[Marxism] Marc Cooper on Black Democrats
lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Jul 26 09:33:11 MDT 2004
July 25, 2004
Bombs Away: Black Dems and Lockheed Martin Together At Last
Take a close look at these two pictures I snapped tonight at the
Congressional Black Caucus Institute's homage to Fannie Lou Hamer at the
Massachussetts State House on Boston's Beacon Hill. That's right, the
same Fannie Lou who led the Mississppi Freedom Democratic Party
delegation into the 1964 Democratic Convention saying she was "sick and
tired of being sick and tired" and --unsuccessfully-- demanded full
racial integration of her state's Dixiecrat delegation.
We've come a long way, baby. In the photo on the left you can see Fannie
Lou's portrait posted next to the co-sponsor of tonight's event,
Lockheed Martin. Fourteen original and now aging members of the Freedom
Delegation were flown into the event by the other corporate sponsor, our
friends at Verizon.
The photo on the right features CBC co-chairs, Maryland Congressman
Elijah Cummins and California Democrat Barbara Lee -- the only member of
the House who refused to vote George W. Bush authority to retaliate
after September 11th (not to be confused with the Iraq vote).
"I don't know anything about it, I'm just the co-chair of this,"
Congresswoman Lee said when I asked her what Lockheed Martin had to do
with the legacy of Fanny Lou Hamer.
Congressman Benny Thompson of Mississippi was more enthusiastic. As he
introduced Lockheed Martin exec Art Johnson to the crowd of several
hundred, he said "We had to have someone step up to help us... Lockheed
stepped up to the plate. They've been very supportive of our caucus and
Johnson reciprocated the comments saying his company is "pleased with
the relationship we have with the CBC. We work together on a number of
Lockheed is one of America's largest defense and war contractors. It
also administers several outsourced and privatized computer programs for
what used to be the federal welfare system -- the same one Comrade Bill
Clinton dismantled in 1996. Lockheed has also recently been embroiled in
accusations of employment discrimination.
The CBC is well-known for its alternative, liberal budget proprosals
which traditionally call for a 30% or more cut in military spending.
Indeed, Congresswoman Lee said tonite that the "CBC is the conscience of
the Congress. It's the resistance movement inside the House of
A dandy phrase, for sure. But apparently a posture that doesn't frighten
Lockheed Martin...or Verizon.
There are, of course, two ways to look at all this. Either you believe
that money permeates all politics and the CBC is only doing what
everybody else does and, in fact, has no choice other than to wet its
beak with all the others. Or, conversely, you believe that the CBC ought
to be, indeed, the conscience of the Congress and that calling upon the
likes of Lockheed and Verizon to sponsor an homage to Fannie Lou Hamer
is, at a minimum, in bad taste.
We merely report. You decide.
The formal DNC opens Monday night with a speech by Mr. Clinton.
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