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The Congressional Black Caucus has helped with mass incarceration of African-Americans

Charles Rangel (D-NY) longest member of CBC
Charles Rangel (D-NY) founder of the Congressional Black Caucus and longest serving CBC member since 1970.

Never discount the effectiveness of social media.  Through Twitter, a preferred social media tool, one can engage in thoughtful, non-emotional dialogue, with many respected journalists, constituents and elected officials.

After meeting USC Roy P. Crocker Law Professor Jody Armour, we have engaged in many discussions regarding the devastating effects of crack cocaine, in urban communities, which he will discuss further in his upcoming book Nigga Theory.  Surprisingly, our elected officials have not made matters any better, primarily, members of the Congressional Black Caucus.

The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) was founded in 1971 to further black representatives of Congress.  The same representatives have also overwhelmingly passed the two most influential bills that established a road map for mass black incarceration, as it relates to drugs and violent crimes.

The Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 was passed  in October of 1986, which was overwhelmingly approved by the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) members.  Ironically this bill was passed just as crack cocaine began to plague black neighborhoods, which began in 1984.  This bill also led to the disparity in sentencing of crack vs. powder.

Related article: CONGRESSIONAL BLACK CAUCUS REJOICES IN GROWING STRENGTH (10/1986)

len bias

After the death of NBA hopeful, Len Bias, on June 19, 1986, of a cocaine overdose, The Len Bias
Law, was passed in 1988 which strengthened the 1986 law and expanded the D.A.R.E. (drug abuse resistance education) program, which reinforced the “War on Drugs“.  The state of Oregon currently leads in prosecuting under the Len Bias Law.

Related article:  History of the Crack Epidemic

The Violent Crime Control & Law Enforcement Act of 1994, was written by current Vice-President, Joe Biden, is the largest crime bill in United States history, being over 500 pages long and is also known as the “ban on assault weapons” bill.

A Twitter discussion with Lauren Victoria, managing editor of @Crewof42 and formerly of ABC News and USA Today,  revealed that Congresswoman Maxine Waters was under extreme pressure from community leaders and the Los Angeles Times to vote yes on the 1994 bill.  Congresswoman Waters was smarter than that and voted NO, along with ten (10) other CBC members while twenty-three (23) of her CBC colleagues voted YES.

Related article: Timeline of Black America’s surprising 40-year support for the drug war

What is also interesting about this particular bill is it was a voice vote, which ensured it would not be on the record who voted for/against, after it was amended.  We do have record of who voted in favor while it went up the chain of command. For a full list of current CBC members, click here.

The CBC also funds the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation since 1976.  Two separate entities that work on behalf of each other.


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About Melissa

I am a lifelong Inglewood resident living in District 4. I serve on PTA and School Site Council as Vice-President, for the last 8 years with Inglewood Unified School District. I volunteer on the Wellness Committee for ICEF Public Schools. I am an alumni of California State University, Dominguez Hills with a degree in Political Science. You can find me on Twitter under @CreoleMommie

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