Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Things Aren't Always Black and White

After pledging to his constituents, the majority of whom are African American, that he would seek to become the first white member of the Congressional Black Caucus, Democratic Representative Stephen Cohen of Tennessee has now withdrawn his bid. Apparently outraged that an elected representative in a predominantly black district should seek to represent his constituents and to place himself in a position to be as informed as possible about their needs, the all-black members of the Black Congressional Caucus made it clear to Cohen that he was not welcome, that the Congressional Black Caucus must remain black and that it is not to be “taken lightly.”

This should come as no surprise as members of the caucus have traditionally been staunch conservatives, very satisfied with and eager to sustain the status quo. One can only speculate that their tacit blackballing of Caucasian Cohen is based on a fear that fair representation would interfere with their goal of achieving fair representation.

Furthermore, one can only surmise that they are concerned that the Jewish representative from Tennessee, (regardless of the purity of his intentions) would not be in a position to fully comprehend what it means to be a member of a minority population and would denigrate and blacken the integrity of the Black Caucus.

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