Members of the Congressional Black Caucus demonstrated, to the entire nation, where their priorities truly lay after refusing to applaud during President Trump’s State of the Union address. In particular, they refused to applaud while President Trump was announcing the great progress made in reaching historic low unemployment rates among black people.
For nearly 50 years, the self-segregated group within Congress, known as the Congressional Black Caucus, has maintained that its mission is to use the “full Constitutional power, statutory authority, and financial resources of the federal government to ensure that African Americans and other marginalized communities in the United States have the opportunity to achieve the American Dream.”
One would think that a group dedicated to helping African Americans achieve the American Dream would be standing and applauding when the president announced that African American unemployment was at record lows.
“Something I’m very proud of: African American unemployment stands at the lowest rate ever recorded. And Hispanic American unemployment has also reached the lowest levels in history.”
Instead, Congressional Black Caucus members were not only refusing to celebrate the fact that a Republican president was helping them realize one of the group’s goals, but one member of the Congressional Black Caucus was actually spotted playing Candy Crush on her smart phone while another was checking her Twitter Feed.
The Congressional Black Caucus is an organization that has faced much criticism in the past, especially for giving the appearance of being a blacks-only club; excluding any white congressional leaders who would like to help promote positive change in black communities. Though there is no written rule in the group’s bylaws, past members of the Congressional Black Caucus have made it very clear that there is a skin-color litmus test in order to become a member.
Representative William Lacy Clay Jr (D-MO) made it very clear when a member of Congress, Steve Cohen (D-TN) had his application denied. Rep Clay Jr released a strongly worded statement,
“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.”
For this statement, among others, there have been questions about whether or not the Congressional Black Caucus is simply a group that practices reverse-racism and reverse-discrimination. Adding to this complaint is the fact that the members of the congressional group were not applauding while President Trump was announcing record low unemployment rates among African-Americans, and one has to ask why the Congressional Black Caucus is still in existence.
You can watch the glum faces of the Congressional Black Caucus as they hear about low African American unemployment rates below, and don’t forget to tell us what you think.