by Yvette Carnell
In a blistering rebuke, Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Donna Brazile was forced to resign her position as CNN political analyst. Brazile’s departures came only days after Wikileaks revealed that she’d provided the Clinton campaign with debate questions, at least two of which addressed the needs of the African-American community specifically.
During a contentious exchange with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly over the first Wikileaks revelation, Brazile struck a religious chord, intentionally deflecting away from Kelly’s pointed questions. “As a Christian woman I understand persecution but I will not stand here and be persecuted because your information is totally false,” Brazile said.
Brazile continued: “I am not going to try to validate falsified information…I do my homework, I communicate, I talk. CNN has never provided me with questions.”
It now appears that Brazile provided the Clinton campaign with not one, not two, but multiple debate questions.
For Donna Brazile and Roland Martin, Why Was Cheating for Hillary More Important Than the African-American Community?Click to tweet
Although the veteran political “analyst” claimed to be “neutral” during the primary battle between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, she’d already admitted in a 2014 Washington Post interview that “neutrality is something that gets you in trouble because, you ever notice someone who stands on the white line in the middle of the road? They get run over. And I don’t want to get run over. So I’m not neutral. I have to tell people that I’m neutral, but I’m ready for Hillary.”
We knew Brazile was playing for Team Hillary all along. What may be surprising for some, however, is how Brazile, in her desperate attempt to be of some use to the Clinton campaign, put the needs of corporate Democrats ahead of ordinary African-Americans.
At least two debate questions that Brazile allegedly passed on to the Clinton campaign were addressing the needs of the African-American community.
The first debate question Brazile sent, written by TV One’s Roland Martin, was on the death penalty. In the email to the Clinton campaign, Brazile prefaced the debate question with her concerns, writing: “Here’s one that worries me about HRC.”
In the second leaked email, Brazile warns John Podesta that “one of the questions directed to HRC tomorrow is from a woman with a rash. Her family has lead poison and she will ask what, if anything, will Hillary do as president to help the ppl of Flint.”
In the first debate it was Ricky Jackson, an African-American exonerated death row inmate, who asked Clinton how she could support the death penalty in light of how many innocent people had been wrongfully convicted. Lee-Anne Walters, who is white, was the woman who asked Clinton about Flint’s water crisis.
This was the African-American community’s chance to have our issues in the national spotlight. In life outside of an election year, Hillary Clinton is only speaking directly to those who can afford her $225,000 speaking fee, but elections require that candidates mingle with voters.
It was the responsibility of African-Americans within the Democratic Party, such as Donna Brazile, and black media, represented by Roland Martin, to ensure that our issues got a fair hearing. Instead, Brazile acted against the interests of African-Americans in order to ensure Hillary Clinton was given an unfair advantage in the debate. Meanwhile, one can only assume Roland Martin shared the questions to gain favor with what he perceived as the incoming Democratic administration.
As I write this, Democrats are still coming to terms with the idea–made real on election day- of Donald Trump as president. Progressives have gone from protestations to planning sessions. African-American Democrats, however, have not come to terms with the absence of black mainstream media reporters who act in opposition to corporate Democrats and on behalf of the black community’s agenda.
For people like Brazile and Martin, the black community is only a backdrop for their own personal ambition. Here’s how it looks: Roland Martin leverages his role at TV One only to gain favor with Donna Brazile, who works for Democrats, and uses her position to further secure her own self interest.
For years I’ve been excoriating the black misleadership functionaries, both in print and on video. There is a sense that everyone agrees with me about the duplicity of this group in the abstract, but no one wants to name names. No one wants to punish. Well, if we want our politics to improve, we must speak plainly about these people, and dismiss them when they cease being effective messengers and negotiators for our interests.
In response to the allegations, Martin said he did not “share my questions with anybody. Literally. My executive producer wasn’t even aware of what I was going to ask.”
That’s a direct contradiction to the findings of CNN’s investigation:
Our investigation turned up a number of questions that Roland sent to CNN – and these two are included, verbatim, with all the same punctuation and capitalization. As we have said all along, Donna was never given anything by CNN. It is clear that these, like the others, were also sent from Roland to Donna.
And Brazile is still lashing out at CNN over her firing. “I wish CNN had given me some other things, like the ability to defend myself rather than ripping me a new one,” she whined.
Considering the selfish fashion that both Brazile and Martin intervened in all of our lives, an apology is the minimum they owe us. We have regrettably created a class of black political hacks who view themselves as above rebuke. The only way we change this toxic relationship is with their undoing.