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Rep. Donna Edwards Drops Some Political Wisdom on CBC Reality

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.

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6 thoughts on “Rep. Donna Edwards Drops Some Political Wisdom on CBC Reality

  1. Envrionmental reform does have some overlap with civil righs issues. My thing is that if it didn’t overlap, it shouldn’t matter. The CBC shouldn’t be about Civil Rights and Civil Rights Only. There are many causes and agendas that the CBC can support and take on respectively, seeing that the CBC is made up of Elected Representatives (first and formost) who are meant to represent "everyone" in their respective districts.

  2. Andrea says:

    I got excited when I saw her face was the in the first photo you selected for your photo reel of events. Thanks for putting a TRUE progressive first. That was keen. I caught it! I saw a few identifiable faces that I knew but I don’t consider them progressive. I consider they theorize progression but don’t practice progressive politics. But that is part of the whole scheme in hi-jacking progressive politics by Liberals. They did. They marketed themselves as being progressive because they moved a little but they are still twin to only react to The Right’s moves. Seeing Donna Edwards was redeeming. Otherwise I consider that conference like the CBC just a meeting of the most important reminding themselves why they were or are and reinstituting it for Whites at Harvard to see that Blacks can do the same thing in have conferences. After you do the conference circuit awhile, you start to figure out the impetus. It’s for the fans that will will become the ranks in volumes of replicating that. Those young people photo’d will align with the right ones and follow out their Ivy formulas but I won’t hold my breath on what fresh ideas will come about because Donna Edwards said it. So did Alisha Thomas Morgan and that Establishment member told me. I wrote that in my post reply yesterday that it was trickey and they knew what I was doing in that it was walking a tight-rope of "those kinds of people" (not all legacies but definitely select). Donna said it was dicey and the others along with me acknowledge too it is tricky because you need them who you are trying to teach how to innovate and they know you are coming from the outside trying to change them. Donna Edwards has progressive White support and progressive Black support so she might be fine. The Greens–we love her and I know White progressives in Maryland who did not live in her area that supported her. Those young people are nurtured to support all things that identify our lives to be known as living in the Obama era–not that there are parellel life forces that want to live outside of this (suffocation and reduction to all things having to be Obamaesque). I like Donna Edwards because she represents a platform that defends my formative make-up–not being elite or striving to be. I strive to be progressive and that is not a strive for elitism. I thank Donna for coming along to pick up where Shirley and Barbara left off. The Libs stole the Green mandate because they were more powerful and intertwined with corporate interests eventhough the Green Party WORLDWIDE in other nations as well as the US created this platform of urgency. Dems just got on late after the EU started to make the US look archaic. The Dems was stalling for the longest to jump on environmentalism and made a mockery of their own godfather of the case for their party, Al Gore. I wish Blacks were not so trapped by the Democratic Party. The Greens did all the hard work to get the Green Movement and Green Economy going but the Average Joe does not know this.

  3. I hope that Edwards wasn’t truly surprised but was speaking rhetorically (and I supported her). The corrupting influence of corporate donors on politicians and public policy certainly isn’t limited to the CBC. Look at Tom Daschle, a famed progressive, whose lobbying ties undid his cabinet nomination. Consider the power of the NRA lobby and the fate of the assault weapon ban. If we want progressives in, the solution is simple but painful. We have to give first so that politicians don’t have to shill from the corporations. Enact then enforce meaningful electoral reform. Then we volunteer, monitor and advocate. And before we turn in for the night, we also might want to consider a political landscape where progressives just don’t have the votes to do it big. In any community including the African American community, especially when we consider immigrants from Africa and the Caribbean. We are talking about long term education, advocacy and debate.

  4. TheDonDiva says:

    i’d love to know more about her "protect Obama"comments. while it’s understandable given our history why we would be protective of our own folks, we sometimes do it to our detrement (i.e. OJ circa 1995 not 2009). i admit to feeling protective of the obama family myself but, yeah, we do need to keep things in check. just because someone looks like you doesn’t mean they are good for you. i’m not saying that’s the case with obama but i think i understand where donna edwards might be coming from. hope that made sense 🙂

  5. serena kitt says:

    We could be excited to see longtime environmental activist, pro-feminist and anti-racist Van Jones (a brotha!) tapped to be Green Jobs uh, "czar." I was excited about that announcement until the "czar" part. I hate that part. …and he better meet with Rep. Edwards!

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