#Ferguson and the racists of the Congressional Black Caucus

November 25, 2014
Justice is individual, not social

Equal justice for all

Ran across something disgusting last night while reading about the riots that erupted in the wake of the grand jury decision not to indict a White police officer for killing a Black teen:

On Monday Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH) called the grand jury’s decision not to indict officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown a “miscarriage of justice.”

In a statement released through the Congressional Black Caucus, which she chairs, Fudge said the decision not to indict Wilson “is a slap in the face to Americans nationwide who continue to hope and believe that justice will prevail.”

“This decision seems to underscore an unwritten rule that Black lives hold no value; that you may kill Black men in this country without consequences or repercussions,” Fudge said. “This is a frightening narrative for every parent and guardian of Black and brown children, and another setback for race relations in America.”

“My heart goes out to Michael Brown’s loved ones, and to the loved ones of all the Michael Browns we have buried in this country,” Fudge said.

The news of the grand jury’s decision came out between 6 and 7 PM PST. The time stamp on the PJMedia article behind the link is 11:23 PM PST, so 4-5 hours after the news broke, Rep. Fudge was rushing out her statement. There is no way she (or, more likely, her staff) had any chance to read the transcripts of the proceedings to consider the same evidence the jury took weeks to hear and mull over. And yet, that same night, she is sure that there had been a miscarriage of justice and this was due to some sort of “open season” rule on Blacks. (Read the rest of the piece to see how her soon-to-be successor is of the same mind.)

The congresswoman’s opinion seems to be a common one among the membership of the CBC, in fact. That same evening, my representative (hah!) tweeted this:

Why “disturbed?” The grand jury did its duty: consider the evidence and decide if there was probable cause that the suspect committed a crime. They found the evidence showed otherwise, and so they refused to return an indictment. Does Congresswoman Bass, who also could not have considered the evidence presented, know better than the grand jurors who spent weeks on the case? Is not Officer Wilson entitled to the same 5th Amendment protections as any other American — including a member of Congress, who has sworn to uphold the Constitution of the Untied States?

The Fifth Amendment states: “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury.”

The Constitution does not consider the grand jury to be a rubber stamp. It is a core protection. It stands as the buffer between the government prosecutor and the citizen-suspect; it safeguards Americans, who are presumed innocent, from being subjected to the anxiety, infamy and expense of a trial unless there is probable cause to believe they have committed a serious offense.

But Representatives Fudge and Bass, and perhaps many in the CBC, really don’t care a whit about constitutional protections in this case. Not when the officer is White and the victim is Black. Were the roles reversed, would they be so quick to issue statements claiming a “miscarriage of justice?”

Call me cynic, but I don’t think so.

Now, don’t get me wrong. There have been all too many incidents of police brutality towards Blacks; it continues to this day, though I think not to the extent the race-grievance hustlers would have us believe. And that sad experience can understandably make Blacks suspicious of authorities or of ever getting justice from the system. When abuse happens, corrective action needs to be taken, including criminal legal proceedings.

But, in the specific case of Mike Brown, Officer Wilson, and a terrible day in Ferguson, Missouri, the prosecutor took the unusual step of presenting all his evidence (1) to the grand jury. Not just enough to indict a ham sandwich, but everything. And then he asked the grand jury, as representatives of the community, to decide if there was probable cause to take Officer Wilson to trial. Bear in mind that a grand jury operates on a lower burden of proof, “probable cause,” than a trial jury, which needs proof “beyond a reasonable doubt” to convict.

The grand jury worked on this case for weeks and still refused to indict. Representative Fudge notwithstanding, justice did prevail, because indicting someone without probable cause to think he had committed a crime would be the height of injustice.

Yet Fudge (who speaks for the CBC) and Bass found it “deeply disturbing” and a “miscarriage of justice” that no indictment was issued.

You know what I find disturbing? That Members of Congress, who swear an oath to protect and defend the Constitution, could so easily forget or ignore their duties. That members of an ethnic group that’s been subjected to terrible bigotry and awful treatment for centuries would themselves rush to demand what would be little better than a show trial, based just on the skin colors of the policeman and the victim.

