demanding or holding hearings. Only Georgia's Cynthia McKinney defied her, and was forced to partner with House Republicans for the hearings to take place at all. The only CBC member Pelosi allowed to take part in the Katrina hearings was the lazy and corrupt “Dollar Bill” Jefferson who nominally represented black New Orleans. The rest of the supposedly powerful and influential CBC, from its deans Conyers and Rangel on down stayed away.

    If they were still the conscience of the Congress the CBC would have called together some of the nation's black civil engineers, architects, urban planners and others to articulate a vision of a rebuilt Gulf Coast for the people who lived there before. Instead the vision of the Heritage Foundation prevailed. A hundred thousand black New Orleans residents were deported to the four corners of the continental US, their public school system privatized, their rental apartments razed, their health care systems shut down, and the water, electric and gas grids not reactivated for the entire sections of town where they once lived. Thanks to the hands-off attitude of the CBC, President Bush was even able to exclude all journalists from the teams which recovered bodies or the places where remains were assembled, so there is no independent verification of the government's suspiciously small count of fatalities.

    That was when Democrats were still the minority in Congress. We're always told how important it is for Democrats to gain or maintain control of the House. They got that in the 2006 elections, and Democrats have had the White House since the 2008 election as well, though they handed the House back at the end of 2010. Has all that extra power made them bolder in the pursuit of justice? Sadly, no.

    Israel's vicious apartheid regime celebrated Barack Obama's 2009 inauguration with the massacre of 1400 people in Gaza, mostly civilians, and the destruction of a great part of the enclave's infrastructure, down to chicken farms and water systems. The new Congress called it righteous self-defense, with 390 yeas, 5 nays and 22 “present”. The CBC was 2 of those nays, Gwen Moore (WI) and Maxine Waters (CA), and 7 of the “presents”, Edwards (MD), Ellison (MN), Johnson (GA), Lee (TX), Payne (NJ), Kilpatrick (MI), and Watson (CA).

    This month, as the civilian death toll in the latest Israeli criminal orgy of collective punishment mounted toward 1,000, the US House passed a nearly identical resolution, calling this massacre legitimate “self-defense” as well. This time the House vote, including that of the Congressional Black Caucus was unanimous. Not a single member of the CBC, despite their much heralded brand of standing for civil rights and against apartheid here and around the world, bothered to publicly question the racist ethnocracy that is the Israeli state. After signing the blank check with the rest of their colleagues, CBC members Conyers (MI), Lee (CA), Johnson (GA) and Ellison (MN) tried to cover their shame with a letter to Secretary of State Kerry urging a cease-fire, something which Kerry claims to have been doing anyway.

    All CBC members absolutely know that Israel is an apartheid society, with one set of laws applying to Jews, a second to Israeli Arabs and a third to Palestinians. Congressional Black Caucus members know that Israel requires different colored license plates for non-Jews so their vehicles can be profiled at a distance, and Jewish-only roads between settlements carved from the villages of Palestinians and watched voer by military garrisons. They know that Israel refuses to recognize mixed marriages, or even marriages between Palestinians in Gaza and those on the West Bank. Black members of Congress know what an ethnocracy is, and even though they claim to have opposed it in South Africa and here at home, they choose to endorse it in Israel, out of greed and subservience.

    As we wrote in BAR back in 2012...

    Whatever its root cause, the current support of the black political class for Israel's maintenance of a colonial settler state constitutes a massive, hypocritical hole in their collective souls. Most of the world backed our own struggle against Jim Crow, and we congratulated ourselves for contributing to the downfall of the old regime in South Africa. And now, when our turn comes round again, when the United States is the only government capable of restraining the vicious Israeli onslaught, just by the threat of its disapproval, its non-renewal of loan guarantees or weapons giveways or military contracts ---- we are silent.

    For African Americans, our hypocrisy goes deeper and further than our leaders. It filters all the way down to ordinary people whose attachment to their First Black President is so uncritical that they decouple their FBP from any responsibility for his policies. Many Obama supporters say they oppose Israeli aggression and wring their hands wishing the president they voted for and hustled others into voting for would do something different. In the eyes of the rest of the world, as Margaret Kimberley points out, they are as guilty of abetting Israeli atrocities as the rabid partisans of AIPAC...”

    What would one of our glittering and supposedly powerful members of the Congressional Black Caucus tell a child in Gaza today? What would they tell a parent whose children have been maimed or murdered, with weaponry probably designed and/or manufactured in the US?

