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Racism in the Big House
Posted By Les Kinsolving On 01/20/2009 @ 12:00 am In Commentary | Comments Disabled
Anh (“Joseph”) Cao is that Vietnamese-American Republican from Louisiana who defeated the re-election bid of New Orleans Democrat William Jefferson.
On July 30, 2005, the FBI videotaped Rep. Jefferson receiving $100,000 worth of $100 bills in a briefcase.
Four days later came the FBI raid on Jefferson’s home – which resulted in their discovery of the world-famed “cold cash” – $90,000 in a freezer plus $10,000 increments wrapped in aluminum foil and stuffed inside frozen food containers.
Nearly two years later, on June 4, 2007, Jefferson was indicted by a federal grand jury on 16 charges of corruption.
Mr. Jefferson was a member of the Congressional Black Caucus. And the New York Times reports that his newly elected Vietnamese American successor, Anh Cao, who is from a predominantly black district in Louisiana, has asked to join the caucus, which has repeatedly refused membership to non-blacks.
Either Rep. Cao is unaware of the racist policy of this congressional caucus – or he has decided to become the latest non-black to try to gain entry.
Rep. Pete Stark, D-Calif., who is white, tried and failed to join in 1975.
In January 2007, it was reported that white members of Congress were not welcome to join the CBC. Freshman Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., who is white, pledged to apply for membership during his election campaign to represent his constituents, who were 60 percent black. It was reported that although the bylaws of the caucus do not make race a prerequisite for membership, former and current members of the Caucus agreed that the group should remain “exclusively black.”
Rep. William Lacy Clay Jr., D-Mo., the son of Rep. William Lacy Clay Sr., D-Mo., a co-founder of the Caucus, is quoted as saying, “Mr. Cohen asked for admission, and he got his answer. He’s white and the Caucus is black. It’s time to move on. We have racial policies to pursue and we are pursuing them, as Mr. Cohen has learned. It’s an unwritten rule. It’s understood.”
Rep. Clay issued an official statement from his office:
“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 ‘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.”
QUESTION: Does Black Caucus Member Barack Obama agree with this?
Twenty-five thousand of us on the Selma March who marched into Montgomery, Ala., in March of 1965, were risking our lives (which two of us lost) against racial segregation.
It is surely difficult to imagine that the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who led that march, really believed – as all of these present members of Congress who are black – that racism is all right if it is practiced by blacks.
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