They could have set examples for everyone by calling for calm and supporting the rule of law and the colorblind rights of all, perhaps even by asking people to wait and read the evidence for themselves.

But, no. They had to impugn the integrity of the legal process and feed the grievance beast, in their own petty way enabling the agitators trying to generate riots in Ferguson and elsewhere.

All because the cop was White and the victim Black.

You know what that’s called.

Footnote:
(1) Really, read the linked article. It’s an important education into how prosecutors and grand juries work.

UPDATE: Eugene Volokh — “The grand jury process was fair.”

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Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee: conservative bloggers should “shut up” and “buy American” should be “buy African-American”

September 27, 2011

I’m glad to see she’s against playing racial politics:

While speaking with Tavis Smiley of PBS, Texas Democrat Sheila Jackson Lee said conservative bloggers should “shut up” and “stop playing racial politics.”

This from a member of the caucus that does little else but play the race card.

Seconds later, Jackson Lee went on to say that buy American should be “buy African American.”

She also said that if Obama’s jobs bill is passed, that contractors who “do not look like” her need to make sure that if they get federal money, their workforce “better be reflective of those suffering double-digit unemployment.”

“I don’t consider it discrimination, I don’t consider it affirmative action,” she added.

No, it’s just a bit of ethnic strong-arming. “Nice business you have there. It’d be a shame if something happened to it.”

Roger L. Simon is right: the Congressional Black Caucus should be disbanded. Far from fighting racism, they exploit it for personal gain and in the process harm the very constituency they claim to serve. (Although in Jackson-Lee’s case, I doubt she’s smart enough to know what she’s doing.)

By the way, Sheila, this conservative blogger does not plan to shut up. But you can take your racial grievance pandering and shove it.

via Clarice Feldman

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


The Democratic Party: the party of class and race war?

August 31, 2011

I want you to look at two videos, both from Naked Emperor News (1), that illustrate the intellectual bankruptcy and political desperation of what passes for leadership in the modern Democratic Party. Not the average, working- and middle-class rank and file member who’s been a lifetime registered Democrat out of habit, but the career leftist pols who’ve risen to the top thanks to a pernicious combination of seniority and safe districts.

First we have Nancy Pelosi (whose San Francisco idol was avowed Stalinist Harry Bridges) offering an unusual motive on the part of those who oppose economic redistribution and advocate lower taxes: they’re the filthy rich who want immortality!

(via Pirate’s Cove)

Okay, okay. So, she’s talking about “immortality” through getting buildings named after them. It’s still bunkum. Not only are the most vociferous advocates of federal restraint and tax reform not among the filthy rich (2), but, in my experience, most of the money that buys names on buildings comes from rich liberal donors. And what about all the wealthy liberals just screaming for higher taxes, such as Warren Buffet or Stephen King? Are they conspiring for immortality at the expense of the poor and downtrodden, too, Nancy? Do all wealthy people look alike to you?

Oh, and while we’re at it, how goes your own search for life eternal? I mean, you are worth $35 million, after all…

Even more bizarre, however, is her attack on those opposed to raising the minimum wage: it’s all a conspiracy meant to make people dependent on private credit companies and lenders!! Seriously, Nancy? Are you actually arguing that, if we only kept making the minimum wage higher, people wouldn’t need to use credit cards or take out a loan to buy a car? Just how high a “minimum wage” do you envision, O Former Speaker, and what level of taxation do you think would be needed to support it?

Just how much of your $35 million are you willing to give up to save the counter-person at McDonald’s from the evils of the private credit market?

Ignore the fact that a rising minimum wage destroys jobs, this is utterly hypocritical class warfare and pathetic demagoguery that demonizes people who are successful or who are simply concerned about the self-destructive fiscal path this country is on.

But wait! It gets worse!