    Our nation is the armorer, financier and protector of Israel's savage ethnocracy.  We are all compromised, we are all implicated in its crimes.  It's time to call our black political class, and each other to account. In the coming week, Black Agenda Report will reach out to our friends and colleagues and try to find some new ways to do exactly that.

    Bruce A. Dixon is managing editor at Black Agenda Report, and a state committee member of the GA Green Party. He lives and works near Marietta GA, and can be reached via this site's contact page or at bruce.dixon(at)blackagendareport.com.

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    israel Palestine

    I am in Washington state. I am white and 61 years old.  I don't capitalize israel because I am disgusted with their behavior.  They expect us to give them all kinds of money but fail to treat others with respect and compassion.  I have had discussions with people familiar with the Bible.  Perhaps this is what God wants but it conflicts with something else I know He wants and that is to "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you".  This is the "Golden Rule" which is common to all religions.  Our congressional leaders are afraid to say anything negative about israel.  But I am not.  I assume that the AIPAC has my address and I am on their "hit list".  

     

    I admire your courage.  I used to think that all Germans were to blame for Hitlers actions.  Now I know that most of them just didn't know how to fight the "Third Reich" and just kept their heads low if they knew what was going on.  Only 2% of our population is Jewish.  But our country seems to have lost its sense of "what is wright and wrong" trying to support that 2%.  

     

    God knows how I feel.  I try to do something to help others every day.  israel does things to hurt others every day. Certainly our leaders have heard the same news that I have but they are blinded by the money and influence of AIPAC.  Approximately $3 Billion is given to israel each year.  I believe much of that comes back to the US as campaign contributions.  

    Sameness

    While some expect Blacks to be different than X...the reality is that we are all dealing with the "brainwashed consumer" mentality and most people are too busy taking care of themselves and their children.

    If small numbers of us lead by example we are doing what we can and have to live with that reality until others catch on and follow.

    I'm really glad that this site and Mr. Ford bring up issues like this as some will be embarassed into getting off their duff. Thanks.

     

    even more creepy, disturbing...

    than the spineless negroes in office and mainstream media are today's average, everyday negroes who're vastly different creatures from the everyday black persons of decades past. Nowadays, an el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz, a Dr. King, a Fred Hampton, and a Kwame Toure wouldn't be able to gain traction with even a handful of everyday negroes. Today's negro masses mock, jeer, ignore anyone who isn't a flag-waving, bling-laden buffoon (entertainer, athlete, politician, cleric) spouting platitudes and trendy cliches. This is sad, if not tragic, because without a conscious, self-respecting black base/citizenry, there's no way the Cynthia Mckinneys and the Chokwe Lumumbas can be elected in sufficient numbers to supplant the scores of craven colored bullshitters currently growing fat & even more useless in office.

    Maybe things are different outside MA, but here in the boston area, negroes are scared to talk---even amongst themselves!---about the real heavy shit happening here in the u.s. or abroad (e.g., stop & frisk, mass incarceration, hateful white jews supporting sick demented zionist supremacy & atrocities, the ugly legacy of NAFTA, etc). It's really truly scary, creepy, eerie, disturbing that today's avg everyday negro is only concerned about empty-headed celebrities and bullshit pro-american & neoliberal issues. Reminiscent of the old flick Invasion of the Body Snatchers, black persons have been replaced by patriotic, bicentennial niggers.

     

     

    I agree with you  and believe

    I agree with you  and believe me, it's just not in MA. It's like being in Nazi Germany every where. I guess I just don't give a damn. Fuck it. Nobody is getting out of here alive anyway, so why not go down swingin? I love my people and know that God did not put us on this earth to serve or slave for these reptilian sociopaths. I will never buy into that. I also believe history is cyclical. If we think about recent historical social movements and revolutions; initially there usually isn't many on board til consciousness reaches critical mass. Most people are followers. As humans, I think we are hard-wired to be risk averse. During the 50's & 60's, if you think about it; it was mostly a small, dedicated cadre of brave souls who put their lives on the line--mostly students and young people and that's where I think any mass movement is going to have to start, with the youth. The govt knows this. This is why the school to prison pipeline tries to get to our boys as soon as elementary school. I personally think we can work around that by home schooling or starting freedom schools like back in the day on our own and teach them what public schools never will. If my kids are going to be indoctrinated, let it be with an agenda I approve of. And tho you mentioned body snatchers in a tongue in cheek way -seriously, I think it's more like mind snatchers. Fluoride in the drinking water--the Nazis used it in the concentration camps to make prisoners docile. This is part of a long-term plan to make us more pliant slaves. But the caveat is that apparently, it is not full proof or there wouldn't be people like you and I and those who read BAR who see thru the fog. That's the good news so there is still hope. They can't get us all so we just need some straight up soldiers who are willing to put in work and I believe they exist. They may not be politicized at this point, but I know they are out there.

