Friday, July 15, 2005

How Relevant is the Congressional Black Caucus ...

We found this linked piece in the Baltimore Sun interesting as a testament to the issue of relevancy as it relates to longstanding Black political institutions. It also shows that modern Black political strategy is finally exhibiting signs of change and the need to transform itself into something much more substantive that stylistic. It's about time:

" ... [T]he CBC has quietly worked behind the scenes, meeting with key Bush administration cabinet officials, forging relationships with Republican lawmakers, strengthening ties with the Hispanic and Asian American caucuses - all with the aim of meeting policy goals the group set at the start of the year. The strategy seems to be working and the caucus' constituents - black Americans and black immigrants, college graduates and college dropouts, white-collar professionals and the working poor - are better served because of it. Income, health and homeownership disparities between blacks and whites are being widely discussed. Racial parity in the criminal justice system is being addressed. Combating AIDS in Africa and in black communities here at home is on the Bush agenda."

We must emphasize "quietly" because the CBC feels that it can not afford the perception that it consorts with the enemy. But, due to the change in generational guard and course in the CBC, compounded by a Senate seat grab, this is of no real surprise. What is also not surprising is that the flagship issues seem constant - and that causes concern since we know there are many other, more significant issues in need of CBC attention. A diversity in platform would be nice.

Overall, this is the right course of action and says quite a bit if a major city newspaper provides editorial analysis on the transformation. However, we remain concerned by the alarming rate of familial ties among the Black Congressional elite and must question if inherited seats truly serve the best interests of a community historically besieged by the sins of preferential treatment.