CLEVELAND, OH – Everything thoughtful American Negro citizens of Cleveland worked and fought for is gone. The banks. Savings and loans. Gas stations. Pharmacies. Theatres. Supermarkets. Dry cleaners. Physicians offices. Dental offices. Law offices. Civic institutions. Political institutions. Gone. That includes the consciousness that in all we do American Negroes should never disgrace our race.
What we’re left with is degraded American Negroes who call themselves “Niggaz” and see ignorance, greed and depravity as their culture. It’s not mine. Some of us aggressively refuse being called the “N” word by anybody.
Our ancestors wanted that word outlawed like they did in South Africa with the word “kaffir.” That word was intended to be degrading and now the descendants of once proud American Negroes voluntarily degrade themselves with it.
Why didn’t the mainstream media, recording and film industry make hunky, kike, cracker, chink, gook, spick, peckerwood or cunt popular words instead of the N-word? The people who’s DNA produced the world’s greatest agriculturist, George Washington Carver, a man who studied 326 ways to use a peanut every other race of people could only eat, are now a global intellectual and curve-graded cultural laughing stock when we were once marveled.
The American Negro voter turnout in the 11th Congressional was a complete disgrace. Seven percent in Basheer Jones’ Ward 7 . Fourteen percent overall in the majority American Negro Cleveland neighborhoods and precincts. The despicably low turnout is a reflection of the political laziness of elected officials who have weakened the American Negro’s political voice by not educating, organizing and mobilizing American Negro citizens to participate in their civic duties. They prefer them weak and controllable in numbers large enough just to ensure their own re-elections.
In April 1970 United States Representative Louis Stokes founded the 21st Congressional Democratic Caucus to deal with the Democratic Party’s refusal to support American Negro candidates for higher elected office or voter registration and Get Out The Vote efforts in it. They also wanted access to what was then called “political patronage.” That is they wanted access to the jobs, contracts and board and commission appointments … too.
Joseph Bartunek was chairman of the Democratic Party’s Central Committee and a racist Eastern European whose family immigrated from Nazi-loving Czechoslovakia. The Central Committee didn’t spend a dime to support Get Out The Vote efforts in Cleveland’s American Negro neighborhoods when Carl Stokes sought the mayor’s job twice in 1967 and 1969. It’s the same today as I see no evidence of the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party’s effort to turn up the American Negro vote in anything but suburbs where Russian, Polish and Ukrainian Jews live.
Under the political realities in existence in 1970, the 21st Congressional District Caucus would be all over the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections for not appointing an American Negro director since Republican Virgil Ennis Brown, Sr. and Democrat Mary Yates Malone. Brown directed administrative operations at the Board of Elections from 1972 until 1979 when he was appointed to seat on the Cuyahoga County Board of Commissioners. The first American Negro to hold both offices.
Mary Yates-Malone replaced Mr. Brown in February 1979 and remained in the job until 1987. The abundance of jobs American Negroes worked at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections are gone because no one has fought for them since the Stokes brothers died or left office. George Lawrence Forbes and Michael Reed White are the last two major American Negro politicians everyone knew made demands for American Negro inclusion on everything … everywhere.
The 21st Congressional District Caucus was structured with bylaws, offices and committee vice chairmanships that allowed civic minded residents in the 21st Congressional District to lead and participate in the areas that best expressed their civic interests. The goal of the organization was to teach American Negro Democrats, initially, to be better voters and more prepared candidates. Another goal was to dislodge American Negro voters from being beholden to Democrats or Republicans.
A year after its founding the 21st Congressional Democratic Caucus dropped the word “Democratic” and added the world “District.” It then became known as the 21st Congressional District Caucus. With the involvement of American Negro Republicans like Sara Harper it was understood by Cleveland’s American Negro political leadership then that it made no sense to divide our people along political lines.
In 1970 Cleveland’s population was 840,000 and about 40 percent American Negro. That’s 336,000 American Negroes. The city’s entire population today is 372,000 with a 49 percent American Negro population. That’s 180,000 American Negroes to 128,000 Caucasians. Cleveland’s political leadership did the math and decided to eliminate opportunities for political division between American Negro voters who were then and now the city and county’s largest ethnic voting bloc.
The change in the 21st Congressional District Caucus’ name also brought with it a change in perspective that it was only for American Negro politicians and residents. Mr. Stokes knew an undivided American Negro voting base, where he could count on support from Republicans and Democrats, would keep him in office. So the the organization’s leadership opened its doors to residents from all parts of the 21st Congressional District with the confidence that it could not be taken over.
In 1971 the 21st Congressional District Caucus was in its infancy the year my father, Harold Pride Brewer, decided to challenge Attorney George Lawerence Forbes for the council seat he held. I was a student at Shaw High School and would be enlisting in the United States Air Force a year later intent on joining the anti-Communism fight in Southeast Asia.
The 21st Congressional Caucus backed 13 candidates for Cleveland city council and 10 won. It gave American Negroes one additional ward out of the 33; and took the number of American Negro seats held to 13.
To demonstrate even more power the Stokes brothers fielded and supported enough candidates for central committee to put Bartunek out of the job of Democratic Party Central Committee chairman. They forced the party to split up the job in an agreement that placed Mr. Forbes and attorney Anthony Garfoli in leadership as co-chairmen.
