This Maxine Waters thing has me about to go all Chris Crocker on some people. You remember him, right and his Leave Britney (Spears) Alone! video in which he’s reduced to a tearful, ranting rage in defense of his embattled heroine.

I’m so almost there a la: “You’re lucky she even legislates performs for you bastards!”

The whole thing seems rather trumped up and probably wouldn’t make headlines if it weren’t for the grotesque litany of serious ethics violations facing Rep. Charlie Rangel. Because see, he’s black. And so is Rep. Waters. And apparently so is Shirley Sherrod, who isn’t a Member of Congress but is black. And in the government. And may have (or too bad Fox News: apparently has not) done something if not illegal, then unethical and maybe racist. Can you believe that Fox News actually mistook Maxine Waters for Shirley Sherrod, flashing the wrong picture on screen? Or was it a mistake at all…cuz seriously when does that ever even happen on tv, for realz? From Media Matters:

This also isn’t the first time Fox News has inadvertently shown footage of one African-American while discussing another. As Media Matters has noted, in June 2007, Fox News showed footage of Rep. John Conyers during a report on the expected indictment of Rep. William Jefferson. In 2006, Fox aired footage of Harold Ford Jr. while talking about Barack Obama.

How on earth is the mainstream media supposed to keep all these various political Negroes and their problems with “ethics” or whatever straight? After all, they all look alike, right? And if one black person has done something, then all black people — or at least the ones nearby — must be guilty too!

And let me tell you people something — compared with the sex-charged and disgusting conduct of seemingly many Republicans in Congress just a few years ago — does any of this really compare?

Miss Maxine is the most senior of only 12 African-American women (out of 435 seats) in the House. She’s an unabashed and fierce progressive sitting on some committees at the center of national debate including:

Caucus memberships

She’s a powerful woman and it’s no wonder that she’s being targeted. Miss Maxine ain’t perfect. But I like her style and her standup for what’s right. The Congressional Black Caucus tends to circle the wagons to protect its members no matter whether it’s one small-ish ethics concern or close to $100,000 found in a CBC member’s freezer. I really don’t agree with that strategy and would encourage picking battles more carefully. However, I’m in agreement with them this time. Here’s their statement on the matter:

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, released the following statement today on Congresswoman Maxine Waters of California:

“The House of Representatives has a long-standing and well established ethics process, which should be allowed to proceed without prejudging the outcome. Although the alleged charges remain unclear, some in the media have sought to indict Congresswoman Waters in clear disregard of her right to a fair and due process.

“Throughout her tenure in Congress, and in the California State Legislature before that, Congresswoman Waters has been a tireless and effective advocate for underrepresented and underserved communities and institutions. She continues to be an important voice on those and many other issues and should not have her rights usurped by politicians or the press.”

Other people like David Fiderer and Earl Ofari Hutchison have dug deeper into what may be just a completely bogus charge and a possible pattern. Which…comes suspiciously close on the heels of another powerful CBC Member’s ethics trial and close to the mid-term election. Hutchison says:

Apart from the allegation that she arranged a meeting on behalf of the National Bankers Association, a minority banking group, with Treasury officials, and her husband had an interest in one of the banks, the allegation is not new. During that time, legions of bankers and Wall Street financial house reps met with treasury officials. They all came with hat in hand for bailout funds.

Waters did not attend the meeting in question and had no input in the decision by the Treasury to eventually shell out $12 million in bailout funds to minority banks. On the strength of an old charge, a single meeting, and no proof that Waters arm twisted Treasury officials to fork over money to the bank in question or any other minority bank, Waters muscled aside Charles Rangel as the poster politician for Congressional thievery and malfeasance. [...]

The list of white Republicans and Democrats that engage in influence peddling, conflict of interest, bed ties with lobbyists, nepotism, commit campaign financial violations and improprieties, would fill up a small telephone directory. There are occasions when a few of them get hand slap punishments for their sins. Almost always when they are so over the top they can’t be ignored. But black politicians that are accused of wrongdoing, or actually do wrong, are called on the carpet far out of proportion to their numbers.

The pattern was set more than two decades ago. Between 1983 and 1988, the Reagan Justice Department initiated 465 political corruption probes of elected officials. A disproportionate percentage of the investigations were against black elected officials even though they comprised only three percent of US elected officials.

A decade later the pattern was repeated. Then, half of the 26 members of the Congressional Black Caucus were the subjects of federal investigations. To put the racial magnitude of the investigations in perspective, this was equivalent to bringing charges against 204 of the 409 white congressional representatives. Reagan and Bush Sr. officials hotly denied that there was any racial bias or animus in the top heavy number of black elected officials hit with investigations and in some cases charges.

Things that make you go…hmmm….

I’d like to see the rhetoric calmed down and some fair treatment of Waters’ case vs. Rangel’s challenges. She’s being challenged on one possible violation and he’s looking at at least 13. There’s a difference. Maxine — keep on fightin’. And Mainstream Media — keep some perspective. I just hope I don’t have to put on some heavy eyeliner and go on YouTube to make my case!

What do you think — what’s really going on here?

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