Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Slavery Measure Could Figure in Tenn. Primary

Tucked away in today's House schedule among bills naming post offices and congratulating last year's winner of the Heisman Trophy is a measure that just might play a key role in a heated and divisive Democratic primary that's playing out right now in Tennessee.

The House is expected to vote this evening under suspension of the rules (meaning it will need a two-thirds majority to pass) on a resolution "apologizing for the enslavement and racial segregation of African-Americans." The measure was introduced in February 2007 by freshman Rep. Steve Cohen (D), one of only a handful of white lawmakers who have represented a majority-black district in recent decades.

Cohen won his Memphis-based seat in 2006 when Rep. Harold Ford Jr. (D) left it to run for the Senate. Cohen was the only serious white candidate in a crowded Democratic primary field that included several African-American hopefuls. But the candidate who came in second in that primary, Nikki Tinker, is running again this year and has marshaled considerable support from the district's black community. Tinker has also gotten endorsements from a handful of African-American House members, and she received a check from the Congressional Black Caucus PAC.

But Cohen has the backing of several more of his House colleagues, including House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.). Cohen is a member of the panel and Conyers helpfully gave his slavery resolution the go-ahead to move out of his committee and onto the House floor schedule.

The measure's expected passage will likely earn Cohen some valuable free media in his district in advance of the Aug. 7 primary. Cohen may have a fight on his hands, but as today's floor schedule shows, he does have an asset Tinker simply can't match -- incumbency.

By Ben Pershing  |  July 29, 2008; 11:59 AM ET
Categories:  2008 Campaign , Agenda  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The Week Ahead: Top Hill Aides Weigh In
Next: Report: Sen. Stevens Has Been Indicted

Comments

Are we seriously still debating an apology more than 140 YEARS after the end of slavery? This kind of thing just creates more divisions. Can we move on?

Posted by: Dgutes | July 29, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

We can "just move on" when America owns its role for slavery in America and the results of forcibly taking men, women and children from their native continent so that white America can become the privileged class. When white America learn to refuse and give their benefits of "white privilege", then we can "move on."

Posted by: Black and Bitter Like Coffee | July 29, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

We can "just move on" when America owns its role for slavery in America and the results of forcibly taking men, women and children from their native continent so that white America can become the privileged class. When white America learn to refuse and give up their benefits of "white privilege", then we can "move on." Until then, the division will exist. It's that simple.

Posted by: Black and Bitter Like Coffee | July 29, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Steve Cohen is a congenital denier of genocide. He accepts money from Libya's DC lobbyist - Republican Bob Livingston (formerly lobbyists for Turkey) - so he can kowtow to Turkey's policy of denying the murder of 1.5 million Christians by Turkey - the first genocide of the 20th century. Shame on Cohen.

Posted by: truthseeker | July 29, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Is this the same Steve Cohen who has accepted over $60,000 from gambling interests - the same industry that is bringing crime to unprecedented levels in the streets of Memphis. Talk and sentimental resolutions are one thing - but Steve Cohen in reality is selling out the African American community in Memphis so he can please his true base. Its time for Steve Cohen to follow Ted Stevens out of Congress.

Posted by: gamblingman | July 29, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Steve Cohen has actively worked to deny the premeditated murder of Armenian Christians. Why was the previous posting on this matter deleted. Censorship?

Posted by: censorship | July 29, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

What blatant pandering. Is Cohen kidding me? I lived in Tennessee and went to school there. He's going to lose more white votes than black votes he'll gain. What an idiot. This is ridiculous.

I hope Cohen loses and his constituents see right through his pathetic efforts to please everyone all the time with no substance behind any of his actions.

Posted by: Jeff Blake | July 29, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Cohen waits until he has a serious black challenger before he introduces this bill? Or is he just doing this to energize white voters to come out and vote against other black candidates?

Cohen is a silly politician out ot bamboozle Tennessee's 9th district's voters. I've been undecided in this race until now. I think Tinker will be a better choice than Cohen.

Posted by: Gordon Byron | July 29, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Cohen wants to apologize for slavery, then let him do it himself, one by one and door to door. He can do that and leav us out of it.

I've read how this man has refused to remember the genocide of a million Christians that happened 80 years ago and now wants to have the slavery issue rehashed.

Who is Cohen working for? What are his real intentions?

Posted by: Beatrice Levee | July 29, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

America should have moved on when 400,000 white men gave their lives to defeat slavery in the Civil War, with the passage of the Civil rights bill of 1964, etc, etc. It is only those who continue to use the crutch of slavery that want an apology, and this pandering politician. See through his blatant attempt to swing votes and vote him out.

Posted by: getoverit | July 29, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

My Status: Christian, American male(of African descent), retired military officer. Never mind the apology from Cohen or whomever. There is no need for it. Slavery is atrocious. It happened, but America and Americans did the right thing in the past to correct this grievous error. Everytime I see, hear, or listen to the death, genocide, devastion, and disease that has stricken countries on most of the African continent, I realize that I am truly blessed to live in the U.S., despite how my ancestors arrived here. Every nation and race of people have been persecuted at some point in time (Israelites, Jews, Egyptians, Chinese, Native Americans (Indians), and those countries that were colonized by the Spanish, French, English. The key here is what happens after that. Do you continue to blame others or do you resolve to educate yourself, your children, and seek a better life? Well, the opportunities are here in this great country. And, despite the fact that slavery existed and racism occurs, this is still the "land of the free and home of the brave." Get past the need for an apology and work on pursuing your dreams.

