This article is not about Debbie Wasserman Schultz but of the influence of who and what she represented as chair of the Democratic National Committee until taken down by Julian Assange, and still represents, in Congress: the interests of Israel, and the power of its domestic supporters over the Black American political establishment as represented by the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC).
To be sure, the CBC’s subjugation by what is generally referred to as the pro-Israel Lobby is not unique.
Thanks largely to American Jews having long been the Democratic Party’s major source of funds, estimated by reliable sources to be at least 60% in every election cycle, the Israel Lobby has been not only able to shape the party’s Middle East agenda, but, of crucial importance, determine who will be the chairs and the ranking members on the Congressional committees and subcommittees that have an impact on US-Israel relations. (The same thing can be said about the Republicans but there we see more variety among the donors.)
What makes the Congressional Black Caucus exceptional is that its very presence in Congress has been portrayed as symbolizing the success of the often bloody civil and voting rights struggles of a half century ago of which they are the beneficiaries. Some, like John Lewis, were even notable participants.
Consequently, something more might be expected of them. That the CBC, however, regardless of who comes and goes in their congressional districts, has consistently, as a bloc, voted to send billions of US taxpayers’ dollars to provide weapons for a foreign government that oppresses another people of color, the Palestinians, is, under the circumstances, nothing less than shameful.
– ( – from an article by Jeffrey Blankfort, entitled CONGRESSIONAL BLACK CAUCUS: DEEP IN THE ISRAEL LOBBY’S POCKET, published on CounterPunch.org on Monday, September 5, 2016, and reproduced in the Wednesday, September 7, 2016 issue of AMANDALA.)
In our midweek issue, Amandala began publication of an article by Jeffrey Blankfort which was run online by CounterPunch.org on Monday, September 5. The article is so long that it will have to be continued in this present (weekend) issue of our newspaper. It is entitled: Congressional Black Caucus: Deep in the Israel Lobby’s Pocket. This is an important article for serious Belizeans, at home and abroad, to study, and I urge you to take the time to read it.
African Americans are perhaps 12 percent of the population of the United States of America, and when I went to the U.S. in August of 1965 to attend Dartmouth College, black Americans (as “Negroes” were beginning to call themselves) were waging a struggle for their civil and human rights which had begun ten years earlier with the Rosa Parks bus incident in Montgomery, Alabama.
In 1964 and 1965, during the Democratic Party presidency of Lyndon Baines Johnson, who had succeeded the assassinated John Fitzgerald Kennedy in November of 1963, there had been pieces of legislation passed which increased the civil rights of black Americans, such as the Voting Rights Law, so that significant gains were being made by black activists with respect to racial integration and equality in America.
At the same time, a militancy was growing in younger sectors of the struggle, which had started out with specifically non-violent tactics in 1955, and by the spring of 1966 Stokely Carmichael had given expression in Mississippi to a new phase of the civil rights struggle. This, Carmichael famously referred to as “black power.” Black power had an aura of self-defence, “by any means necessary,” to use the words of Malcolm X.
Progressive universities in less segregated areas of the United States, Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire being one of them, began to increase the percentage of American black youth in their freshman classes. So when I returned to school in the fall of 1966 after spending a hard summer in New York City, it was to see more of my brethren on campus. (At the time, Dartmouth was all-male.)
I explained in North Amerikkkan Blues, a book about my Dartmouth experience I wrote way back in 1971, that Dartmouth had an Afro-American Society when I arrived there, but my Malawi friend, Guy Mhone, and myself had quickly drifted away, because the black American students at Dartmouth were not really interested in our respective Third World situations in Africa and Central America.
I was the only black student in an all-white fraternity in the winter of 1967 when members of Dartmouth’s Afro-American Society succeeded in breaking up an event which would have featured a speech by George Corley Wallace, the segregationist governor of Alabama who was running for the 1968 Democratic Party presidential nomination. That incident was a turning point in my life, because it polarized the Dartmouth campus enough to the point where I felt I had to take a stand with the Afro-Am.
Still, by the time Mhone and I graduated in June of 1968, it appeared to us that black Americans, the financial and technological elite of the black world, were more committed to being Americans than to providing real leadership for the black world. Even so, after I returned home, I always had the hope that, given Belize’s proximity to the United States, and the fact that there was this racial aspect to the aggressive hostility we Belizeans were experiencing from the Guatemalan ruling classes, someday we Belizeans would be assisted materially by our black American brethren and sistren. Although it never happened, I’ve always thought of the Congressional Black Caucus, the political leadership of black America, as somehow representing a potential regional ally for us to neutralize the powerful Guatemalan lobby in Washington.
I was never naïve enough to believe that the election of Barack Obama, America’s first black president, would change things with respect to Guatemala’s bullying of Belize. But, after reading Jeffrey Blankfort’s article, I have to believe that whatever confidence I had in the Congressional Black Caucus’s ability to neutralize the Guatemalan lobby, was a result of real naivete, or sheer ignorance, on my part.
I have said to you many times in this newspaper that there was a racist troika of nations which were closely allied with each other in the post-World War II decades. These were apartheid South Africa, Israel, and Guatemala. These three nations were savagely anti-communist, and they were favorites of the United States of America. Their racist, genocidal domestic policies did not matter to Washington. I have always warned Belizeans to be very, very careful of Israel.
It is extremely difficult, however, to separate the violent activity of Zionist Israel from the Biblical stories of the Jewish people which have been told to us Belizeans in our Christian schools and churches. I have friends whom I know to be passionate Belizean nationalists, but they see the Holy Land as the birthplace of the Son of God, they see the Jewish line of King David as the blood line from which Jesus the Christ was descended, and they transfer that Biblical reverence for the Jews to a modern love for the same Israel which is such a committed Guatemalan ally. If Israel owns the Congressional Black Caucus, as it now appears to me, then we can expect no help from the north when trouble comes from the west and the south. Straight like that.
The irony of 2016 Belize is that the majority of Belizeans of African descent have migrated to the United States of America over the last five decades, and they have been absorbed into the black American populations of the major cities – New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston, and so on. On a person-to-person, family-to-family level, however, my sense is that black Belizeans have considered themselves superior to black Americans in certain key areas, such as education.
In addition, we have to confront the reality that there were many black Belizeans who did not consider themselves black and refused to recognize their African ancestry. The job opportunities from which many Belizeans (and West Indians) benefited in the United States, came about because of the black American civil rights struggle, which forced equal opportunity employment. My personal feeling is that black Americans felt some resentment against better trained West Indians who were qualified for the job openings which the black American civil rights struggle had created. Tension between black Americans and immigrant West Indians in America has always been cleverly exploited by the ruling classes in the United States. You can go way back to how major black American leaders discriminated against Marcus Garvey in the 1920s.
Remember, the best weapon of the oppressor has always been division amongst his various subjects. There is an overall power structure in place which is a white supremacist power structure. I want to end on a somewhat tangential, but still relevant, note. The dominant Christian churches in Belize, which control the schools, and therefore our Belizean minds, come from white supremacist societies. Roman Catholicism comes from Italy (European Union); Anglicanism comes from England (United Kingdom); the Baptists and the evangelicals come from the United States of America. But, it is from precisely those parts of the world – Europe, the United Kingdom, and the United States, from which the campaigns to promote homosexuality and related deviances have come to Belize. Yet, the Christian churches, which originate from the said Europe, the United Kingdom, and the United States, are leading Belize’s fight against the liberalization of homosexuality. Beloved, it is easy to become confused in Belize.
Power to the people!