Today, there’s a major fuss being made about the latest example of the Congressional Black Caucus’ orchestrated attacks on the Tea Party – namely Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN), a Muslim, having told a gathering that the Tea Party wants to see black people “hanging from a tree.”
But Carson’s overheated drivel isn’t the only noteworthy statement in the ongoing CBC offensive against the Tea Party since Maxine Waters’ vow to send the movement to hell three weeks ago.
It turns out that Louisiana’s own Cedric Richmond, the lone Democrat in the state’s House delegation, accused the Tea Party of fighting a war against President Obama. Richmond spoke Aug. 18 at a town hall even in Atlanta, with his remarks captured in a video compilation first aired at TheBlaze.com.
“I don’t have many chances that I get to disagree with a guy whose shoulders I stand on, which is Congressman Lewis, who says we’re fighting three wars,” Richmond says in the clip beginning at 0:57. “Actually, we’re fighting four wars. And the fourth war is a war that the Tea Party has started with the United States, more particularly the president. And they are willing to, in this war, have as casualties the 14.1 million Americans that don’t have a job. They’re willing to wreck this economy simply for political gain.”
CBC members have embarked on a five-city town hall tour in which Tea Party members have been equated with the Klan and Jim Crow, which seems like bizarre rhetoric to describe a movement which got its start as a response to runaway government spending and corporate bailouts.
Bizarre, perhaps, but Tea Party calls for downsized government likely affect the black community in disproportionate fashion. A study released in April by the Center for Labor Research and Education at Cal-Berkeley shows that government work is disproportionately done by the black community…
- The public sector is the single most important source of employment for African Americans.
- During 2008-2010, 21.2% of all Black workers are public employees, compared with 16.3% of non-Black workers. Both before and after the onset of the Great Recession, African Americans were 30% more likely than other workers to be employed in the public sector.
- The public sector is also a critical source of decent-paying jobs for Black Americans. For both men and women, the median wage earned by Black employees is significantly higher in the public sector than in other industries.
- Prior to the recession, the wage differential between Black and white workers was less in the public sector than in the overall economy.
- Examining the five primary industries employing Black workers, the public sector employed the greatest proportion of Black men and Black women in the higher paying occupations.
- In these same industries, the public sector employed the lowest proportion of Black women in lower paying occupations.
CBC members might not be, as a rule, the most well-read folks on basic economics. They are, however, extremely cognizant of the facts in that study. And that’s why any suggestion that the public sector is too large in the American economy or that government spends too much money is immediately decried as having come from a racist – it’s not just some dumb smear to throw at people, it comes from a position in which the accuser feels a threat – and it’s also why CBC members like Richmond are so casual in asserting that the Tea Party wants to destroy the economy.
Because for left-wing Democrats like Richmond who are invested in the political/government machine which so controls the votes of the black community, the “economy” equals the public sector and what it can confer on key constituencies like the one Richmond represents.
The allegations are despicable and politically motivated. They’re not baseless, however – or at least they’re not grounded in some perceived reality without justification. When CBC members like Richmond start talking about wars and race, they’re telling the black community that the Tea Party is coming to shut down all the government jobs so many black Americans have leveraged into a middle class existence.
And while that probably deserves a nod of understanding, what’s incredibly unfortunate is the failure of the CBC to promote black entrepreneurship or mobility within the business class as part of its message – or even to promote the entry by African-Americans into the professional fields where there is constant demand, like engineering or health care. To do so would greatly benefit that community, of course, but it would also have the effect of empowering black Americans to move out of inner cities and perhaps make different political judgments.
And because of that failure, the Tea Party is well-justified should it respond to these attacks by calling them racist in their own right in dismissing the ability of the black community to compete in the private sector and disingenuous in the extreme for speaking of wars and race when the real issue is whether the federal government will destroy all of America by spending money it doesn’t have whether that spending is disproportionately aimed at the black community or not.