No Blacks in the U.S. Senate in 2009?

Jr. | 4/12/2011, 4:35 p.m.

Govs. David Paterson and Rod Blagojevich have a constitutional duty to ensure that all major ethnic groups enjoy political representation in the U.S. Senate. Democracy should require political representation for a historically oppressed minority group. Their decisions to select persons to replace Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Hussein Obama are unreviewable.

The appointment of two Black persons for the U.S. Senate is also in the national interest. The U.S. Justice Department filed amicus curiae briefs in Shelley v. Kraemer and Brown v. the Board of Education, to respectively, end racial covenants and Jim Crow in education. Those briefs made it clear that racial discrimination undermined national security.

The U.S. Senate is overwhelmingly white.In the next 40 years, whites will be a minority in this country. Minorities will become the majorities. For the past 400 years, Blacks have suffered legal terrorism, political disenfranchisement and economic exploitation. Generally, whites will lack the education, inclination or the experience to represent descendants of enslaved Africans. Caroline Kennedy, for example, may be a very decent person, but there is nothing in her background to suggest that she could ameliorate the political disenfranchisement of Black people. In "The Miseducation of the Negro," Dr. Carter G. Woodson said that the best white institutions fail to teach white students about Negro problems.

To be sure, no white person has ever lived the Black experience. This country has severely damaged people of African ancestry politically over the centuries. For every wrong, there must be a right. A governor must be just before he is generous.

Governor Paterson must follow the lead of Gov. Corzine. New Jersey had never elected a Latino to the U.S. Senate. Governor Corzine used his executive power to give Latinos a meaningful voice in the U.S. Senate. His appointment was affirmative action for Latinos. Affirmative action will have the same salutary effects as it has had in education. It is not enough to argue that the next president of the United States is a person of African ancestry. This is a red herring. Obama will head the executive branch of government. The U.S. Senate enjoys powers that exceed and are different from those powers in the House of Representatives.

Good government means that all ethnic groups have meaningful voices in every branch of government. The exclusion of Blacks and Indians from any branch of government is constitutionally suspect. Blacks and Indians Albany have suffered the worst experiences at the hands of the United States government.

Sunday December 21, 2008--The final UAM forum for 2008 will occur at 10:30 a.m. at the Elks Plaza, 1068 Harriet Tubman Avenue (Fulton Street) near Classon Avenue in Brooklyn. It will be a pre-Kwanzaa celebration with food and refreshments. There will be a live showing of "Like It Is" at noon on a big-screen television with our guests. The guests on "Like It Is" this Sunday will be Alton Maddox and Rev. Herbert Oliver. They will review 2008 and make predictions in 2009 for the Obama presidency.

Take the "C" train to Franklin Avenue. Wednesday, January 7, 2009--UAM's next weekly forum at the Elks Plaza, 1068 Harriet Tubman Avenue (Fulton Street) near Classon Avenue in Brooklyn at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free. See: for "Obama Misfired on Education" and Political Prisoners in the U.S.: Dr. Matula Shakur and Mumia Abu-Jamal."