Stabbed In The Back Again

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(How did Pelosi leapfrog Rangel and Conyers?)

[Column: I Write What I Like]—Before the ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment, Frederick Douglass appeared in Seneca Falls, NY, in 1848, at the First Woman Rights Convention and demanded that white women be given the right to vote.

The founding fathers were homophilic, misogynistic, ethnocentric, xenophobic and ergo phobic. Congress would wait 50 years after it had accorded Black men the right to vote before it would lift the trespassing signs barring women in polling booths. This was 1920 and after the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment.

Lacking an inclination to engage in critical thinking, Blacks are thrilled that the Democratic Party will control Congress in 2007. After the 2006 midterm elections, a few members of the Congressional Black Caucus will be given consolation prizes. Cong. Charles Rangel is hallucinating in his sleep. He will receive the top consolation plum.

Blacks have missed the point concerning these elections, and the fleeting mentioning of Sen. Barack Obama residing in the White House in 2009 only complicates our ability to think outside the box. Without the Black vote this year, the Democratic Party would still be the minority party.

This is my inside tip. Don’t bet on Obama to reside in the White House. He will neither win, place nor show. This country is unwilling to call a Black woman a lady and First Lady is out of the question. His best bet is Senate majority leader if he can win re-election to the Senate.

The real concern, however, should be Cong. Nancy Pelosi. She will become the first female House speaker. Henry Clay of Kentucky, in 1811, actually shaped the role of the House speaker by combining the leader of the majority party with the moderator of debate to shape a House agenda.

The institution of slavery actually shaped the new role of the House speaker. A gag rule was fashioned to prevent any debate on slavery. After the Civil War, Black members of Congress were constructively gagged to prevent any debate on forty acres and a mule while white males were routinely being given 160 acres and bank credit.

Cong. Nancy Pelosi will become the first female speaker of the House. Since Black men had a fifty-year head start on white women, how did Pelosi leapfrog over Cong. John Conyers and Rangel? Conyers was elected to Congress in 1964. Rangel was elected to Congress in 1970. Where is the marble ceiling for Blacks?

Seventeen years later, Pelosi came to Congress. She had only been out of college two years when Conyers won his first congressional election. What happened to seniority? Assuming that the litmus test is service to the Democratic Party, Rangel beats any challenger hands down.

Since Blacks enjoy no First Amendment rights, we are forbidden from raising hard questions. Cong. Cynthia McKinney raised hard questions about 9/11 and Bush 43 stewardship under the Speech and Debate Clause. She had enjoyed memberships in the House Armed Services Committee and the International Relations Committee.

Pelosi stripped McKinney of seniority and choice committee assignments for spewing fighting words as defined under the slave codes. This precedent means that no Black member of Congress can now spew fighting words nor raise hard questions. For Black voters, this amounts to a lack of representation. Why vote?

Pelosi has called Bush incompetent in terms of knowledge, judgment and experience. In other words, Pelosi has called him a moron. Bush invited her for lunch at the White House, two days after this past Election Day, like he was taking his girlfriend to the prom. Her verbal attack of him is a constitutional privilege.

I can imagine Pelosi saying this to McKinney: Don’t talk about my man  witch. When a Black woman talks about or accuses a white man, it amounts to fighting words and transcends First Amendment protections. This is a plantation taboo. Congress has always been plantation headquarters.

If I had behaved in response to the rape of Tawana Brawley like the male members of the Congressional Black Caucus did when McKinney was receiving a whipping, I would still be practicing law. I simply lost it and started treading on forbidden territory. Our freedom is restrictive.

This rape had reached my insult level. Blacks are still in a coma. Whites programmed Blacks during slavery to behave abnormally. A body of literature exists on this subject. In college, the subject is called abnormal psychology. We must behave like a fish out of water.

The pain and suffering of Black women at the hands of white males for four hundred years just pushed me over the edge. This is why Black males will simply be on gurneys on my day of reckoning. If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything. Nobody seems to stand for anything in New York.

My continued criticism of the criminal justice system amounts to fighting words. The political establishment considers me a Black shepherd. This is an anathema to a police occupation.