By the time I returned to Cleveland from service to my nation in its anti-Communism war and college in 1978, the 21st Congressional District Caucus was a well-oiled political machine as I observed the stories I was reading while laying out news pages for the Call & Post’s production department. The Democratic Party in Cleveland’s American Negro community was there but irrelevant.
The Caucus in 1978 met weekly. Reporters covered the organization’s meetings as if it was a public institution. Stories about changes in executive officers made news when they were accused of violating rules. Throughout it all Congressman Stokes maintained as tight a grip as he could on the political machine he and his brother had created.
At the weekly meetings I covered as a reporter and publisher, an American citizen beaten by police could share the news. I remember seeing citizens show up fresh out of the hospital to display their bandages and wounds. There were annual events to keep members connected. But there were training events that stimulated participants to be more involved citizens by showing them how.
The majority of people getting elected today don’t come from political families where political histories like the one I’ve just shared is passed down from grandparents to their children and grandchildren. Not all Americans are raised in families with activist parents who show their children the how’s of living as an American without fear by taking them to public meetings and introducing them to elected and public officials. It’s why I understand why Mr. Stokes’ replacements didn’t see The Caucus with the same importance as he did. They didn’t have the same political struggles.
The City of Cleveland is going to be the center of the next congressional district’s boundaries and go outward from their, cocentrically, to the inner ring suburbs. The 21st Congressional District is now the 11th Congressional District and has been since 2001. The organization and its original intent was not nurtured through the fault of no elected official. U.S. Rep. Stokes didn’t intend for the Congressional representative to own the organization. He intended for it to be controlled by the citizens living in it. Out of his mouth he told members in the first organizational meeting that if he was not an effective federal representative the organization did not have to support him for re-election.
The issue of whether or not another American Negro can be elected in the district is resolved based purely on the ethnic demographics of Cleveland and the surrounding suburbs to the edges of Cuyahoga County. American Negroes are the largest and most homogenous ethnic demographic group in the county and city; and at least 20 surrounding suburbs. It’s okay if American Negroes today become offended at being called “a minority.”
Recently I learned through investigation that neither the name of the 11th Congressional District Caucus or the 21st Congressional District Caucus had been registered with the Secretary of State. The Facebook page former U.S. Rep. Marcia Louise Fudge used to promote the annual picnic and parade is captiond the 21st Congressional Community Parade.
I registered the name, 11th Congressional District Caucus, as a non-profit corporation and filed for the 501.c4 designation to make it a “non-govermental organization” or NGO. Bylaws have been written and other administrative steps are being taken to schedule the first public board meeting and elect the officers and members of the executive committee.
The goal is to obtain funding to open an office and for the board to hire an executive director. Weekly meetings will resume and so will other planned activities throughout the year.
When I awarded retired U.S. Rep. Stokes with a Key to the City of East Cleveland in 2008, the man warmly spoke of how he and his brother, Carl, thought of themselves as “teachers.” The teaching part of the 11th Congressional District Caucus will be reincorporated and embedded within the culture of the reconstituted civic organization.
People seeking to bring attention to government abuses will be heard and asked to join the organization to redress them directly with the “member” elected officials. Elected officials will be asked to participate and investigate the conduct of their employees.
The 11th Congressional District’s new boundaries will include roughly 875,000 Americans, immigrants and aliens depending upon the number of people reporting in the 2020 Census. The 11th Congressional District Caucus is non-partisan and membership will be open to American citizens who are authorized constitutionally and by our nation and state’s laws to involve themselves in our politics.
The parade will relocate from Luke Easter Park to downtown Cleveland and Mall C next year where the Stokes brothers launched the first Rib Burnoff. Corporate Cleveland stole their idea and profitized it even more. Major entertainment will return. So will national and statewide political speakers.
Through the 11th Congressional District Caucus resident members will have the opportunity to work together on American issues of importance to us all as Americans. The organization will offer civic and candidate preparation for public service; and provide an accountability conduit and an opportunity for unfiltered communications between the people and their elected and appointed representatives.
The 11th Congressional District will not have had a voice in Congress for over a year after the November 2, 2021 general election and the vote is certified. A week after the certification candidates will have to repull petitions to go at it all over again.
The majority of 11th Congressional District residents as shown by the numbers were politically silenced on August 3, 2021. Our people are not ignorant they’re just not informed.
The Plain Dealer abandoned the city as a $3.25 per copy rag no poor or financially struggling Clevelander can afford. Not all of the city is internet wired or is the cost within the reach of financially struggling Americans. The AM radio stations that once fed Clevelanders steady diets of free local news are gone. The majority of convenience stores are not American owned as EB5 visas flooded the city with foreign investors who had no use for an English language newspaper.
There’s still time to increase the 11th Congressional District’s voter turnout numbers but candidates, activists and voters must get off their politically lazy azzes to achieve the goal. The August 3rd vote was a humiliating disgrace to everything our ancestors suffered, sacrified, fought for, built and left for us to use as tools to improve the condition of the American Negro race. You can’t abandon everything “old” for a “new” and untested “idea.”
Stay tuned to EJBNEWS to learn more about the return of the 11th Congressional District Caucus.