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Consider the source

Earlier this morning, I blogged on Afro-Netizen about how the Congressional Black Caucus’ advocacy arm, the CBC Institute, is in discussions to co-host two presidential debates with a major cable news channel that many believe displays a strongly anti-Black bias.

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Reasonable people can argue about the perameters of social responsiblity and their varying elasticity. However, the CBCI partnering with this media outlet is like chickens supporting Colonel Sanders (to paraphrase former rogue CBC member Rep. J.C. Watts‘ father).

The more cynical among us might say that all one has to do is to look at any organization’s board and top funders and that will tell you pretty much all you need to know about the group’s true purpose and priorities — good, bad or neutral.

Like my grandmother always admonished: “consider the source” — in this case, the source of leadership and the money that funds its collective agenda.

Such scrutiny of the CBC and its satellite organizations might yield a pretty telling result: a clear conflict of interest between the general welfare of CBC constituents and the lobbying interests who seek to influence CBC members.

Perhaps I’m willfully naive, but something tells me that if there were a critical mass of profitable, politically active social enterprises who sought out “the Black dollar” as assiduously as the Altrias and Wal-marts, we would see a much different leadership within these groups — and quite likely an improved CBC voting record as well.

But, hey, if Amalgamated Land-Mines International, Inc., wants to throw some $1,000-college scholarships to inner-city youths, who am I to complain, right?

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