In response to growing “disenchantment” nationally with the Democratic Party, Black voters in Palm Beach County, Fla. have formed a Caucus independent of the Party. In the immortal words of Fannie Lou Hamer, “we are sick and tired of being sick and tired,” said the president of the new organization, Attorney Richard A. Ryles.
Submitted by Richard A. Ryles
WEST PALM BEACH, FL. – The launch of the Palm County (PBC) Black Caucus isn’t political, but it is in response to politics—and the lack of progress on issues important to the community, such as the recent Haitian immigration crisis.
That’s according to Attorney Richard A. Ryles, one of the founders of the Caucus, who said that the political parties of this country have failed to address the issues of the peoples of the African diaspora, which includes African Americans, Caribbean Blacks and native Africans.
In fact, the newly created Caucus means to include all the peoples of the African diaspora who live in PBC—no matter their party affiliations—to address their concerns and to ensure politics does the same. And the politicians.
“It is the position of the Caucus that, despite unwavering loyalty to the Democratic Party, the political interests of the African-American community have consistently taken a backseat once elections have been won,” said Atty. Ryles, himself a former West Palm Beach City Commissioner. “That has to stop.”
As a former president of the Democratic Black Caucus of PBC, Atty. Ryles said the multiple issues facing his community include lack of federal legislation against police abuse; inequities of health care for people of color; lack of a federal commission to study reparations; and voting rights protection legislation.
Indeed, he adds, the African American community has historically received “benign neglect” from political parties despite its loyalty—and despite promises made to it. The Caucus was created to “more effectively represent the Black people of Palm Beach County,” Atty. Ryles said, “and to hold parties accountable to the Black community.”
“We will no longer tolerate disinterest in the issues critical to us,” he continued. “Our requirement is that promises made must be promises kept. The disenchantment has got to end.”