My grandmother loved to quote Twain: "The only thing sadder than a young cynic is an old optimist."
Grandma Murphy, a veteran community activist/writer in Baltimore, has taught me a lot of things throughout my life. One of her most important and enduring pearls of wisdom has been her admonition that "everything is political". Grandma Murphy would go on to drive the point home that "even flushing the toilet is a political act". (And she meant that in a literal sense despite the clear metaphorical value of her example.)
As a young(ish) cynic navigating this post-9/11 Digital Age, this latest round of non-sense with the CBC Institute trying to convince itself, CBC members and the public at-large that it is a representative and relevant organization reveals something perhaps only a cynic may see at first glance.
I do not dare say that this is definitive or based on any inside information I have been leaked, but I suspect that if the CBC Institute hosts a highly rated presidential debate, major advertisers -- I mean potential contributors -- will want to "support" the CBCI which probably could stand to get a couple more bucks in its coffers.
I also suspect that since fully validated and influential members of Black America may not be aware of this CBCI/Fox fiasco as created by the Black netroots community (a term which most Americans are still largely unfamiliar with), an all too large subset of CBC members have chosen to add their names to a letter requesting that the Tier 1 candidates (i.e., Obama, Edwards & Clinton) rejoin this scheduled debate because the risk of not signing it has far clearer and potentially worse implications than signing it. But this is the game of politics. And I do not take it personally. But I do most definitely take it seriously.
There are some outstanding legislators who have chosen to sign the letter because they think it's the best thing to do (but not necessarily the only or right thing to do) at present. As with family members, on some things we will agree, and on others . . . fuhgeddabowdit. And like family, if an elder has wronged someone else in the family, rarely is confronting the elder in public or in mixed company appropriate or effective.
Perhaps this cyber-cynic has a bit of optimism in him after all. Because I bet a few of the begrudging signatories want those of us leading the anti-Fox/CBCI partnership brigade to win with flying colors.
While I gather this CBC letter was leaked by a member who was not a signatory, I do not doubt that with the right tools, opportunity and support, collaborators on the inside can help our cause because 1) they know our position is consistent with their collective's professed raison d'etre, and more practically 2) they see that the writing is on the wall: the Black netroots ain't goin' away. In fact, it gathers force every day. And one day real soon those signatories are going to need us . . . far more (and far more often) than the Faux News Channel!