Are CBC members warriors or wimps?


One of the stated goals of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) according to Wikipedia: “achieving greater equity for persons of African descent in the design and content of domestic and international programs and services.” 

Its priorities include “closing the achievement and opportunity gaps in education, assuring quality health care for every American, focusing on employment and economic security, ensuring justice for all, retirement security for all Americans, increasing welfare funds, and increasing equity in foreign policy.” 

What about Black businesses? 

The biggest rage right now in economic development is Opportunity Zones, a fascinating approach to invigorating our communities and generating new capital for investment. 

Yet, the CBC won’t endorse it, because it is the vision of Black U.S. Senator Tim Scott, who is not a CBC member. 

When Barack Obama became president, the CBC automatically bowed to his wishes. He decided to destroy the National Black Chamber of Commerce to appease the White labor unions who deplored equal opportunity. The unions were happy, and the CBC kowtowed to the desertion.  The result was the obliteration of gains made during the George W. Bush administration.

Business activity dropped

Small Business Administration lending was reaching new highs until Obama came in and shut the door. Black procurement was reaching 8 percent through the activities of the SBA 8(a) development program, but is now less than 2 percent. No stir from the CBC. 

The big problem?  The key congressional committee to solve the capital access problem is the Financial Services Committee chaired by the CBC’s Maxine Waters. They want to wait for a new Democratic president who could take the credit.  

But we saw what happened under Obama. The CBC had a Democratic House, Senate and White House and did nothing to increase our federal productivity.  It was cool – we had a Black president. They watched as we faltered, then they lost the White House and Congress. 

The CBC is clueless about the damage done to our 8(a) firms.  Why can’t they demand a quarterly review of Black procurement of each federal agency and a continuum of progress?  Also, hold financial institutions accountable for the levels of Black business lending both commercially and through the SBA lending program.

Improvement is possible 

If they challenge the Trump administration, positive changes would occur (as opposed to the Obama disasters).  Yes, President Trump would claim the improvement, but they can show the world how they motivated him through their determination to improve Black economic development as opposed to welfare-building. 

Such activity would bring back the days of the late Parren J. Mitchell, Shirley Chisholm and Adam Clayton Powell, CBC founders who were steadfast in their mission to include Black America in the capitalistic activities of our great nation.  Oh, we miss them so!  

Harry C. Alford is the co-founder and president/CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce (NBCC). Kay DeBow is the NBCC co-founder. Contact them via




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