The Black House
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Mon, 9 Oct 100 12:08:04 -0700
Subject: The Black House
X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649 -=[ Fun_People ]=-
From: "Mike's Message" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
October 9, 2000
There is a quiet revolution about to happen on November 7. Few in the media
or electorate have paid any attention to it. Because I would so like to
see it happen, I am reluctant to speak of it for fear that it will freak
out the wrong people and thus prevent it from occurring.
No, I'm not talking about my fantasy that 100 million nonvoters will turn
out to vote for Ralph, or that great Cheney rumor floating around the web
(the one where he drops out the week before the election and Bush appoints
Colin Powell), or the other great rumor about George W. paying a visit to
Reagan on his deathbed (Who starts this stuff? Keep it up!).
What I am referring to is the STRONG possibility that the U.S. House of
Representatives is about to be taken over by... African Americans!
That's right. After 200+ years of white guys running Congress occupying
the White House, get ready for "The Black House!"
In a scenario that might make D.W. Griffith return from the grave and demand
the sequel rights to "Birth of a Nation," the black members of Congress
are about to fall into a palace coup and make every redneck and racist run
The Democrats are only 6 seats shy of winning back control of the House.
All indications are such, thanks to so many Republican incumbents choosing
not to run for reelection this year (and the back-to-back suicide moves by
the Republicans to shut down the federal government and then overthrow a
popularly-elected President), the Democrats may just pull it off.
The ace card, which Democratic members are privately cheering on, is Ralph
Nader. I have spoken to aides of a half dozen members of Congress and they
are all convinced that Nader's presence on the ballot is going to bring
out millions of voters who had planned on not voting. If that happens, once
in the voting booth, who do you those disgruntled, pro-Nader voters are
going to plunk down for when they gaze down at the section for "Member of
Congress" on the ballot? The Republican? I don't think so. Because the
Greens have so few candidates running for Congress, those Nader voters are
going to vote for the Democrat for Congress.
The 1994 election that gave the House to Newt and the Republicans was
decided in 19 districts where the Republican won by a thousand or so votes.
A few Nader voters could make all the difference.
So how does that put African Americans in control of the House?
Thanks to the seniority they have accumulated, no fewer than TWENTY-TWO
members of the Congressional Black Caucus stand to take over the
chairmanships of 22 House committees and subcommittees!
That's right. If the Democrats get the House back, Rep. John Conyers of
Detroit will become the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. Rep.
Charles Rangel of New York will be the chair of the powerful House Ways
and Means Committee. And Rep. Julian Dixon of California will head up the
House Intelligence Committee.
Three of the most important committees in Congress will be led by African
Americans for the first time in our history.
But wait. It gets better.
Nineteen - yes, 19 -- subcommittees in the House of Representatives will
have as their chairmen/chairwomen 19 other members of the Congressional
How cool is that? I never thought I would live to see such a thing. In a
week where I have just read that the black household median income is
$27,000 compared to $44,000 for whites, where I read that ONE-THIRD of
African American men between the ages of 18 and 35 are prohibited from
voting in this election because of our bigoted judicial system, for me to
then hear that nearly two dozen African Americans might be calling the
shots next year in Congress was the kind of good news that rarely comes
Of course, it's not just that they are black. These 22 members of Congress
have, for the most part, consistently voted for labor, women's rights,
education, controls on corporations, cleaning up the environment and
standing firm against free/sweatshop trade bills. They are the first to
question U.S. meddling into the affairs of other countries, and the last
to send our young people off to war.
The Black House, my friends, is a good thing for all of us.
As you know from my previous letters, I see little or no difference between
the Democratic and Republican Parties. They both are there to do the bidding
of Big Business, and the Democrats have gone so far to the right they should
just call themselves Pro-Choice Republicans.
But this issue of the Democrats getting the House back is a different
matter. Much to the chagrin of many Democrats, these House committees and
subcommittees will fall into the hands of the old school liberal New Deal
Democrats -- who just happen to be black. There is little the Democratic
leadership can do about it because seniority rules.
Which brings up another interesting point. The reason these black Democrats
have kept winning their seats is because they stuck to their liberal/left
guns, even in the face of a country that was seeming to turn to the right.
Those Democrats who thought the way to survive was to sound "more
Republican" wound up losing many of their seats. A study conducted by two
professors from the University of Utah on that 1994 Congressional election
found that it was not the liberals who lost their seats to Newt's army,
but the Democrats who were moderates or who changed their position to
moderate. The voters aren't stupid. If they want sirloin, they sure as
hell aren't going to vote for the hamburger trying to pose as a sirloin.
Of course, if word gets out to all those conservative, reactionary, racist
Americans of what is about to occur -- Fear of a Black Planet! -- then they
will probably pour out of their sinkholes on election day to vote for the
Republicans running for Congress. So be careful who you tell this secret
It's been just 137 years since the end of legal slavery in America.
I want to wake up on November 8 and witness the ultimate payback time!
P.S. Ficus, our potted plant running for Congress, will appear on Nightline
tonight! They called us a few weeks ago and have followed a couple of the
ficuses who are challenging unoposed uncumbents. Here is a great fact they
dug up: There is a higher return rate of congressmen every term than there
is in the British house of Lords! And those guys have to DIE before they
lose their seat! Nightline, tonight, Monday, October 9, right after Monday
Night Football and your local late news (and midnight on the west coast).
© 2000 Peter Langston