Op-ed: A.C. Powell’s treatment is cure for ‘loony conspiracy theorist’

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Wayne Dawkins is a writer, and a professor of professional practice at Morgan State University School of Global Journalism and Communication.

By Wayne Dawkins
Special to the AFRO

U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Georgia, has been all over the news because of her bomb-throwing conspiracy theories

If you somehow missed them, Greene says teenagers were not shot dead at Parkland High School in Florida, that the United States was not attacked on Sept. 11, 2001, and, recent California wildfires were caused by outer space lasers that – wait for it, are Jewish.

Greene is so deranged, Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California promised to talk with her sometime this week. As the human arson fire raged, GOP Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell jumped in and denounced Greene as a loony conspiracy theorist.

So, what are the Republicans going to do about their colleague who is torching their party? Democrats must be sitting back with popcorn, chuckling at the show. 

Here’s some advice: Strip Greene of all her committee assignments so she does not inflict pain on the rest of us. 

At the end of day Greene is a legitimately elected official from Georgia. Her voters will now have to decide whether it’s worth keeping a useless freshman legislator. 

And guess what? There is a Black-themed precedent for letting Greene keep her seat, but not the power.

In 1967, U.S. Rep. Adam Clayton Powell Jr. of Harlem was at the apex of his powers in Congress but loathed by segregationist peers. The haters found an opportunity to bring down the 11-term congressman. Powell lost a defamation judgment to a constituent because he called her a “bag lady” for crooked New York City cops. 

A number of Congressmen said the slander judgment was reason to remove Powell from his seat. New York colleague Rep. Emanuel Celler of Brooklyn was tasked to chair a committee to decide Powell’s fate. His committee’s recommendation was to keep Powell in his seat. After all, 74% of the voters in his district wanted him there. 

The Celler committee recommended punishment as a fine, stripping of Powell’s seniority. He was chairman of the Education and Labor Committee, and an effective leader, despite his high absentee rate and reputation as a playboy. 

Yet, a majority of the House overruled Celler’s committee and unseated Powell. 

Powell took his case to the U.S. Supreme Court and the court ruled for Powell. 

No, you can’t remove a duly elected official because you don’t like the person. Powell however was stripped of his committee power and seniority.

Marjorie Taylor Greene has easily earned similar punishment. It is astounding that her fate is still being debated at this writing. Sanction the loony conspiracy theorist.

The writer is author of the 2020 biography “Emanuel Celler: Immigration and Civil Rights Champion.” Dawkins is a professor of professional practice at Morgan State University School of Global Journalism and Communication.

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