By Harold Bell
“THERE COMES A TIME WHEN SILENCE IS BETRAYAL”
Rev. Martin Luther King
Chairwoman Marcia Fudge of the Black Congressional Caucus says, “My colleagues don’ think there is poverty in America. They are crazy, nuts, evil and nasty people. They wanted to cut $16.5 billion from the food stamp program. I have never seen anything like them!”
Ohio’s Finest / 21st District: Marcia Fudge
During Barack Obama’s run for President in 2008 Tavis Smiley and his commentaries were a fixture on the Tom Joyner Morning Show heard in over 100 markets. Tavis abruptly quit the show which seem to come as a surprise to Tom and his morning show staff.
On April 11, 2008, Tavis Smiley announced that he would resign in June 2008 as a commentator. He cited fatigue and a busy schedule in a personal call to Joyner.
However, Joyner, referred to several commentaries in which Smiley was critical of then Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, indicated otherwise on his program, stating: “The real reason is that he can’t take the hate he’s been getting regarding the Barack issue—hate from the black people that he loves so much.” Prior to the public controversy and being elected President, Obama had been on Smiley’s PBS show several times.
In the 2008 Presidential campaign Tavis invited then Presidential candidate Barack Obama to participate in one of his forums but Barack send Michelle in his place.
Tavis took Barack’s absent as a slight and many claim he still has not gotten over it! I have always thought if a man sends his wife to represent him it is a sign of respect for the person in charge.
During his first term as President, Barack Obama was giving anyone and almost everyone in black media an interview (except Tavis). Blacks in media seem to have carte blanch to President Obama and the First Lady Michelle (genius PR move). He became “The Darling” of black media.
This was unheard in the White House press corps before a black President occupied the White House.
The backlash from Tavis bashing the FIRST black President was sometimes real ugly during the first term.
Tavis said on more than one occasion that the President didn’t care about black people or the poor and down trodden. It didn’t play too well in the black community, but since that time some opinions have changed in favor of Tavis.
On October 1, 2010, Tavis Smiley turned the second hour of his PRI program into Smiley & West co-hosted by his longtime friend and adviser Dr. Cornel West.
Congress Lou Stokes (D-Ohio), his 21st Ohio District extended to blacks everywhere.
Tavis was in Washington, DC on Thursday January17, 2013 hosting a forum titled, “Vision for a New America: A Future without Poverty” at George Washington University. Let me say for the “Record” good luck!
The panel was made of Author Jeffery Sachs (Columbia University), former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, Author Jonathan Cole, Mary Ann Chilton (Drexel University), Rose Ann Democo (National Nurses United), Author John Kozol,U. S. Rep Marcia Fudge, John Gramm (Indiana University) and the brilliant Professor Cornell West (Union Theological Seminary).
One member of the panel described the perils of poverty best when they said “There is a highway into poverty but there is no sidewalk out!”
The most compelling personality on the panel and the most courageous was Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Marcia Fudge. She brought to mind, the late Congresswomen Shirley Chisholm (D-NY) and the eloquent and powerful speaker Barbara Jordan (D-Texas). Their courage had no boundaries when it came to leading by example and speaking out against the injustices of a system that was supposed to be serving its people.
During the discussion Ms. Fudge said, “There are people working the House of Representatives who don’t believe there is poverty in America. I just left a retreat with my colleagues of the Congressional Black Caucus. These are the craziest people I have ever seen, we are dealing with a bunch of nuts who are evil and nasty and don’t care about anyone but themselves!”
These same colleagues voted to cut 16.5 million dollars in food stamps. We are sending people to Congress who do not understand what their job is and do not understand that they are there to represent the people.
Donna Edwards does not understand her role.
Ms Fudge made it perfectly clear from the very beginning “I am not owned by anybody. No corporations or anyone.”
For example; When Tavis reminded her there was tension between the Black Caucus and the White House during the President’s first term. He said, “There was a time when the President would not even meet with you.” She admitted there was some tension but reminded him that her job was different from the President of the United States.
Ms. Fudge did not allow Tavis during the forum to make her a part of the bashing of the President.
She pointed out that The FISCAL CLIFF is nothing but “Smoke & Mirrows.” It is just a cover-up for the debt that we owe for two wars, Bush tax cuts and Medicaid part D, it is all a game.
Ms. Fudge also said, “Democrats have given up on poverty and that is no no different from giving up on the gun issue. When you don’t have the answers you give up!”
She then pointed to the legislation that the President had passed to help the poor and downtrodden.
There were two major pieces of legislation, Obamacare significantly helps poor people. In the Stimulus, there was more money put into the Head Start program than ever before, Pell Grants were increased, unemployment was extended, more money was put into poor schools and two billion dollars was put into food stamps. I am not saying it was enough but let us put all the facts on the table.”
We are in a state of emergency our children are not only dying in our streets (Chicago) but they are dying in our classrooms (New Town)! Senior citizens are dying in our nursing home across this country but no one seems to care.
“The rule of money makes everybody and everything up for sale. There is a culture of fear where folks are scare of the TRUTH.
They are scare of losing their jobs, losing their status, scare of not being invited to the White House or the next Tea Party. There is a shameless silence in this country. It is the rule of money that has this country so corrupted (former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagel, the latest crook). There can be no integrity or trust when there is the rule of money.
Government can be corrupt and repressive against the people they are supposed to be helping. We must stop the silence, call your congressman and voice your displeasure. Until they see hungry babies or homeless—they are not going to believe it” said Ms. Fudge.
It looks and sounds like the New Sheriff is looking and asking for our help.
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich without a doubt came up with a proposal and suggestion that just might help turn this country around.
He suggested to Caucus Chair Fudge that he would recruit Republican politicians to volunteer to spend 3 days each with a Democratic politician in their voting districts and vice-verse.
Her response, “You make it happen and I am in.”
I am thinking that would be a feat that you could compare with getting the Jewish Community to double date with the Palestinian Community! The Nobel Peace Prize would definitely be a possibility for both Newt and Ms. Fudge.
Harold Bell is the Godfather of Sports Talk radio and television in Washington, DC. Throughout the mid-sixties, seventies and eighties, Harold embarked upon a relatively new medium–sports talk radio with classic interviews with athletes and sports celebrities. The show and format became wildly popular. Harold has been an active force fighting for the rights of children for over 40 years with the help of his wife through their charity Kids In Trouble, Inc. To learn more aboutHarold Bell visit his official web site The Original Inside Sports.com.