More news from Harvard’s Black Policy Conference:
Congresswoman Donna Edwards calls out the Congressional Black Caucus.
A progressive Democrat new to Washington, Edwards spoke Saturday at Harvard to the realities of having black politicians so entrenched in their positions, fat on corporate dollars and populating the Congressional Black Caucus.
“It was much more conservative than I anticipated,” the progressive Edwards said, adding that she was initially disappointed in the CBC. “Many members rely on corporate backed donations. It changes how they react to policy (over time). This poses the challenge to us to reinvent ourselves as the real conscious of the congress.”
Edwards said the CBC had gotten away from having an agenda, but that the organization’s brain trust was again at work concocting policy and preparing for the fight over health care.
As for her being a critic of the CBC, “it’s dicey,” she quipped. “I ran a campaign to defeat a member of the black caucus.”
Edwards also said blacks need to find a way to “get over” the belief we have to “protect” Obama at all times and that there is not enough “brown in the ‘green'” of environmental policy in the US. Many minorities don’t look at the environment she said as a Civil Rights issue. This logic is faulty, she said, considering power plants and highways are often built near poor or minority areas, polluting the air and raising the number of children with asthma and other breathing problems.