Color Blind

August 21, 2008

I was reading about my favorite elected official Kwame (his mother is up for re-election) and found out she was president of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC).  This sounded interesting so I was off to wikipedia to read more.  Turns out it is exactly what is sounds like, a caucus of the black members of congress whose goals are to “positively influencing the course of events pertinent to African-Americans and others of similar experience and situation,” and “achieving greater equity for persons of African descent in the design and content of domestic and international programs and services.”

All very laudable, they also include “others of similar experience and situation” so at least they say they are trying to help anyone who might be in need regardless of race.  Further down though it is somewhat less positive.  Rep. Clay issued an official statement from his office regarding whether they would allow white members:

“Quite simply, Rep. Cohen will have to accept what the rest of the country will have to accept – there has been an unofficial Congressional White Caucus for over 200 years, and now it’s our turn to say who can join ‘the club.’ He does not, and cannot, meet the membership criteria, unless he can change his skin color. Primarily, we are concerned with the needs and concerns of the black population, and we will not allow white America to infringe on those objectives.”

I am guessing the logic goes something like this: there has been an unofficial Congressional White Caucus for 200 years (which is unjust), so in retaliation we now have a black caucus so we can do to them what they did to us.  I understand this position, it is simply the desire for revenge, you hit me I want to hit you back.  I am guessing, however, that a more productive and mature approach would be: we want to help people who are disadvantaged and in need, and we will accept help towards this goal from anyone who wants to give it.

Rep. Clay is the worst form of hypocrite, they want to decry the injustices perpetrated by another group (in this case white congress) and at the very same time publicly stating that they want to do the exact same thing!

Obviously it is a problem that more black leaders have not been elected (Barack Obama is currently the only Black senator) but the solution is not to form a black caucus and exclude the whites, especially considering that any white congressmen who want to join the CBC would presumably be their closest allies.