Posted by: MadDog | July 29, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Please know that 50% of the comments are by Armenians who have been spamming articles about Congressman Cohen who are upset about the Armenian - Turkey Conflict.

Congressman Cohen chose to safe American lives in his decision.

Congressman Cohen wrote a letter to President Clinton in 1997 concerning this issue. He introduced the bill when he first got to Congress in February 2007.

This bill has no reparations and countries all over the world and states here in the USA have apologized for slavery.

Why not a national apology?

Posted by: Mitch McDeere | July 29, 2008 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Why is the American public so vehemently opposed to reparations for African American? Could the truth be rooted in fear, in the undeniable inability for America to truly deal with the most horrific form of slavery in modern times?

The Japanese that were sent to internment camps also received a congressional apology as well as reparations.

So it follows that African Americans are once again being DISCRIMINATED against by the US government if they too do not receive the same two pronged remedy:

1. The apology (which we received today)
2. Reparations- which we truly deserve.

During the Unity Q and A session this weekend the Reparations question was posed to Sen Obama. He said he would not issue reparations.

I think he should rethink his stance.

The Japanese were not tortured, castrated, lynched
or worked under horridly brutal work conditions from sun up to sun down and they received monetary compensation for their time they spent in group housing along with their family members.

Our ancestors were bought and sold with blood bonds severed at birth.

African American should be outraged that their AFRICAN AMERICAN REPRESENTATIVES on capital hill do not have the courage to initiate a formal discourse on even the possibilities of reparations.

This is outrageous.

Posted by: Vivian | July 29, 2008 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Greetings from the 2nd most violent metro area in the USA which includes Steve Cohen 9th TN district. Memphis was #1 last year and I'm confident we'll be #1 again.

I thought you might like to know that about the same time Cohen was apologizing some thugs went on a spree in Memphis shooting up five locations and causing a 3-car wreck. These incidents terrorize Steve Cohen's constituents. But I'm sure they'll appreciate an apology for something almost noone alive is personally responsible for as they "hit the flo' and get low."

Posted by: North of North Memphian | July 30, 2008 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Greetings from the 2nd most violent metro area in the USA which includes Steve Cohen 9th TN district. Memphis was #1 last year and I'm confident we'll be #1 again.

I thought you might like to know that about the same time Cohen was apologizing some thugs went on a spree in Memphis shooting up five locations and causing a 3-car wreck. These incidents terrorize Steve Cohen's constituents. But I'm sure they'll appreciate an apology for something almost noone alive is personally responsible for as they "hit the flo' and get low."

Posted by: North of North Memphian | July 30, 2008 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Steve Cohen is going to be a one-term oongressman. He will lose on August 7. But, I am puzzeled to see he cares about slavery, because he acts a lot like an 18th Century white knight, as only he, a non-African-American, can represent those poor people of color. Later, dude.

Posted by: Bob Compton | July 30, 2008 12:45 AM | Report abuse

I love how the Turks log on to the various site and try to demonize Armenians or vise versa. Genocide? Who cares. Slavery? Who cares.

The real issue here is how desperate Cohen is to get black votes and what a suck-up move this is.

Cohen should read the writing on the wall and step aside. Let a fresh young face, a new face, a non-career politician take a crack at Washington.

Cohen's efforts are going to be too little too late. Ironically, they are just as desperate a move as when James Rogan (R-CA) tried to kiss up to Armenians by bringing up the Genocide resolution in 2000. He lost too.

Posted by: Nancy Morris | July 30, 2008 2:14 AM | Report abuse

Few things wrong with this. One is that Steve Cohen is up against a black women who has all these black organizations backing her. Funny how the media never highlights black racism in elections.

Cohen is a panderer and deserves to be pushed out. Only thing worst than a black racist is a white liberal who acts on behalf of the black victim agenda of me, me, me. What have you done for me, where's my reparations? I'm a victim, your an oppressor, all our problems are your responsibilities. Crime is just a manifestation of the Man keeping us down! Blah, Blah, Blah.

Posted by: Harry | July 30, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

I have a solution for all blacks looking for a reparation handout. How about a one way ticket back home to Liberia? You can bond with all those ancestors and family you so dutifully bring up all time.

Posted by: Teddy | July 30, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

truthseeker: Steve Cohen is Jewish, so he's probably not a congenital denier of genocide, which implies he reflexively denies it in all cases.

Teddy: Thanks for your advice to we blacks. We'll get back to you on that.

Posted by: Myron | July 30, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

g Een plaatje zegt alles, toch ? g Het volledige rapport is hier te vinden. Lees natuurlijk k de blogposting. p g
ламинат купить 6y

Posted by: ламинат | August 11, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

etf Een plaatje zegt alles, toch ? kdo Het volledige rapport is hier te vinden. Lees natuurlijk r de blogposting. g k
Thanks for interesting post! ave
паркет 9d

Posted by: ламинат | August 13, 2008 2:56 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company