ColumnistsOp-EdOpinionWilliam Reed

A Black Agenda for Congress

Black Power is a national liberation and political ideology aimed at achieving self-determination for people of African descent. The concept of Black Power is in contrast to mainstream mindsets. It is an ideology that emphases racial pride and ways to advance blacks’ political and cultural institutions toward nurturing and promoting collective interests and values.

It’s time blacks access the Obama presidency’s legacy. Obama’s tenure in the White House has set “Black Power” back 50 years. The cessation of protest marches and political agitation at the government has been on lull. People on Capitol Hill try to keep it quiet, but everybody knows Rep. John Conyers pulled back on H.R. 40 in deference to Obama “being the president of all the people.” President Obama avoided blacks and their issues, and that’s the reality of blacks’ level of political power, circa 2016.

When will we see that Obama was never a proponent of reparations and never promoted alternate ways toward black equality? Election Day has come and gone, and despite their race-neutral stargazing under Obama, now is the time for black Americans to shift their political focus toward reparations.

How can blacks “overcome” significant sacrifices we’ve made toward racial harmony in the country? For black descendants of slaves to get their just due in America requires an act of Congress. Black Power will be realized when the nation’s 46 black members of Congress come together to bring about an act of Congress toward reparations for the 30 million black descendants of slaves. Too often, blacks in Congress are all too happy to pursue other concerns to show racism occurring, but vacillate in pursuing reparations for the ongoing crimes perpetuated against blacks.

Since they started in 1971 as a policy-wonk conference for African-American lawmakers, there are now 46 African-American members in the 114th Congress. If they operated together those 46 black legislators could make reparations a reality for millions of blacks. The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) “influences the course of events pertinent to African-Americans,” and works to “achieve greater equity for persons of African descent in the design and content of domestic and international programs and services.” It’s time all African-Americans toting water for the Democrats campaign of “racism in all things Trump” get off the Hillary campaign and openly support efforts for Reparatory Justice legislation. This bill was introduced in the late 1980s and has languished in committee for decades.

The fusion of Black Power and the reparations movement can result in the passage of the H.R. 40. The bill’s passage would be high honor to the ancestors that built the Capitol for no pay. Passage of H.R. 40 bill will establish a “Commission to Study the Reparation Proposals.” The federal commission will review the institution of slavery and the resulting racial and economic discrimination that affected and continues to affect generations of African-Americans. The bill would acknowledge the fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality and inhumanity of slavery in the U.S. between 1619 and 1865 and “make recommendations to help correct the residual effects of these acts.”

Blacks and their lawmakers will march and protest for myriad of issues aside from reparations. But in actual practice, black Americans continue to experience precarious social and economic existences. Three-fourths of blacks are owed $1 million each but too few exercise the political muscle to prompt H.R. 40. Black leaders have the power to initiate plans, discussions and campaigns toward CBC adaption. One-and-a-half million dollars per household should motivate the 30 million eligible blacks to ask for support and passage of H.R. 40. Let’s each send a message to Congress to vote for compensation for the crimes of slavery and justice for one of the greatest crimes ever committed.

The United Nations has concluded that the slave trade was a crime against humanity and reparations are in order. The report encourages Congress to pass the Commission to Study Reparations Act. Isn’t it time hordes of blacks enlisted at blackreparationsnow@gmail.com to get H.R. 40 passed?

William Reed is publisher of “Who’s Who in Black Corporate America” and available for projects via Busxchng@his.com.

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William Reed

William Reed is President and Chief Executive Officer of Black Press International. He has been a Media Entrepreneur for over two decades. A well-trained marketing and communications professional, Reed has a national reputation for his expert writing, speaking, organizational, research, management and motivation abilities, along with strong managerial, presentation and sales skills.

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