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Extinction of Blacks in Congress

Alton H.Maddox | , Jr. | 4/12/2011, 4:36 p.m.

Although President-elect Barack Hussein Obama promised "change," his definition of the term remains illusory. The two groups that are pleading for ameliorative change are Blacks and Indians. Both have suffered the brunt of white supremacy. In Congress, they will suffer dwindling representation. They have never been political fixtures.

Five of the 10 fastest-shrinking congressional districts in the United States are represented by members of the Congressional Black Caucus. The member of the Ohio district was the late Stephanie Tubbs Jones. The other members are Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, Chaka Fattah, John Conyers and Julia Carson.

The other five members of Congress in the 10 fastest-shrinking districts are already of particular interest to Obama. They are Rahm Emanuel, a Clintonite and Obama's designated chief of staff; Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the House; Jan Schakowsky, front runner for Obama's senate seat; Louise Slaughter, chairperson of the influential Rules Committee; and Mike Doyle, an advocate for sweeping changes in health care.

According to a study by the Pew Forum, Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus will be underrepresented when the 111th Congress convenes on January 6, 2009. Catholics, Jews and Mormons, on the other hand, will be overrepresented, and Christians will still form a majority of Congress. Only Cong. Pete Stark of California has openly admitted no faith in a supreme being.

The only positive change for Blacks may be Obama sleeping in the White House in a non-menial job. The other change may be the absence of a Black person in the U.S. Senate and dwindling representation in the House. The high watermark for Blacks was 41 members although, proportionately, there should be 54 Black members in the House of Representatives. Blacks have already started to self-destruct politically. As the name expresses, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 only protects voting rights. Even with voting rights, Blacks should receive voter education. Rev. Jesse Jackson put Blacks on the wrong track. His emphasis was on voter registration. The Democratic Party was the beneficiary, and the result is plantation politics.

Political rights, on the other hand, not only provide for the election of candidates, but also for their selection. The selection of a candidate precedes an election. The Democratic and Republican parties still write the political menus and until Smith v. Allwright, sanctioned overt, white primaries. Both of these political parties were formed before the Civil War. Neither party had a real interest in the political enfranchisement of Blacks. During Reconstruction, Sen. Charles Sumner of Massachusetts warned Blacks to form their own political party. Instead, Blacks chose political integration. Over the years, Blacks had to fight inch by inch to secure the Voting Rights Act of 1965.There have been many racial massacres, including the ones in Colfax, Louisiana, and Camille, Georgia. Blacks were simply seeking to enjoy First Amendment rights. Beginning in 1873,the federal government turned a blind eye to those massacres.

Today, the prisons are filled with political prisoners, including Matula Shakur, Mumia Abu-Jamal and Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin. Last month, James Bevel was given bail so that he could die outside of prison walls. Bevel had been Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s chief lieutenant and the architect of the Million Man March.