Roger L. Simon

Disband the Congressional Black Caucus

Nothing is worse for Black Americans, African-Americans, Afro-Americans, soul brothers and sisters, people of color, non-ofays, or whatever you choose to call that particular minority segment of our society than the Congressional Black Caucus.

No, I take that back. There are worse things — for all of us — like a national debt the size of the Horsehead Nebula — but it is pretty bad. Like a Boris Karloff mummy escaped from some indestructible subterranean tomb, the Black Caucus has come back to haunt us with an ideology so outdated you can’t even find it on the Rosetta Stone.

We’re in the era of Herman Cain, people, not Maxine Waters, Jesse Jackson, the stultifying Travis Smiley, or that man who has put a generation of Harvard and Princeton students into perpetual narcoleptic sleep — Dr. Cornel West.

And while we’re at it, all other caucuses based on race, religion, creed, or national origin should be put out to pasture along with it. Such groupings are so reactionary and self-destructive they make your eyes roll back in your head, collide with each other, and shoot out again like pinballs, destroying half your brain from the cerebellum to the medulla oblongata in the process. They divide us and help no one. They have no justification any more, if they ever did.

Racism is dead. Or as dead as it’s ever going to be.

Sure there are a few nitwits who are bigots — there always will be — but they are pariahs. In fact they’ve been pariahs for quite a while now. Racism as we knew it is over, unless for reasons of nostalgia or personal or political gain, you want to keep it alive. Time to shut up already about race.

A few years ago, Morgan Freeman — before he got into some recidivist fever the other day and called the Tea Party racist — said it better than anyone I have ever heard in a 60 Minutes interview with Mike Wallace:

For those of you too much in a hurry to play the video, the short form is that Freeman said he wasn’t interested in a Black History Month. He wanted American history. Then Mike Wallace asked: “How are we going to get rid of racism?” Freeman replied: “Stop talking about it.”

How right he was. Too bad the failure of the Obama presidency has prompted the great actor to think otherwise. If there were one thing I could tell all black people, it would be not to take Obama’s failure personally. It is failure of ideas, not remotely of race.

Yes, I understand these things happen. I cringed when Bernard Madoff, a fellow Jew, was accused and then convicted of heinous crimes. But I shouldn’t have. And Obama — no criminal — is light years from Madoff.

The time has come to get beyond such identifications. Not only are they specious, they reinforce stereotypes that too often become self-fulfilling prophecies. They define us in ways we cannot even understand, let alone easily escape from. They warp our unconscious.

In that way, affirmative action may have hurt more people than it helped, lowering that most crucial of all “liberal” pieties, self-esteem. In any case, like the Black Caucus itself, it is outdated now.

No wonder this group is so angry. Herman Cain has shown up their tired ideologies, not to mention Rep. Allen West, who accused some of their leaders of being modern day plantation overseers. Now Dennis Miller has jumped in with an endorsement of Cain and a campaign slogan: “Cain Versus Not Able.”

Cain himself was on Greta tonight, arguing that his candidacy was post-racial. America had already had its first black president.

Well, not quite. Nothing is that perfect. More precisely, Cain’s candidacy is a reminder to always be post-racial, because that’s what we should be.

And that, my friends on the Black Caucus, is the message. Stop being nostalgic for racism. You can take it from this ex-civil rights worker. Get over yourselves and disband. That will be a real contribution to civil rights.

(Thumbnail on PJM homepage based on an image from

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