I know I’m a couple of days late and a dollar short here. (Sorry for the slow posting. I’ve been holding down that day job and by hold down, I mean like a bucking bronco.)

There is a great observation over at Booman Tribune (emphasis mine)

In the entire history of the country, blacks have held only three significant chairs. Adam Clayton Powell chaired the Education and Labor Committee for three sessions. Augustus Hawkins also chaired that committee for a session and a half, plus he chaired the House Administration Committee. And, as I mentioned above, Dellums spent a session as chair of Armed Services.

All of this is about to change dramatically if we can win control of the House in November.

Charlie Rangel is the ranking member of the Ways and Means Committee. John Conyers, Jr. is the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee. Bennie Thompson is the ranking member of the Homeland Security Committee. Juanita Millender-McDonald is the ranking member on the House Administration Committee. And Alcee Hastings is the second ranking member of the Intelligence Committee and is rumored to be favored by Pelosi for the chair of that committee. That puts five African-Americans in line to be chairs of House committees. That’s a third of the total from the last 230 years. And, more importantly, these are not minor committees. Judiciary, Intelligence, Homeland Security, and Ways and Means are MAJOR committees. House Administration is in charge of all the voting procedures in this country. This is a revolution of black power unseen previously in the halls of Congress.

If the House switches to a Democratic majority, the loyalty of black voters to the Democratic Party will finally start to bear real fruit. With African-Americans heading powerful committees, one would hope that African-Americans, so long left behind by the “Establishment” can achieve some momentum forward in areas like education, affirmative action, healthcare, small business assistance, racial profiling, housing, minimum wage increases, adequate pay for our soldiers in uniform and other issues of great interest to us — and coincidentally a whole lot of other Americans too.

This is the promise that Reconstruction dangled come to pass. This is exactly what the Ku Klux Klan, a terrorist organization founded in large part to erase the nascent socio-economic gains and the political power of the newly freed slaves — worked so hard and lynched so many people to prevent. Our voice rooted in our experience with real power to shape the nation’s destiny. Discrimination has a funny way of coloring the way you see the world. It makes you, for example, perhaps less inclined to support unlimited detention without trial and water-boarding and more inclined to safeguard human rights and civil liberties even as we work to protect ourselves from terrorism.

But hey — don’t be surprised if the Klan doesn’t rise again — this time though there might be a few Uncle Toms under those hoods in the shape of confused, ambitious brothers from the right like Michael Steele, Ward Connerly and Clarence Thomas. There may even be one or two from the left like Al Wynn.

Republicans have shown us that they are more than willing to exploit race to achieve their ends. Listen for more tom-toms beating and insinuations of incompetence. It will be critical (if there’s a change) to maintain cohesion and limit in-fighting and corruption in the Congressional Black Caucus.

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