A Bad Joint
By Raynard Jackson
The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies used to be one of the preeminent think tanks in Washington, DC. They focus on issues of particular concern to the Black community.
Over the years I have participated in or hosted panels with them that were very substantive and informative. They were a think tank in its truest form—there to provide unbiased analysis, not to promote and agenda!
Unfortunately, those days are gone. They no longer have the standing that they once had. As a matter of fact, they have almost become invisible to the public at large because they have lost their vision.
I learned this from my personal experience with them this past Monday.
On Monday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that increased the U.S. debt limit (the U.S. Senate did the same on Tuesday). So, that afternoon I received an email from the Joint Center about them hosting a webinar to discuss the vote on increasing the debt ceiling and its impact on “vulnerable populations.” The full title was, “The Debt and Deficit Debate and the Untold Story of the Impact on Vulnerable Populations.”
They never identified or defined what was a “vulnerable population.”
According to their press release, “The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies has scheduled a webinar today to focus on the challenges facing African Americans and other people of color, and particularly their concerns that measures related to the debt ceiling debate could exacerbate already high unemployment and undermine short-term and long-term economic prospects.
Journalists who dial in will have the opportunity to question members of two panels – the first of which will be comprised of a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, the White House National Economic Council and leading national economists and will examine the details and projected impact of the negotiated agreement that Congress will vote on. The second panel will delve further into the agreement’s program reductions on members of vulnerable populations and on both discretionary and entitlement programs that they rely upon.”
As if the above wasn’t bad enough, I was totally incensed when I saw the list of their panelists:
Ralph B. Everett, Esq., President and CEO Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, Avis Jones-DeWeever, Ph.D., Executive Director National Council of Negro Women, The Honorable Bobby Scott (D-VA) U.S. House of Representatives, and a member of the White House’s National Economic Council (this is just a partial listing, for the complete list go to: http://www.jointcenter.org/newsroom/press-releases/americas-fiscal-crisis-and-the-untold-story-of-the-impact-on-vulnerable-popu).
During the webinar I sent a complaint to the person running the session and she indicated that she would have someone call me after the event to discuss my complaint that the panel was bias and comprised of all Democrats.
So, the next morning, Gina Wood (the Director of Policy and Planning ) called me and I expressed my concerns to her. She became extremely defensive, rude, and was very arrogant. These are common traits of radical feminists like her. They have no intellectual capital to rely on, so they get emotional and rude.
When I expressed my disappointment that every panelist was a Democrat, she said, “I had no knowledge of the panelists politics….I reviewed some of their writings and used that as the basis of my inviting them to be on the panel.” So, I responded by asking her did she honestly believe that I was stupid enough to think that she didn’t know that Bobby Scott was a liberal Democratic member of Congress? It went downhill from there. I had to terminate the phone call with extreme recitude with malice aforethought (in other words, I hung up on the girl).
I am not going to have someone pee on me and then try to make me believe it’s raining. The Joint Center is better than that. I can’t believe they would actually have a panel totally devoted to White House talking points and yet, claim to be nonpartisan. When I challenged Gina on that point, she had no response. She knows very well that for them to have integrity, they must present more than one view in order to have a real discussion. But they are not nonpartisan. They are an extension of the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
Can they explain why they have no Republicans in their employ? So, I would ask my readers to call Ralph Everett, and ask him if their goal is to educate the public or to push an idealogical agenda? His number is: 202-789-3500.
The Joint Center can no longer be taken seriously if they cannot be honest with themselves and the American people. Either they are going to provide a forum for spirited discussions of issues of concern to the Black community or they are going to continue to be an arm of the DNC. Either way is fine with me, but can we have a little “truth in advertising.”
If Gina Wood is representative of the Joint Center’s integrity, then their reputations is going to go up in smoke!
Raynard Jackson is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a D.C.-public relations/government affairs firm. He is also a contributing editor for ExcellStyle Magazine (www.excellstyle.com) & USAfrica Magazine (www.USAfricaonline.com).