Imagine a Jewish member of Congress accusing the members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) of wanting to see Jews gassed.
How would every decent American — Right and Left — describe such a statement? Loathsome? Morally reprehensible? An obvious lie?
All three descriptions would be entirely accurate.
How much media exposure would that libel be given?
Front page in the New York Times and Washington Post? Ferocious editorials written from coast to coast? Lead stories on TV newscasts?
Correct on all three again.
Final question: Would said congressman be allowed to stay in office?
We all know the answer to that one, too.
So, here’s a real question: If a black congressman charged that members of Congress who support the Tea Party “would love to see you and me [blacks] hanging from a tree,” what is the difference between that libel and the made-up libel about the Congressional Black Caucus wanting to see Jews gassed?
The answer, of course, is that there is no difference.
But because the Left thinks in terms of race, gender, and class rather than in traditional moral terms of right and wrong, and because the Left dominates the media, only one of these two libels would be given the national attention and opprobrium they would both deserve.
Last week, Indiana congressman Andre Carson told a CBC gathering in Florida that members of Congress who are members of the Tea Party want to see blacks “hanging from trees.” Because he is both a Democrat and a black congressman, the liberal news media, which means essentially all our news media, have barely reported what is an almost uniquely vicious libel in American political history.
Given this uniqueness, it demands an explanation.
First, it is meant to create racial tension. Without racial tension — specifically, black Americans resenting white Americans, especially conservatives — the Democratic party fears that it cannot survive as a national party. And it is right. The day the majority of black Americans adopt the attitude that Washington Post correspondent Keith Richburg has written of (Out of America: A Black Man Confronts Africa) will mark the end of the Democratic party as a national force. As a black American, Richberg considers himself a member of the most fortunate group of blacks living anywhere in the world. No Democrat can win a presidential election without about 90 percent-plus of the black vote. And the only way to make sure of getting that vote is to label whites in general and conservatives in particular as racist.
Second, the CBC is happy to do this race-baiting for the Democrats. The CBC’s power emanates from their party’s power, so they need to tell fellow blacks regularly how despicable the American majority is — and therefore how only Democrats and the Left can save them from . . . even lynching.
Third, it is the CBC, not the Tea Party, that can be described as racist. While race plays no role in Tea Party membership, race is the only criterion for membership in the CBC. One must be black. Nothing else matters. A black member of Congress whose district is largely non-black can be a member of the CBC; but a non-black congressman whose district is largely black cannot be a member. Democratic congressman Steven Cohen, whose Tennessee district is largely black, applied for membership in the CBC and was turned down for one reason. He is white.
What we have here is a racist group hurling false accusations of racism at a group that is in no way racist. But since it is an axiom of the Left that blacks cannot be racist — because whites are the authors of racism and because racism is only possible when practiced by the racial group in power — few call the CBC what it is.
Fourth, when you are used to getting away with taking immoral positions, you feel free to continue doing so. In 2009, seven members of the CBC visited Fidel Castro. Not only were they full of praise for the tyrant — in that regard they were hardly alone on the Left — they refused to meet with any democratic dissidents, including Cuba’s leading black dissident.
As a Washington Post editorial noted at the time:
In five days on the island the [CBC] Congress members found no time for dialogue with Afro-Cuban dissident Jorge Luis Garcia Perez. . . . Mr. Garcia, better known as “Antunez,” is a renowned advocate of human rights who has often been singled out for harsh treatment because of his color. “The authorities in my country,” he has said, “have never tolerated that a black person (could dare to) oppose the regime.” His wife, Iris, is a founder of the Rosa Parks Women’s Civil Rights Movement, named after an American hero whom Afro-Cubans try to emulate.
As the snub of Cuba’s leading black freedom fighters demonstrated, for the Congressional Black Caucus, in a conflict between helping the Left and helping blacks, the CBC helps the Left.
On its website, the Congressional Black Caucus calls itself “the conscience of the Congress since 1971.” Its members probably believe that. But it has as much truth as Congressman Carson’s accusation.
— Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. He may be contacted through his website, dennisprager.com.