    Yeah, I wonder if the Civil

    Yeah, I wonder if the Civil Rights Act could get passed today.  Along with "today's Negroes" who you rightly said MLK and company couldn't mobilized more than a handful, there is the Ministry of Misinformation media who wouldn't cover the injustices to the extent the press covered it in the 60s.  Add to this the black misleadershippers, half or more of whom wouldn't put their jobs or bodies on the line to strongly advocate for justice especially if the Democrats or AIPAC told them not to.

    As for Negroes being scared to talk about domestic and foreign issues, a few are scared but most of them 1)don't care; 2) don't have a clue about much of what you mention; or 3) are afflicted with ethnoitis, a disease that makes black folks unable to criticize/see forest for trees when a black face is in a high place.

    If it's not in their backyard, most people don't care.  Example:  Gaza, Libya, Ukraine, etc.  Others don't have a clue or believe the lies fed to them by whichever media alphabet soup is their info poison of choice.  The ethnoitis afflicted aren't going to say one negative thing if it makes their lord and savoir Obomber look bad.  The most you'll get from them is that the white man/Fox News/Republican/racists are to blame for everything and are keeping president Jesus, Jr. from doing anything good.

    Along the same lines but different topic, if Vietnam war started started ten years ago, it would still be going strong now because the today's media would never provide opposing viewpoints and gruesome pictures/video of battlefield action that they eventually began to show in the late 60s and 70s.  Protests would also be few and far between with the police state crackdown and a public brainwashed on patriotic lies, Big Pharma meds, and GMO poison.

    bingo!

    Apathy, ignorance, and I-don't-care-itis are indeed right up there with cowardice as the signature traits of today's negro hoi poloi.

    Re obummer's deceptively, seemingly devout worshippers/supporters, if Mr. O (and this is pure whimsy) grew a bit of backbone and criticized the vicious white jew zionists (who're today's nazis/17th-to-20th-century good red-blooded [cauc] americans) for being the consummate assholes in Palestine, I guarantee that most (if not all) his nigro devotees would hightail it from him like the proverbial rats from a sinking ship! This old testament-tinged white-jew bullshit still has negroes spooked and fucked in the head.

     

     

    Kowtowing to shitwipe Nancy

    Kowtowing to shitwipe Nancy Pelosi's order not to hold Katrina hearings.  Yea and present votes for Israel's 2009 attack on Gaza.  Unanimous support for the war waged on Gaza now.

    Why is anyone still voting for these people?  They'll rant, holler, and pontificate over some politically incorrect word or deed but won't do the same about this pathetic excuse for a president, the bankster bailout/mortgage fraudarama, no jobs, outsourcing, insourcing (HB visas and such to bring in workers when we have a glut of jobless), Detroit shutting off people's water, police state run amok, Monsanto poisoning food and water, gutting of public sector which provides good jobs for black folks, attack on civil liberties, and the list goes on.

    The CBC and the rest of the so-called black "leadership" are a bunch of punk-assed Negroes who are as big an impediment to progress for the black masses as the right wing scarecrows they use to distract from their own feckless, corrupt selves.

    P.S.  You either vote yea or nay.  This "present" and abstain shit is even more punk-assed than a siding against the people's interests.  If you are gonna be shill/whore for the empire, have the guts to get off the fucking fence and vote one way or the other.  Abstaining and present is for when you aren't informed enough on an issue to make a decision.  These jokers have staff who can research, decades of experience, and some semblence of common sense.  So saying they ain't informed enough won't fly.

    I read an article some where

    I read an article some where that the financial fall of the US was planned long ago. The decimation of the middle class included. It was said that those who operate in the shadows don't want to share any more of their already unimaginable wealth and so instead of raising the rest of the world's living standards and adding to the ranks of the middle class; they have decided to gut the middle class in industrialized countries and bring their former standard of living 'down' to the level of the emerging BRICS economies. Sounds plausible. This is happening all around us. US, EU, pretty much every where that benefited from the transatlantic slave trade. I don't know why we can't find these 'people' who are making all of these psycho decisions on other people's lives like they are omnipotent yet they hide like cowards and scrub Bilderberg meetings of any traces of DNA like they are on the run from the po po.

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