By Rosaland Tyler
New Journal and Guide
In late July, Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Steven Horsford walked toward the podium, adjusted the microphone and told reporters that African-Americans are under attack.
Here are some of the more troubling racial incidents that Horsford, Congressman from Nevada, cited as spokesman for the CBC. The U.S. Department of Justice recently announced plans to investigate the Memphis police department’s patterns and practices, nearly seven months after five MPD officers were caught on video violently beating and killing Tyre Nichols on Jan. 10, during a routine traffic stop.
Meanwhile, an Ohio police officer was recently fired after he released his canine on 23-year-old Jadarrius Rose, an unarmed Black commercial semi-truck driver who failed to stop for a routine inspection. The video shows the white police officer releasing his canine on the unarmed Black man who is shown holding his hands up in the air during the traffic stop.
Another recent racially-charged incident recently occurred in Maryland, Specifically, a white police officer, who was accused in a lawsuit of kneeling on a Black man’s neck during a traffic stop was recently suspended from the department, officials said.
“Black people are under attack in America, but we are not victims and we are not powerless,” Horsford said, at the CBC’s recent July 27 “State of Race and Democracy in America” press conference at the Capitol.
“Our fundamental rights are under assault and our very history is being denied,” Horsford told reporters. “But we will not stand by quietly as it happens. We will never give up when so many people are counting on us to fight for them.”
Horsford said, “We want our freedoms. We want our people to be safe.
“And so seeing that as an existential threat to the Republican Party, they aim to change the way a generation thinks by changing what we teach them. But little do they know, not only will it not work, it’ll piss us off and move young people to go and organize.”
Horsford was referring to the recent approval by the Florida State Board of Education of controversial new education guidelines that downplay the harsh history of slavery.
Instead, they emphasize how the skills learned by the enslaved could be used for their personal benefit.
Horsford was elected CBC chair in December 2022. A few months later, in May 2022, the CBC requested a meeting with President Biden to discuss national reforms to the justice system, especially law enforcement conduct. After Tyre Nichols was killed by Memphis police officers, many lawmakers called for action and urged political leaders to revisit the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, after the video was released.
The CBC dates back to the Civil Rights Movement when it was launched by nine members in 1971. Currently, the CDC has 58 members, who serve in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.