Be it in war or peace, Black Americans have reliably been the cavalry to the rescue. During the Spanish American War it was the Ninth and Tenth Cavalry that helped turn the tide at San Juan Hill, despite Teddy Roosevelt’s recriminations and charges.
When the war was going bad for the allies in France during World War II, it was the Hellfighters of Harlem who refused to concede an inch on the battle front.
We are reminded of these heroic and historic stances of Black Americans in uniform, but we have made a difference far from the flying bullets and exploding bombs. Without the Black vote, especially across the South, President Biden and Vice President Harris would not be in the White House. And the Biden administration should be thankful that the Congressional Black Caucus was crucial in getting his infrastructure bill through and suggesting a plan that might be successful on the next vote for the larger budget proposal.
Whatever the outcome of the social welfare and climate change bill, one thing is certain—Black elected officials will not be missing in action. Unlike too many of the GOP senators and representatives who vote against their best interest and the interests of their constituencies, we can rest assured this won’t be the outcome for Joyce Beatty and her colleagues.
There is no need to reiterate here what has been a common feature of Black Americans and their fight for justice, democratic rights, and the high sounding rhetoric of our so-called sacred documents. We have always been on guard against immorality, against the evils that would deny our humanity.
Yes, the CBC is the beacon, the symbol of this resistance and determination, but significantly more important are millions of Black citizens who have bravely fought to defeat the forces of denial and degradation. It seems each generation of Black Americans is met with a fresh wave of suppression and discrimination. But just as we stiffened our spines and went to the mat against the right-wing bigots and minions of Jim Crow, we are ready to battle the deplorable, wrongful insinuations about critical race theory. As we know so well, no matter where we turn, at home or abroad, there is a fight to wage and to win.