At least three times racism has raised its head in the new administration of President Obama, and now his chief spokesman has cited “membership policies” as an explanation for the all-whites-are-banned practice of the Congressional Black Caucus.
Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs responded to the question from Les Kinsolving, WND’s correspondent at the White House, following the conclusion of today’s press briefing at the White House.
“To your knowledge has the president ever disagreed with the expressed hope that children ‘could live in a nation where they would not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character’ as made by Dr. King,” Kinsolving asked.
“Has he ever … ,” Gibbs asked.
“Disagreed,” Kinsolving finished.
“Not that I know of, no. I think he believes that’s the goal of this country,” Gibbs said.
Kinsolving continued, “Since the members of Congress who have applied to join the Congressional Black Caucus have been turned down because, as the black caucus’ William Lacey Clay put it, ‘they are white and the caucus is black,’ my question: Does the president hope the caucus will stop this racial discrimination?”
“I will certainly look into. … I don’t know what … prompted Mr. Clay,” Gibbs said.
“There have been three of them who have applied and they’ve been turned down because they are not black, and that is the policy of the Congressional Black Caucus, and if you can ask the president, I would be delighted to hear,” Kinsolving said.
“I think the first thing to do is ask members of … ,” Gibbs aid.
“I have. I have,” Kinsolving confirmed.
“… what their membership policies are,” Gibbs said.
As WND reported, U.S. Rep. Pete Stark, D-Calif., was refused permission to join the organization because of his race.
Kinsolving recently documented in his WND column how Anh (“Joseph”) Cao, the Vietnamese-American Republican from Louisiana who defeated the re-election bid of New Orleans Democrat William Jefferson, expressed an interest in joining because the district he represents is predominantly black.
Also, in 2007, 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.”
Kinsolving reported Clay said, “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.”
Kinsolving said Clay later 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.”
Charges of racism arose after posting of a video showing top Obama economic adviser Robert Reich saying he wanted to make sure economic stimulus money didn’t go to just “white male construction workers.”
Also as WND reported, Democratic Party strategist Donna Brazile admitted she swiped Obama’s complimentary blanket from his inauguration ceremony and then joked it was not a criminal offense because, “We have a black president … this was free.”
Also, outrage erupted over the inauguration
benediction by Rev. Joseph Lowery, the 87-year-old civil rights pioneer, for
asking God to help mankind work for a day when “white would embrace what is
Obama, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus while on Capitol Hill, reacted to the benediction with a smile.
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