We can only wonder what events transpired between June 11th through June 16th of 2005 at the 34th Annual Rainbow/PUSH convention “A more perfect union” Some say that there were some very heated and pointed opinions voiced during that conference. Certainly Howard Dean the current president of the DNC was chastised for inflammatory remarks made during that conference. And there are rumors that other attendees had even more controversial remarks. Unfortunately we may never know, because despite the all star cast, a veritable who’s who in politics and activism attending the conference. There was a noticeable lack of media coverage of the event, or at least very little that this author could find. The promotional literature, and event schedule came from the 2005 archived web pages of the rainbowpush.org website. The conference, an event where the Rainbow/PUSH seeks to take action on many of the key issues it addresses during the year, was held June 11 through 16, 2005, at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers, 301 E. Water St. in downtown Chicago.
A stellar array of guests scheduled to appear during the conference includes, from the political arena, Senators Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Barack Obama (D-IL) and Congresswoman Maxine Waters D-CA.), Howard Dean, former Senator John Edwards; Howard Dean; Congresspersons John Conyers, Stephanie Tubbs-Jones, Jesse Jackson, Jr.; and civil rights leaders Marc Morial, and Julian Bond, among others. and from the religious, entertainment and business arenas, Nation of Islam Leader Minister Louis Farrakhan, activist and entertainer Harry Belafonte; and prominent business executives Cathy Hughes and Earl Graves.
Harvard University Professor Dr. Charles Ogletree, University of Pennsylvania’s outstanding scholar Michael Eric Dyson and television's Judge Greg Mathis (chair of the PUSH/Excel board) have also agreed to participate in discussions and programs during the conference. Performers invited to appear in a hip-hop showcase on Wednesday evening, June 15, include Marques Houston, the popular television and film actor who is also a top R&B singer. A Monday evening tribute to Chicago's legendary Herb Kent, the Cool Gent, will also feature Chicago-style stepping dance lessons for all.
Panels and discussions during the conference will explore issues including voting rights, labor organizing in a hostile climate, access to quality healthcare and education, and fair business opportunities for people of color. Daily themes of the conference are: Sunday, The Federally Protected Right to Vote; Monday, Labor Day: The Right to Organize; Tuesday, The Right to Healthcare of Equal High Quality; Wednesday, Business Day: Access to Capital; and Thursday, The Right to Education of Equal High Quality.
The conference officially opens on Saturday, June 11, which is designated Reunion Day and features an afternoon picnic at the Rainbow/PUSH headquarters, and evening social.
With the conference highlighting renewal of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, Sunday’s focus on protecting and preserving the franchise takes on special importance, said Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr., founder and president of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition. "As we look to the renewal of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, protecting the fragile rights we hold dear, we acknowledge the courageous leadership of two men who led this nation to that landmark legislation as part of a grand vision of a better America -- one that would truly be the land of opportunity for all," Rev. Jesse L. Jackson said.
Starting on Monday, June 13, all sessions, official meals and banquets, and socials will be held at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers. So you may be asking “what does this have to do with the here and now?” Well considering the way this past primary election was run, the key players involved, the forces both external and internal one could logically ask, “Was Obama’s candidacy decided during or shortly after this event?” Consider that by June 2005, the Illinois corruption investigation “Operation Board Games” in Chicago was starting to make headlines.
This investigation sent shockwaves reverberating down the hallowed halls of both the democratic and republican parties. Is it coincidence that many power players in the democratic party decided to converge on Chicago just at this time, or was part of their visit to do damage control? Up until that point Governor Rod Blagojevich, was to be the Democratic Presidential candidate for 2008. This all change shortly after this conference, and as well it should have as it is almost certain that he will be indicted on corruption charges. One must wonder which of the now convicted political fund raisers, and influence peddlers and civil servants also attended this conference. Was Tony Rezko in attendance? For more information on the events transpiring in Chicago during this time period in the Operation Board Games corruption investigation please read Evelyn Pringles excellent series Curtain Time for Obama right here on OP ED news. It would be very surprising if none of these nefarious characters were in attendance. What is in evidence is the overt and covert mechanizations of party politics, sugar coated and packaged under the label of Hope and Change. The deeper one digs the more dirty the hole gets. As Morpheus said in the motion picture The Matrix, to need to take the RED pill to see how deep the rabbit hole goes. So in the end this past campaign is just another Bush type exercise with a fresh coat of paint, the players are all still the same, only now on the donkey side of things. A hefty portion of Obama’s current campaign staff are from many corrupt city agencies and commissions. The list of common names mentioned during the Rezko trial and current staffers is quite extensive. Is this coincidence or politics as usual? Perhaps we shall see as more Operation Board Games suspects are brought to trial and attempt to cut deals for reduced sentences. Perhaps some of this potential hazard looming on the horizon is part of the motivating factor in hurrying up the democratic nomination process. Act 3 is just starting and I suspect it will be a doozy .