Published by Joyce Jones on Tuesday, September 20, 2011 at 4:08 pm.
(Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Jobs, jobs, jobs is the topic that’s at the forefront of everyone’s mind, and the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s annual legislative conference is offering some interesting forums on efforts to address this gnawing problem.
The Congressional Black Caucus will be front and center Wednesday morning when it hosts its For the People Jobs Commission in the Congressional Visitor Center. The group has assembled an impressive series of panels that will feature experts who’ll talk about programs and policies in place that can aid unemployed workers in their job search, helping them to locate where the jobs are. In fact, economic opportunity and jobs will be the theme of the conference’s national town hall meeting Thursday morning.
During President Obama’s run for office in 2008, young adults shook off their antipathy and helped make history. Once the election was over, however, their fervor died. But a Black family in the White House doesn’t mean that race no longer colors politics. Viral emails of watermelon patches on the White House lawn, doctored chimpanzee photos and birtherism are just a few examples of the persistence of racial animosity. But maybe a forum titled Hip Hop Activism in a Politically Polarized America, hosted by Rep. André Carson, will help get people excited again.
Published by Joyce Jones on Thursday, September 1, 2011 at 10:34 am.
(Photo: Courtesy of André Carson)
Something has taken hold of the Congressional Black Caucus this summer. Rep. André Carson (Indiana) sometimes appears to still be learning how to give a good quote on the cuff, and has on occasion even deferred to another member. But apparently, after spending the past month traveling the country with the irrepressible Maxine Waters as part of the CBC jobs initiative, he’s begun expressing himself in some most interesting and controversial ways.
At a recent CBC town hall meeting in Miami, Carson said that the Tea Party wants to take African-Americans back to a very bleak time in history.
“This is the effort that we are seeing of Jim Crow. Some of these folks in Congress right now would love to see us as second-class citizens. Some of them in Congress right now with this Tea Party movement would love to see you and me… hanging on a tree,” he said.
Fellow CBC member Rep. Allen West, the group’s sole Republican, dashed off a furious response to CBC Chairman Emanuel Cleaver Wednesday afternoon, in which he said that Carson’s statement was “unconscionable.” Moreover, an earlier remark by Waters’, in which she directed the Tea Party to “go straight to hell,” was “appalling,” he said.
West also is going to “seriously reconsider” his CBC membership if Cleaver doesn’t condemn their “hate-filled comments.” There’s no way that’s going to happen, so he may want to start drafting that resignation note.
As Waters said when she told the Tea Party where to go, “This is a tough game. You can’t be intimidated. You can’t be frightened.”