Since I last posted a week ago, we are now at war with Libya. The President says our military engagement is a “humanitarian mission” to save the rebels from Khadafy’s violence. Really? We have watched for over a year several Middle Eastern countries rulers beat and fire upon their citizens protesting in the street. What made Khadafy’s violence against his people any different than what in Iran a year ago or Egypt a month ago? That is not being explained thoroughly in the punditry world of cable news. And very few minority media outlets are informing their audiences about the issues surrounding the decisions to use military force against Libya. Surprise.
On the morning talk shows, several women guests have questioned why the United States have not intervened in the Congo where genocide, rape and violence against women and children are the government’s preferred weapons to squash rebels fighting dictators. The panels of usually former male government insiders go silent or change the conversation and ask why the “lefties” are not screaming out more about the President’s decision to “aid the rebels” in Libya. In the Congo, rescuing women and children from warring rapists would be way too much “humanitarian aid” for our country to give under any administration whether it is led by a Republican or Democrat President. No oil, not humanitarian aid.
When it comes to Republican or Democrat politicians, being a hypocrite seems to be an absolute requirement to hold office. Getting elected by keeping voters angry with any controversy necessary helps keep the focus off what was promised on the campaign trail and what is not being delivered once an office and staff are acquired in Washington, D.C. The President is proving to be no exception to the rule. Our newly minted Speaker of the House, John Boehner, is also serving up a mouth full of contradictions. After speaking into every microphone for over a year about “jobs, jobs, jobs”, he has shown us that the last thing he is doing is creating jobs. His tears that were once on auto pilot are starting to dry up. More legislation time is being given to women reproduction rights (or wrongs depending where you stand on the issue). “Jobs, jobs, jobs” creation is getting the least amount of the Speaker’s emotional teary eyed political rhetoric.
Political rhetoric is not limited to subjective tears. We can rarely go a week or two without an “ism” overflowing from the heart to the mouth that reveals more about a candidate running for office. This is so commonplace now that it is becoming acceptable on the campaign field. Take Congressional candidates Jack Davis who is replacing disgraced shirtless, picture taking, Craigslist infamous seeking woman ad cruiser, New York Congressman Chris Lee. Davis shocked local Republican leaders in a recent interview when he suggested that Latino farmworkers be deported — and that African-Americans from the inner city be bused to farm country to pick the crops.
Several sources who were in the Feb. 20 endorsement interview with Davis confirmed his comments, which echo those he made to the Tonawanda News in 2008, when he said: “We have a huge unemployment problem with black youth in our cities. Put them on buses, take them out there [to the farms] and pay them a decent wage; they will work.”
When Davis repeated those sentiments in the recent interview, the Republican leaders — who later delivered the party endorsement for the vacant seat in the 26th Congressional District to Assemblywoman Jane L. Corwin of Clarence — said they couldn’t believe what they were hearing.
“I was thunderstruck,” said Amherst GOP Chairman Marshall Wood. “Maybe in 1860 that might have been seen by some as an appropriate comment, but not now.”
Davis spokesman W. Curtis Ellis acknowledged that Davis’ comments “may not be politically correct and … may not be racially correct.” Geez.
If Jack Davis is sharing these golden nuggets on the campaign trail, imagine what is going to come out once he takes office. No in-depth coverage of this is on cable news channels and very few minority outlets have even raised an eyebrow. At a conference meet up, it was all the online community was talking about.
Contradictions that leave you scratching your head are not limited to a political party or a certain group. This week’s actions by some members of Tennessee Black Caucus are examples of saying vs. doing. Several weeks ago, the Chairperson of the Black Caucus, Senator Harper, arranged a forum with students and the community at Tennessee State University (TSU) to educate the community about how the caucus supports TSU’s educational mission. The HBCU campus, based in Nashville. has been on a steady rebound from internal issues that stemmed from public grievances of some with the previous administration. The Tennessee Black Caucus was one of the groups that heard from disgruntled academia regularly.
The well attended assembly was highly anticipated. Elected officials, students, staff, faculty, and the community came prepared to be engage with solutions to take the university to the next level. You could feel the excitement in the air. As a parent, I was enthusiastic because this was the first time I was aware that the Black Caucus had a meeting of this type at TSU. I came with my mommy-blogger hat firmly on my head.
The meeting started on time (yeah) and TSU’s diversity was on full display. But one could not help but notice that Black Caucus was short on members. To my dismay, it was announced that the Governor had dinner planned for the Black Caucus and several members of the Black Caucus would be leaving for the dinner. Almost half did not attend the forum and the ones who did attend cut their time short to leave early to dine with the Governor. Huh? Senator Harper apologized profusely to the students and the administration. You could feel and hear her disappointment. But she promised to come back and give the students and the community a chance to ask probing questions.
Representatives present were Joe Armstrong, Tommie Brown, Karen Camper, Barbara Cooper, John DeBerry, G.A. Hardaway, Larry Miller, Antonio Parkinson and Joe Towns. Senators Jim Kyle, Lowefiney and Andy Berke were also present.
As I write often, young people look at our actions not what we say. Those who spoke gave insightful information regarding legislation that was impacting the students. Hearing from those who actually fight to keep money at TSU will be a lesson many will not forget. Caucus members discussed healthcare legislation that will allow students to stay on their parents insurance while they are in college and SB1360 that is being proposed so that students may vote using their student id card. Several other legislative bills were also discussed. These were important issues for college students to hear firsthand from the legislators. Several of the Black Caucasus members praise their interns that were TSU students and reminded the students that in years gone by, there were no Pell grants or HOPE scholarships to aid one’s pursuit of an education. These forms of financial assistance can be taken for granted by young people who are not aware of the history that took place to get financial aid for them to attend college.
Overall, the meeting was good for TSU and the Black Caucus. Since Senator Harper stayed behind to meet with students, I had to ask about the scheduling conflict and why not a full turn out from the Black Caucus. “They are having dinner with the Governor,” I was told with a pointed glance. “Is that where you are headed”, I asked quickly. She gave me a look only a Diva who was not taking any sass from me could give and said, “No, I am meeting with students from OIC.” Well, she set me straight, huh?
What was more vital, dining on “chicken wangs” with the Governor or following through on commitments to discuss significant education legislation with students at TSU? In 2012, who do you think the Black Caucus members are going to ask to help campaign and vote for them? I hate to inform folks but the Governor will not be campaigning for them in 2012. Meeting with the students had far greater value on many levels. The Governor’s dinner could have been rescheduled, I am sure of it. When will folks learn? Here’s another political observation that resembles chicken wing with hot sauce and prayers on the side!