Jim Clyburn-ed

November 18, 2010

Raynard Jackson

In the immortal words of civil rights legend, Fannie Lou Hamer, when will Blacks become “sick and tired of being sick and tired?”

Once again the Democratic Party has shown its disdain for the Black community and Black Democrats, as usual, just sit back and continue to allow it to happen.

Blacks vote Democratic upwards of 92% during presidential elections and about 90 % during congressional elections. Can Blacks actually say they have received a sufficient return on their investment for that level of support? Of course not. So, why do Blacks continue to allow Democrats to marginalize and disrespect them?

Jim Clyburn, Congressman from South Carolina and current Majority Whip in the House of Representatives (making him the 3rd highest ranking person in the Democratic Party) was seeking reelection to his leadership post until he was forced to withdraw last Saturday night.

In the House, the leadership positions are: Speaker of the House (Nancy Pelosi), Majority Leader (Steny Hoyer), and Majority Whip (Jim Clyburn).

Since the Democrats lost the elections, they have become the minority party, thus will lose the Majority Leader position. As opposed to finding a new leadership position in the minority, Hoyer decided to challenge Clyburn for this position.

Not one word of protest from the first Black president of the U.S. Not one word from the first female Speaker of the House. Not one word from Hispanic members of Congress who constantly want Blacks to support their bids for amnesty for their people.

On Saturday night Clyburn was forced to withdraw from his bid to become Minority Whip so that Hoyer could assume the same position. In exchange, Pelosi created a “new” leadership position so that Clyburn could have a position at the leadership table.

Are you kidding me?

Why is it that the Democrats always ask the Black candidate to back out of a race and not the white candidate? This is the same party that makes a regular point about how “racist” the Republican Party is supposed to be.

Why didn’t Pelosi force Hoyer to drop out of the race? She could have created a “new” leadership position for him. This is the same party that, in September, tried to force current Congressman from Florida, Kendrick Meek, to drop out of his race to become the first Black elected U.S. senator from Florida. The White House asked Bill Clinton to pressure Meek to withdraw from the race and support the governor of Florida, Charlie Crist. Mind you that Crist is a white Republican turned Independent. Meek resisted the pressure and said no.

So, the Democrats care so much for the Black community that they wanted Meek to drop out of the race and endorse a de facto Republican. Again, where were the voices of the most loyal voting block within the Democratic Party?

What makes me most angry is the total silence of those in the Black community. Clyburn has spent 4 years as Majority Whip. During this time, Clyburn has done favors for many Democratic groups that have come to him for help. Where were the voices of outrage from these groups? Why didn’t they promise holy hell if the Democrats didn’t keep Clyburn in his leadership position?

Where was Marc Morial (head of the National Urban League)? Where was Al Sharpton (head of the National Action Network)? Where was Ben Jealous (head of the N.A.A.C.P.)? Where were groups like the National Medical Association (Black doctors), National Council of Negro Women, Leadership Council on Civil Rights, National Newspapers Publishers of America (Black newspapers), The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, The National Association of Black Accountants, The National Black M.B.A.s, NAFEO, or all the Black Universities?

I will let you in on a little secret. The reason why the Democrats continue to insult the Black community is because we allow them to. Democrats fear no retribution from Blacks. Obama has met with the Hispanic Caucus on several occasions to discuss amnesty for illegals. How many times has he met with the Black Caucus? Maybe 1 time! Obama fears the Hispanic community (and their votes); but has absolutely no fear of losing the Black vote; therefore, he felt no need to intervene in Clyburn’s race or any other issue of particular concern to the Black community.

To my Republican friends, this is a classic case for the value of diversity. Clyburn and Hoyer are both equally qualified for the position of Minority Whip. So, if all other things are equal, you have to give the nod to diversity, lest you have an all white leadership team!

Everyone knows that I am a Republican. But, why is it that I seem more upset and insulted by the actions of the Democratic Party, than Black Democrats?

Clyburn is a very decent man and a great political strategist. I know he has been helpful to all of the above groups and individuals. He has extended himself tirelessly to help with their causes. But, yet none of these groups came to his defense.

Blacks should have made it clear to Obama, Pelosi and Hoyer, that there would be hell to pay if Clyburn was challenged. Blacks are the most loyal voting block in the Democratic Party and they have nothing to show for it.

When all is said and done, there’s more said than done.

Raynard Jackson is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a D.C.-public relations/government affairs firm. He is also a contributing editor for ExcellStyle Magazine ( & U.S. Africa Magazine (

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