I am about to be politically incorrect.
As one can easily discern with the quickest of glances at the picture on this printed page, I am not an African-American. In fact, I’m pleased to report that I can finally be somewhat more specific about ancestry. That’s thanks to my first cousin, Deanna Drake Denver, who just received results from DNA testing. She passed - scoring 50% Irish, 21% Europe West, 18% Scandinavian, 3% Iberian Peninsula, 3% West Asian (Caucasus) and 0% Scots Terrier.
It’s probable I am similarly configured, perhaps a wee bit heavier with the Irish count, particularly next month on the 17th.
If you saw the Navy SEAL film, “Act of Valor” you’ve seen Deanna on the big screen - playing the part of “Lt. Rorke’s” mother. Naval Reserve Commander Rorke Denver is Deanna’s actual son. His new TV series, “American Grit,” premieres April 14 on FOX. That’s called sneaking in a plug.
But even though the first 78-rpm record I ever bought was “Hound Dog” by Willie May Thornton (1952) (way before Elvis did it) and despite the fact I never missed James Brown when he came to town (seven shows through the years – right down front), and it’s true “Parliament and Funkadelic” (led by the spectacularly outrageous George “Atomic Dog” Clinton) was my chosen headline act more than once during Michigan rock concert years, I suppose these things still give me no right to publicly criticize the Congressional Black Caucus Political Action Committee, but here I go.
Little Miss Sneaky strikes again.
Last Thursday’s endorsement of Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders by the Congressional Black Caucus Political Action Committee was rushed by Hillary, her campaign and the 20 member PAC board after Clinton’s 22 point loss to Senator Sanders earlier in the week.
The next big test comes this Saturday in South Carolina, where African Americans represent a 55% majority of registered Democrats. But wait. The Black Caucus Political Action Committee is not the same as the 46-member Congressional Black Caucus. That group features only actual members of Congress, including one Republican. And a sharp review of the PAC reveals that the 20 Committee members include 11 lobbyists, many of who have clients in industries that have been vigorously attacked by Sanders during his campaign and, intriguingly, have significantly contributed to Hillary in hers.
As Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN) properly pointed out, the actual Black Congressional Caucus, to which he belongs, has not yet endorsed anyone, adding, “Endorsements should be the product of a fair, open process. That didn’t happen.”
Bernie Sanders record on the fight for civil rights and his consistent struggle for fairness, equality and equity stands the test of time.
Way back in the 60s, as a student at the University of Chicago, Sanders was active in both the Congress for Racial Equality (CORE) and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. In 1962, he was handcuffed and arrested for protesting segregation in Chicago Public Schools and for distributing flyers throughout the city detailing police brutality to blacks.
As tension builds, we watch Secretary Clinton keeping a straight face in debate as she insists she wants to “avoid another contentious fight with Republicans” by “keeping The Affordable Care Act.” Hillary is against moving on to a single payer system and “Medicare for All.”
The first Republican controlled House vote after Paul Ryan became Speaker early last month was to kill The Affordable Care Act by a margin of 240 to 181. With Senate concurrence (52 – 47), only President Obama’s immediate veto saved the five year-old law.
There’s going to be plenty of “contentiousness’” with Republicans over health care no matter what, Hillary. Let’s go for the gold.
Or would that upset donors?