John Conyers’ Private Conversations with the President on Behalf of the Black Community

John Conyers' Private Conversations with the President on Behalf of the Black Community

Power underwrites itself by outlining the value of what is within our grasp to control. To be entrusted by your colleagues and constituents to wield the considerable power of the chairmanship of the  judiciary committee to have understood the wielding it takes to enact a holiday, these are just a few of the accomplishments of a man who many don’t know and if they do, they don’t know enough about the senior statesman from Michigan John Conyers. The fact that one of the author of the bill to establish a national day of recognition when Dr. King’s works had not been realized, hailed from Detroit and brought his commitment and tenacity to bear on legislating the bill into laws is not just admirable or impressive, it is the ultimate indicator what was to come.   

John Conyers, who was solely selected by his colleagues and is entrusted by his constituents to chair the all-powerful congressional judiciary committee, should loom large in the minds of every African American in the nation. He is the same man who understood that Dr. King deserved a holiday for the sacrifices he made to improve the quality of life for not only African Americans, but disadvantaged citizens around the nation and the world. Those who recognized the 

accomplishments of Dr. King in that moment did not have the benefit of seeing his work unfold into the future or nor could they completely comprehend the impact it would ultimately have on current day society, culminating in the election of a black president.  No, it was an unpopular proposition to fight for  a holiday for an black man, but neither might have been possible without the considerable influence of the congressman from the 14th congressional district who is presently serving his 22nd term on Capitol Hill. 

In contemporary times there is not a movement that he has not been involved with or at least approached in his relentless pursuit of elevating the African American community.  As one of the 13 founding members of the Congressional Black Caucus where he is affectionately known as ‘the Dean’ his position on the law makers’ ability to address the legislative concerns of Black and minority citizens is solid and unmoving.

Conyers time has been tantamount to the history of balk politicians in this country.  While in Detroit recently to speak at a symposium, prompted by the release of Obama and Black Loyalty, written by Bankole Thompson, publisher of the Michigan Chronicle, the Honorable John Conyers was asked to address an illustrious group of African American politicians, educators, business people and media personalities. As he took the podium to begin his discussion on loyalty and the administration, one errant heckler called out “time for a change, time for a change.” As the audience members wielded around in chagrin and disgust responding with boos and calling for the hecklers ousting, the congressman with immense grace and composure asked, “Young man what is your name?” and then “I’d be happy to talk with you after my remarks, but for the time being would you agree to remove yourself from the room for the remainder of my comments.” The man who dared to insult the embodiment of history, eagerly agreed as if he were in some hypnotic state and left quietly to wait for the congressman outside. The senior statesman disarmed his detractor, rebuffed the attack and remained regal in the process. 

John Conyers continued graciously and confidently and explained that he had been preparing notes in the car about a discussion he was planning to have with President Obama. “… The first thing I would want [the president] to do is acknowledge your support for Charles Rangel. Without passing judgement or denying that he may or may not have made mistakes, Charles Rangel deserves your unswerving support for reelection to the congress. …  To hold back is an insult to every member of the Black Caucus and the Progressive Caucus. 

“Number two, create jobs. What we have now is a situation where we’ve rescued the banks, the insurance companies, and the wealthy, but the people on the bottom are experiencing the highest unemployment since 1929 … and the foreclosures are going to be higher this year than they were last year. So please Mr. President, use your executive ability to create jobs. I know you’re stymied in the congress, but you have to make ti clear that the one and a half trillion dollars that we’ve expended was not expended to save the wealthy, and guess what the banks still aren’t making loans to qualified homeowners … And we’re going to hold an emergency hearing in my committee before the next session because this can’t wait. That is what I would have said to the president if I had seen him this morning.”

Yes, John Conyers is committed to preserving the dignity of all African American citizens in these United States which is under constant attack from special interest group’s and the pseudo-socio elitists who have forgotten their histories. He fought the good fight when denying Pell Grants to minority students was standard practices for the government and institutions, when denying entry into law schools and institutions of higher learning was the order of the day. 

If you know anybody, if you know of T.I. or Tupac, or if you know of Dr. King or Malcolm you are obligated to know of John Conyers and the work he’s done. 

If so you might know that he is largely responsible for that paid day off that is Dr. King’s birthday. He paved the way.  Don’t pass up the chance to acknowledge the work and the man.


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