If you have ever visited Las Vegas in the winter, then you know that it sometimes gets below freezing here and that, of course, means that it’s “Chili Weather Time”. We are in one of those weather spells now and there is nothing I enjoy more than some homemade chili to take the edge off our delightfully brisk weather.
Yesterday I assembled all the ingredients that I use, ground beef, hot Italian sausage, crushed and whole tomatoes, kidney beans and chili powder and some other spices and set to work preparing a vat of the stuff. One of my neighbors had given me some roasted Hatch chilies and they went into the mix as well.
When cooking, I generally don’t follow a recipe exactly unless it’s something new that I’m trying. That way, if I like a recipe but think it could use a little improvement, I have a baseline from which I can adjust in the future. Having made many pots of chili over the years, I adjust the simmering pot of goodness – but in the case of my chili that adjustment is made by sight rather than taste. I look at the color of the contents to determine whether I need to darken it by adding more chili powder.
Well, I am pleased to report that I was in chili heaven at dinner last night. A large bowl of my concoction accompanied with some homemade bread, smothered and baked with lots of freshly crushed garlic and olive oil and I’m sure that I had a smile on my face as big as the Cheshire cat’s. My color test had once again led me to bring this bubbling pot to the desired heat level that I enjoy.
A color test works well for me in preparing my chili. It really doesn’t speak well, however, to those who represent us in Congress. By that, I refer to the Black Congressional Caucus. Why this racist group exists is beyond my understanding.
It would be hard to deny that blacks have had a tough go of it in the United States. Most of us or our forebears arrived on ships – but for blacks it was on slave ships. That’s certainly a hard way to get started in a new land. But as tough as that was, if you look at the conditions in which many blacks in modern Africa still live, I think that most American blacks would prefer being here rather than there. I don’t see any major exodus being organized or undertaken by the black leadership to move to Liberia. Perhaps I have missed that news item.
Can you imagine the outbreak of righteous indignation if someone were to propose establishing a White Congressional Caucus – or an Asian Congressional Caucus or an Hispanic Congressional Caucus? I think the only one who might institute a Native American Congressional Caucus is Sen. Elizabeth Warren – if she can get her genealogy straight.
It’s one hundred fifty years since Abraham Lincoln spoke the words of The Emancipation Proclamation. Perhaps he chose New Year’s Day as a symbolic date for giving this speech – a New Year and a new beginning. It’s time those black representatives in Congress buried the hatchet of race (my apologies to Sen. Warren for using that metaphor) and defined themselves by their accomplishments and not their skin color.
Racial prejudice is a poisonous potion – and only a mindless fool will choose to drink from it. But those who see their world as being defined by their own skin color, inadvertently are the first at the bar to order up this beverage. They keep this lethal drink popular and on the market.
To our Congressional representatives who happen to be black, I would like to offer a little advice. It’s time for “Last Call”.