April 3, 2020         
Ethos Receives $560,000 Grant From The Boston Resiliency Fund For Meals On Wheels And COVID-19 Response   •   Women are dominating the virtual dating game compared to men, according to Wild   •   AgingChoices.com Launches with Groundbreaking Tool to Match Aging Adults with Senior Living & Home Care Options   •   Fenway Health Commends FDA for New Blood Donation Guidance Amid COVID-19 Health Emergency   •   FiftyFlowers Donates Flowers to a Local Senior Facility and Local Hospital   •   Prime Childcare Announces Newest Upgrade in Signature Software to Help Monitor Infectious Pathogen Spread Among Children and Par   •   Church Mutual® Recognized as a National Leader in Advancing Women and Diversity   •   The Government of Canada and Asubpeeschoseewagong Netum Anishinabek (Grassy Narrows First Nation) sign a framework agreement to   •   Live Coronavirus Special, HITN Presents: “Date un Respiro con la Dra. Aliza”   •   RHP Properties Announces Matching Donations To No Kid Hungry In Support Of Coronavirus Relief And Recovery Efforts   •   Planet 13 to Provide 2,000 Free Meals to Clark County Seniors in Need   •   Scott® Brand Teams Up with Boys & Girls Clubs of America to Provide Childcare for Families of Essential Workers   •   Steps to Overcome Temporary Financial Hardships   •   MEDIA ALERT: ESSENCE & The U.S. Black Chambers Join to Provide Black Entrepreneurs and Businesses With Information on COVID-   •   Local Nonprofit Receives Federal Grant for CA Newborn Hearing Screening Program   •   Wizards of the Coast Brings the King of the Monsters to Magic: The Gathering with Godzilla Series Monsters   •   AEO Takes Steps to Ensure Financial Strength in Response to COVID-19   •   Carvana to Webcast 2020 Annual Meeting of Stockholders   •   Colgate Supports the World Health Organization (WHO) #SafeHands Effort to help stop the spread of COVID-19   •   Sallie Mae’s Donna Vieira Named One of ‘Most Influential Black Executives in Corporate America’ by Savoy Magaz
Bookmark and Share

CBC Chair: Dems Must Refocus, Continue On

WASHINGTON -  EDITOR"S NOTE: Congresswoman Barbara Lee joined NAM contributing editor Earl Ofari Hutchinson for an exclusive interview on his radio program, The Hutchinson Report. Lee, a Democrat from California, was candid in her analysis of the results of the midterm election and the role of the Black Congressional Caucus.

Was there any silver lining for the Democrats in the GOP and Tea Party Congressional surge?

Barbara Lee: The public did not reject the Democrats. This was a referendum in part for change and in part out of anger and frustration over the economy and the job situation. This is understandable. But there was also a cynical effort at work. Every effort the Congressional Black Caucus and House Democrats put forth to create jobs, maintain unemployment benefits, and shore up the economy the Republicans voted against it. The played on people’s anger and vulnerability to torpedo the efforts Democrats made while doing nothing the past two years to help turn things around. When we passed the economic recovery package under Bush that still wasn’t enough, but we were the ones not the Republicans that made the effort to stimulate the economy.

That message did not come through loud enough during the election.

BL: But we should never forget that it was GOP policies that got us here in the first place. The next two years the public will see how the GOP is fighting for the wealthy, for tax cuts to benefit the rich. They’ve already made it clear that’s their agenda. But I believe that the public wants us to preserve, not privatize, Medicare, Social Security, and not make harmful spending cuts. These are the initiatives that the Tea Party wants to do.

What are the top priorities of the Congressional Black Caucus?

BL: Jobs, jobs, jobs. This has been our priority for some time. Unemployment among blacks and Latinos is in some places double that of the national average. I worked to pass the youth employment program and most Democrats supported it. It passed twice with no GOP votes, and died in the Senate.

When you look at the poverty, inequality, and wealth gap in the country and how so many African-American families are losing what little wealth that they’ve built up over the years as a result of the jobs and home foreclosure crisis, we’ve got to make sure that our community that are suffering the most from the economic hard times gets its share of jobs, green industry job creation, and program funding support.

Did Congress do enough though to combat the crisis?

BL: In some ways, we didn’t move fast and far enough. The stimulus recovery package should have been $1 trillion but we couldn’t get the GOP even to agree to the $780 billion allocated. People must not be confused who their friends are and the record shows that every effort the president and the Democrats put forth to work with Republicans on job creation, to help small business, to expand tax credits, and infrastructure development the GOP voted against.

The major criticism is that the president and Democrats did not sell their message to voters on the positive accomplishments that the party made or tried to make.

BL: It was very difficult selling our message. When you have the major news outlets and commentators promoting right-wing policies, and that dominate the airwaves, it’s even harder to get a positive message out. Then there was money. The Supreme Court ruling that corporations could spend unlimited amounts on elections without full disclosure was a shame and disgrace but it’s also tough to overcome.

But it still came down to getting or failure to get an effective message out, and how to do that.

BL: We’re going to have to develop our own ways of communicating the truth to the America people that means grassroots organizing, townhalls, and using social media networks. We’re going to have be 21st Century communicators to turn it around and to hit each and every front simultaneously. Because the fact is that money now rules in campaigns and those with money can distort the facts, tell lies, and it’s hard to get a consistent platform to refute them.

The GOP majority with strong Tea Party influence is a fact of life in Congress. How will the CBC deal with them?

BL:  The CBC has been in the minority all of its life in Congress. We know what fighting is and we know what working together is. We would not have made the gains that we’ve made if we hadn’t worked in coalition with people of different faiths, beliefs, backgrounds, interests, perspectives and parties. We know when to compromise For instance, legislation I pushed through on Global HIV/AIDS programs, President Bush signed into law. I had to have Republican support for it. We were then in the minority on this issue. But this was a moment that Bush and I and the CBC could find common ground.

But when it came to privatizing Social Security we fought tooth and nail against it. The CBC knows work on initiatives for the common good. But they also know that when there’s a Tea Party or GOP effort to destroy the American Dream that the CBC will be very critical of it and will fight hard. There will be a time for battles and a time for negotiation to move our agenda forward.

Is there a final message on the election?

BL: Yes, organize,organize,organize. The movement that brought in President Obama can’t fall asleep. It has to refocus and continue on.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. He hosts a nationally broadcast political affairs radio talk show on Pacifica and KTYM Radio Los Angeles.


STORY TAGS: BLACK, AFRICAN AMERICAN, MINORITY, CIVIL RIGHTS, DISCRIMINATION, RACISM, NAACP, URBAN LEAGUE, RACIAL EQUALITY, BIAS, EQUALITY

Video

White House Live Stream
LIVE VIDEO EVERY SATURDAY
alsharpton Rev. Al Sharpton
9 to 11 am EST
jjackson Rev. Jesse Jackson
10 to noon CST


Video

LIVE BROADCASTS
Sounds Make the News ®
WAOK-Urban
Atlanta - WAOK-Urban
KPFA-Progressive
Berkley / San Francisco - KPFA-Progressive
WVON-Urban
Chicago - WVON-Urban
KJLH - Urban
Los Angeles - KJLH - Urban
WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
New York - WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
WADO-Spanish
New York - WADO-Spanish
WBAI - Progressive
New York - WBAI - Progressive
WOL-Urban
Washington - WOL-Urban

Listen to United Natiosns News