LCV Environmental Scorecard Ratings Shortchange Urban Blacks, by Mike Green

While pretending to be nonpartisan, the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) recently published a “report card” grading politicians on their environmental voting records. Internet ads hyping the rankings tease “Did your senator vote to trash the environment?”

We are supposed to believe the LCV’s ratings are an accurate portrayal of politician’s positions on conservation issues, but they are really just a propaganda tool designed to support liberal policies.

Groups engineering vote ratings that make their friends look good while demonizing their opponents is nothing new, but why should this concern African-Americans?

Throughout history, various tactics have been employed to undermine the freedoms of African-Americans. Many liberals promote an agenda that essentially returns us to the plantation where we were once totally dependent. They are recruiting black “leaders” and organizations to assist in their plan to regulate nearly every aspect of our lives. The LCV, in my view, is one such organization.

In the case of the LCV, support for organizations providing abortions internationally and increased campaign finance regulation here at home are two “conservation” issues that earned officeholders higher rankings, while a significant environmental vote that helped minorities was ignored.

A vote that didn’t make the LCV ratings rehabilitates blighted inner-city areas. According to the Washington Post, “The Brownfield Revitalization Act” passed by the Senate in December of 2001 was “the most important environmental action of the 107th Congress.” It expedites the clean-up of polluted industrial and commercial sites, called “brownfields,” that are usually found in impoverished urban communities. By providing tens of millions in federal assistance to state and local governments and easing clean-up regulations, thousands of blighted inner-city areas can be restored to viable use. Isn’t this a positive thing for black communities and the environment? So, why was this “most important piece of legislation” left off of the LCV report card?

Rehabilitating unsuitable areas can attract new businesses offering jobs and increasing the standard of living for local residents. Organizations such as the LCV – by completely ignoring the Brownfields Revitalization Act – essentially impede progress in black America. Sure, the LCV promotes cleaner air, water and land – but what about helping minority citizens and the air, land and water in our communities? Apparently, abortion and campaign finance reform are far greater “environmental” issues than the cleanup of our communities. “The Pacific Salmon Recovery Act,” another important environmental bill, is also overlooked. It’s my guess that environmental issues only count when introduced and backed by liberals.

Why does the LCV seem to ignore real conservation issues, rating on subjects like abortion instead? The answer lies in history.

Beginning in the late 1960s, many of those in Congress who opposed integration and civil rights took a new course to undermine African-American progress. Taking a cue from Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger, they introduced a plethora of social programs offering financial assistance to struggling families. With it was the stipulation that families discard the male provider. This deliberate move undermined the nucleus of poor minority families needing assistance. While claiming to declare a “war on poverty,” few noted that poverty never stopped African-American progress in the past. Undermining the family, however, obliterated much of the substantial progress African-Americans were making before these social programs were started.

Planned Parenthood clinics that perform abortions were built in impoverished black communities. While the socialist welfare state flourished, so did a system of genocide within the walls of abortion clinics. With the help of recruited black leaders and supposedly benevolent organizations not unlike the LCV, American blacks were convinced to return to the plantations of dependency by relying on government programs.

We were promised that government programs would take care of us, and aspersions were cast upon conservatives fighting for increased freedoms and civil liberties for all. They made us think conservatives only cared for themselves. We bought the lie hook, line and sinker – abandoning those who historically fought on our side.

Now, as evidenced by the LCV’s ratings, blacks in America aren’t the only ones subjected to the covert subjugation efforts. Funding of the United Nations Fund for Population Assistance, which essentially limits the reproduction of non-white faces around the globe, is something favored by the LCV. Conversely, conservative presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush used a law established in 1981 to prohibit taxpayer dollars from funding overseas programs and organizations involved in coercive abortions or involuntary sterilization. President Bill Clinton, however, re-established funding and increased it up to $40 million annually during his presidency.

Some liberals have never stopped their push to regulate and limit the reproduction of – and freedoms for – African-Americans. In our acceptance of their support for abortion, our ranks are reduced. By supporting increased campaign regulation, they attempt to silence conservative and independent voices while using the mainstream media and Hollywood to continue their demagoguery. Promoting the liberal agenda, in the case of the LCV, is seemingly more important than cleaning up pollution or saving fish populations – or simply telling the truth.

With liberals denigrating conservatives and telling the African-American community conservatives are pitted against us, many of us will continue to side with liberal politicians. This empowers them in their ongoing quest to deprive our children, undermine our progress, raise our taxes and eventually establish, as they once did in the south, another dependent society. Just like the good old days… on the plantation.

(Mike Green is a associate of Project 21 and a columnist for The Village News in Fallbrook, California. He can be reached at [email protected].)

Note: New Visions Commentaries reflect the views of their author, and not necessarily those of Project 21.

Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for over 25 years, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research. Its members have been quoted, interviewed or published over 40,000 times since the program was created in 1992. Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated, and may be earmarked exclusively for the use of Project 21.