In 1991, a blue ribbon commission, appointed by Chief Judge Sol Watchler of New York’s highest court, found that the state’s judicial system is infested with racism. This report is collecting dust while Blacks are still being railroaded. Innocent persons are going to prison for decades without legal recourse.

Instead of judges correcting these unconstitutional conditions, they appoint attorneys and laypersons, on grievance committees, to silence their critics in the legal profession. A person could reasonably conclude that a link exists between the state’s judicial system and the prison-industrial complex. Black incarceration also contributes to gerrymandering.

If my writings save one person from the gallows, even if I am officially disbarred from practicing law in New York, it is worth the risk. In this country, any Black person, who is not flirting with diurnal risk but is living large, is a sell-out.
Might makes right in New York. This is the basis behind positive law and formed the justification for the slave codes. I am accused of violating Disciplinary Rule 8-102(b). A lawyer shall not knowingly make false accusations against a judge or other adjudicatory officer.

According to the charges: Respondent made a knowingly false accusation against a judge, as follows: (1) In columns written by respondent for the New York Amsterdam News, appearing on or about January 23, 2006 and February 2, 2006, respondent accused Hon. William Erlbaum, the judge presiding over respondent’s 1985 criminal trial, of instructing the jury to find him guilty. (2) Respondent’s published statements concerning Judge Erlbaum’s instruction to the jury were false.

The U.S. Supreme Court settled this issue of falsity in New York Times v. Sullivan. Four members of the clergy in Montgomery, AL including Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. had allegedly made false statements against the city’s white police commissioner. These were fighting words under the Alabama slave code.

Acknowledging that the statements by Dr. King et al. were false, the Supreme Court held, nonetheless, that to prove actual malice, the statement must have been made with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not. The judgment against them had to fall.

When Judge Erlbaum gave this instruction, attorney Louis Clayton Jones went ballistic. He was tossed from the courtroom. I objected to the instruction. After court recess and dinner, the jury asked for a re-reading of the instruction. It was obviously flawed. I objected again to the instruction.

The First Amendment does not allow me to write about this incident in a newspaper. Whites enjoy free speech and a free press. They are able to express opinions on the opinion page of a newspaper. I am forbidden from recounting what happened in People v. Maddox twenty-one years ago.

To make matters worse, the Grievance Committee has never seen the jury instructions. The mere fact that I would criticize a white judge is enough to invoke a disbarment proceeding in New York. This is a crapshoot and a witch hunt. Judges are not above the law.

Black voters should leave the Democratic Party since Pelosi is allowed to leapfrog over Conyers or Rangel. I am no political friend of Rangel and he would remain silent in the face of any injustice that I would suffer in New York. Yet, he, as well as Conyers, has paid his political dues.

They are entitled to fundamental fairness and Blacks, enrolled in the Democratic Party, should be free of a marble ceiling. For years, Blacks have given gifts to the Democratic Party while having to behave like jackals and political pawns.
Rangel, as House speaker, could only be a Black face in a high place. Unfortunately, Black leaders made this settlement after the assassination of Dr. King. There were cries of Black Power! These cries frightened the political establishment. Accordingly, Blacks felt compelled to pacify frightened whites.

The freedom struggle was about elevating strong Black voices, like Fannie Lou Hamer, to powerful political positions. The settlement was consistent with the three-fifths provision of the Constitution. Black faces would supplant Black power. This explains the lack of community support for any strong Black voice today. Blacks must vacate this settlement.

In 1993, I insisted on the first public disciplinary hearing involving an attorney in New York. I had nothing to hide. Star Chamber proceedings in New York should be outlawed. Let’s see if Spitzer now believes in open government.

For more information on UAM weekly forum call UAM, (718) 834-9034. See:

Black Star Publisher’s Note To Readers: Organizers of the city-wide rally against police brutality called for December 6 by Viola Plummer and Roger Wareham of the December 12th Movement, along with City Councilman Charles Barron, today confirmed that a Press Conference will be held on Monday, December 4, 2006 11:00 a.m. at One Police Plaza, in downtown Manhattan. The press conference will address final preparations for the rally.  For more information, please call (718) 398-1766.

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