Hypercrites turned Hypocrites?

The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation has been accused of not dispensing the monies they collected for Hurricane Katrina Releif in a timely fashion. The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation is the 501(c)3 created by the Congressional Black Caucus. Though they are technically not the same entity, they essentially act as such. This leads to some very interesting questions.

I am a supporter of the existence of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC). The Dean of the CBC is Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) of Detroit, who is a family friend, and who I support in general. I also support this group exercising its ability to create a nonprofit financial arm to handle funds (they can do so because the CBC is non-partisan).

The CBC Foundation has vehemently denied the claims that they are not dispensing the money they took in as donations. On Dec. 9, according to their website, they gave away $299,000 of the dollars. The story above, however, quotes CBC Foundation spokeswoman Patti Rice saying that no money would be given away until December or January 2006.

There are two problems here, well three. The first is that the CBC Foundation needs to get its story straight. An organization so closely scrutinized by so many needs to have a better grasp on their communications. The second is, what where they waiting on/for? Were they simply being responsible, or were the funds not earmarked for relief? We’ll address that later. Finally, why am I just now seeing/hearing about this?

Problem number 1 has an obvious solution (get rid of the person who said they gave money or said they sat on it, whichever lied), so no more is needed on that one.

Problem number 2 is an interesting debate that many went through in the days after Katrina. I’ll use myself as an example. I wanted to give time/technology/money/something to help hurricane survivors as soon as I saw what was happening. It has been shown that irresponsible to have donated the lion’s share of that money the Red Cross, since people may or may not have gotten it. Is the same true for money given to the CBC Foundation?!?!?!?! Ultimately myself, along with other brother from HEADS at the University of Michigan decided to give our money to the BlackAmericaWeb.com Family Fund, and were happy with them. Coming back to the CBC Foundation, we have to wonder what took them so long. After all, I would hope that they had more information than me on different organizations available, what they do, how they do it, etc. than I do, since that’s part of their job. So their research to identify quality organizations to contribute to should be much shorter than mine. Why then, did they take so long? Since people gave them money, they became another layer in the endless bureaucracy that they were so angry about in September!!!! I like unecessary process just as little as the next independent thinker, but oh the irony when my disdain for one process leads me to act in a way that produces the same results.

The third issue may be the most suprising, depending on your perspective. If you watch Fox News, you will know that they tell you that they are a beacon of fair and balanced life in the liberal wasteland that is the American media. Stories like this may contribute to their case, since this story has gotten little/no coverage. Check the date, the story is from 22 December, 3 days before Christmas, over 2 weeks ago. Did the liberal media cover this up so not to slow down any anti-Bush momentum it had built up as a result of the hurricane response [or lack therof]? These sorts of questions have to be asked, because propaganda does work both ways. It’s like cronyism: you’re only pissed off about it when you’re not a crony or the one appointing the cronies, but that’s another post on another day. Even more interesting, why didn’t some of our Black watchdog organizations catch this? Where was the CBC Monitor, whose sole existence is to make sure the CBC is on its job. It always amazes me who sees things and who doesn’t. Never be fooled into beieving (or not believing) something strictly off of the messenger alone.


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About Garlin Gilchrist II

I am the City of Detroit's first ever Deputy Technology Director for Civic Community Engagement. My job is to open up the city's public data and information for the consumption and benefit of all Detroiters. I currently live in Detroit, my hometown, with my beautiful wife Ellen and our twins Garlin III and Emily Grace. I'm from Detroit. I created Detroit Diaspora, and was formerly the National Campaign Director at MoveOn.org. I also co-hosted The #WinReport on "The Good Fight," a an award winning, nationally syndicated radio show that was one of Apple's Best of 2013. After graduating with degrees in Computer Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Michigan, I became a Software Engineer at Microsoft. By day, I helped build SharePoint into the fastest growth product in the company's history. On my personal time, I sought out opportunities to connect my technical skills with community building efforts across the country. This led to my co-founding The SuperSpade: Black Thought at the Highest Level, a leading Black political blog. I served as Social Media Manager for the 2008 Obama campaign in Washington, and then became Director of New Media at the Center for Community Change. I spent two years creating and implementing a strategy for the Center to take it's 40 years of community organizing experience into the digital age. I speak before diverse audiences on effective & responsive government, empowerment in revolutionary new organizing spaces, increasing civic engagement & participation through emerging technologies and protecting civil rights in the age of the Internet. Full bio here.

One response to “Hypercrites turned Hypocrites?”

  1. Ms. Mack says :

    G you didn’t hear about anywhere but Fox because the CBC has no power either liberal or other. Thus it is sort of a waste of time to discuss their transgressions. Also the liberal media knows where the interesting stories are and what side their viewers are on. We don’t talk about discrimination and marginalization unless its white on black, check the Hillary Clinton story today (1/17/06).

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