Earlier this summer, we heard Democratic National Committee Chairwoman (3) Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL) claim that Republicans wanted to take America back to the era of Jim Crow. Debbie had to walk that back under fire, but the Congressional Black Caucus has decided that the Tea Party is the new Klan and to play the race card for all it’s worth. Just listen:

Ed Morrissey concentrates on Congressman Andre Carson’s (D-IN) claim that Republicans and Tea-Partiers would be happy to see Blacks lynched. That’s outrageous enough as it is — Carson shouldn’t just apologize and resign, he should be expelled from the House. But listen to the rest: claim after claim that Americans advocating limited government and fiscal sanity are motivated by racism (4), are the enemy, and, as the execrable Maxine Waters puts it, can go “straight to Hell.” This is class warfare blended with good, old-fashioned racism — only the racism is coming from the CBC.

(Be sure to click through to Ed’s post for a second video, this time with Congressman Allen West responding to Rep. Carson and making it quite clear that he’s reconsidering his membership in the CBC. I’m also sorry to see featured in the video my former Assemblywoman and former Speaker of the CA State Assembly, Rep. Karen Bass. She should be ashamed.)

Anyway, there you have it. With a dismal record in office and with the increasing rejection of progressive ideology by a majority of the nation, all the Democratic Party “leadership” has left to offer is class envy, ethnic vitriol, and social division.

Now there’s Hope and Change.

UPDATE: Heh. The Washington Examiner contacted Congressman Carson’s DC office to ask if he would identify which members of Congress want to see him lynched. So far, no response.

Footnotes:
(1) How does NEN get these videos? They must have a spy network to rival the CIA…
(2) Last I checked, the Tea Party counted very few millionaires and billionaires in its ranks.
(3) Yeah, I’m un-PC. I shall report to my nearest reeducation center right after lunch.
(4) I’d like to see them pull this crap on Allen West, Tim Scott, Marco Rubio, Susana Martinez, Nikki Haley, and other minority conservatives who’ve risen to political prominence. Or does that call for the related “Uncle Tom card?”

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


How corrupt is the Congressional Black Caucus?

November 16, 2010

I asked that question a few months ago. Now we have another fact with which to build answer. Actually, we have 11 facts, as the Democrat-dominated House Ethics Committee found Congressman Charles Rangel (D-Corruption) guilty on 11 of 13 counts against him:

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), the chairwoman of the adjudicatory subcommittee and the full House ethics committee, announced the decision late Tuesday morning following an abbreviated public trial of the 20-term lawmaker and nearly six hours of deliberations.

“We have tried to act with fairness, led only by the facts and the law,” Lofgren said. “We believe we have accomplished that mission.”

The full ethics panel will now convene a sanctions hearing to recommend a punishment. Serious sanctions — including formal reprimand, censure or expulsion — require a vote on the House floor. Expulsion requires a two-thirds vote, while a reprimand, which Rangel refused to agree to in July, or a censure would need just a simple majority. The ethics panel could also impose a fine and diminish some of Rangel’s privileges.

While Rangel richly deserves expulsion, don’t expect that to happen. The Democrats would almost certainly never toss out one of their own (Especially one who knows where a lot of bodies are buried), and the CBC would have an absolute fit; Rangel is a co-founder of the Caucus and one of the longest-serving African Americans in the House. And with (soon to be ex-)Speaker Pelosi needing their votes to remain as minority leader (and she already has trouble on that flank)… No, there’s no way Charlie gets shown the door. Most likely is a reprimand and perhaps the permanent loss of his committee chairmanship seniority.

If Rangel is smart, he’ll take his medicine now, before the Republicans gain control of the House.

As for the corruption of the CBC, I suspect the long-overdue clean up will be starting soon.

EDIT: Made the change above since, with the election, Charlie’s post as Chairman is gone for good.

UPDATE: From David Freddoso, word that Charlie is in denial.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Just how corrupt is the Congressional Black Caucus? Part two

September 8, 2010

A follow-up to this story:  It seems Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson was a lot more directly involved than she has admitted in funneling scholarship money meant for poor children to her own relatives:

Letters bearing Eddie Bernice Johnson’s signature ask that scholarship money be sent directly to her grandsons

Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson apparently asked the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation to send scholarship checks directly to her two grandsons and two great-nephews, rather than to their colleges.

Johnson has insisted repeatedly that she left scholarship decisions to aides.

But two letters she sent the foundation from 2006 undermine claims that she wasn’t involved in obtaining $31,000 for her relatives and two other ineligible recipients.

