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Chicago Congressman Bobby Rush’s personal history includes being born in Albany, Georgia and time in the Black Panther Party.  While working for Albany State University, I bumped into Rush coming out of the old Broad Street Bistro downtown.  When I called him congressman, he was surprised to be recognized in south Georgia. Unfortunately, he was in town for the burial of his father and said that Rep. Sanford Bishop made the customary congressional courtesy offer of putting his local office at Rush’s disposal during his visit to the district. 

Congressional courtesy is a classy gesture that is quickly vanishing.  Traditionally, the same consideration applies on the staff level.  Recently, I bumped into Bishop’s District Director at a function and he listened to my laundry list of policy concerns in the parking lot because that is what staff does for former staffer or those who are “informed constituents.”  This director’s counterpart to the east makes it a hobby to not humor this particular former colleague—alright then. 

Bobby Rush has the distinction of being the last opponent to defeat President Barrack Obama.  After the 2000 congressional race, Obama regrouped and did well for himself.  Rush spoke to our Black congressional staff organization once and told us that he was late for a Panther meeting that ended up in a conflict with the authorities; he might have been dead or in prison if he was on time that day.

Rush said that the Panthers felt that Blacks in America were similar to a trained elephant in the circus.  A baby elephant is tethered to a steel rod in the ground and taught to walk in a circle.  After the animal grows into a massive giant, the trainers can push the rod into the ground with their hands only because the trained mind of the elephant does not realized it could simple free itself by recognizing it’s powerful potential.  

Rep. Rush also told the sad story of baby elephant being found next to their mothers’ bodies after ivory hunter killed the mother.  Babies elephants have been discovered dying of dehydration while standing in the river.  The mother was slaughter before teaching the young one to reach down and drink.  Rush’s parallels between the Black community and elephants were classics.  

This blog’s foundation is political diversity because different voices and histories at the table create better discussions and better solutions.  Judge Sonia Sotomayor needs to stop back peddling on her statement that her Latina experiences brings different judicial perspective to the table or bench. 

To use a worn term, she is uniquely qualified and I will be smiling when the next election brings a less bitter GOP House member or maybe a woman into the Georgia delegation.  Georgia has only had six women in congresss and three of them serve less than a year.  If Bobby Rush can go from Black Panther to congress then Georgia should have more than three females in Congress since World War II.   It’s not affirmative action to think that the Georgia delegation’s vibe is a little testosterone-driven.   

http://womenincongress.house.gov/data/wic-by-state.html

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