No Whites for Black Caucus
A white congressman who wished to join the Black Caucus has given up that bid due to the wishes of members who wish to keep the caucus all-black.
(Stephen) Cohen (D-Ten.) said he became convinced that joining the caucus would be "a social faux pas" after seeing news reports that former Rep. William Lacy Clay Sr., D-Mo., a co-founder of the caucus, had circulated a memo telling members it was "critical" that the group remain "exclusively African-American."
Other members, including the new chairwoman, Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, D-Mich., and Clay's son, Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-Mo., agreed.
"Mr. Cohen asked for admission, and he got his answer. ... It's time to move on," the younger Clay said. "It's an unwritten rule. It's understood. It's clear."
The bylaws of the caucus do not make race a prerequisite for membership, a House aide said, but no non-black member has ever joined.
Anybody out there expecting Martha Burke to protest the Black Caucus? I won't hold my breath.