Neither her aides nor the foundation responded to repeated requests to discuss the letters, which were obtained separately by The Dallas Morning News and by Johnson’s GOP challenger, Stephen Broden, who released them Tuesday.

But the letters suggest a far more direct role for the Dallas Democrat than she acknowledged in the last week after revelations by The News that she awarded at least 23 scholarships to her relatives and the children of a top staffer – in violation of the foundation’s nepotism and residency rules.

“There have been statements made by Congresswoman Johnson that she was oblivious to the process and that she was sort of detached from it and was not involved in the detail,” Broden said. “We see here that she was orchestrating how the checks should be made out.”

The letters are on Johnson’s U.S. House letterhead. They bear a fax stamp from her Dallas office and a signature that appears to match hers from previous correspondence unrelated to the scholarships.

Oh, my. What’s that hand doing in the cookie jar, Eddie?

As Ed Morrissey puts it, if you’re going to be a crook, don’t leave a paper trail.

As a reminder, you can help clean up Dallas politics by donating to Congreswoman Johnson’s opponent, the Reverend Stephen Broden.

LINKS: More from Pajamas Media.

EDIT: Forgot to include the link to the Dallas Morning News story. D’oh!

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Just how corrupt is the Congressional Black Caucus?

August 30, 2010

First Charlie Rangel, then Maxine Waters, and now Eddie Bernice Johnson:

Longtime Dallas congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson has awarded thousands of dollars in college scholarships to four relatives and a top aide’s two children since 2005, using foundation funds set aside for black lawmakers’ causes.

The recipients were ineligible under anti-nepotism rules of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, which provided the money. And all of the awards violated a foundation requirement that scholarship winners live or study in a caucus member’s district.

Johnson, a Democrat, denied any favoritism when asked about the scholarships last week. Two days later, she acknowledged in a statement released by her office that she had violated the rules but said she had done so “unknowingly” and would work with the foundation to “rectify the financial situation.”

Initially, she said, “I recognized the names when I saw them. And I knew that they had a need just like any other kid that would apply for one.” Had there been more “very worthy applicants in my district,” she added, “then I probably wouldn’t have given it” to the relatives.

Uh-huh. Sure. We’re to believe a Representative who’s been in office for almost 20 years, chaired the CBC, and sat on the board of this foundation didn’t know that giving money to her grandkids and the children of her aide -none of whom lived in the district- violated the rules? That there were no children from poor families in her district who were better qualified? None?

I bet she promised to respect her constituents in the morning, too.

I’ll grant that corruption is a bipartisan problem (Remember Duke Cunningham?), but it does seem the CBC has more than its fair share. (Let’s not forget a former member, William ‘Icebox” Jefferson)

The problem has nothing to do with their ethnicity, of course, and everything to do with a sense of entitlement born of being in DC far too long, in which “public service” becomes “the public serves me.” Combine control over money with a sense of “I make the rules, so I can break them,” and this is what you get: a politician who thinks of herself as a modern day aristocrat, not a public servant.

Corruption, I think, is also more a problem with modern social liberalism, with its emphasis on government solutions by concentrating money and its distribution in the hands of politicians and bureaucrats, creating temptation. Again, “If the money is mine to distribute, what does it hurt if a little of it goes to help my own?” Nothing, except for gutting the belief that anyone else outside of the well-connected few has a fair shot at it. To the extent that CBC members are almost all social liberals (at least) and statists, it shouldn’t be surprising that these problems keep showing up among its members.

The solution, of course, is to replace oligarchs like Johnson, Rangel, and Waters with genuine representatives who will treat public money as a public trust, not a private piggy bank. And, while I’ve been opposed to term limits for legislators in principle, this is another in a long series of incidents that’s slowly changing my mind: if the problem is caused in part by being in Washington too long, then perhaps we should limit how long a person can stay there.

LINKS: More from Hot Air. Moe Lane points out that Congresswoman Johnson not only diverted money to her own family, but helped create her own district. An oligarch, indeed. Her opponent in November is the Reverend Stephen Broden. Perhaps we can all help clean up Congress by sending a little money his way.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)