Tea Baggers in the Black Caucus—What’s the Point?

November 13, 2010  |  

(New American Media) — The question of who should or shouldn’t be in the Congressional Black Caucus only came up when new Tea Party–backed n GOP congressmen Allen West (R-Florida) and Tim Scott (R-South Carolina) were asked whether they intended to join. The short answer to the question who should be a CBC member is: any African-American who sits in Congress. The name is the Congressional Black Caucus, not the Congressional Black Democratic Caucus. CBC chair Barbara Lee unhesitatingly tossed out the olive branch of membership and said West and Scott are more than welcome to join.  But in fact, there are several reasons the issue is muddy. Scott and West have sent mixed signals about whether they want in. West says yes. Scott has virtually said no, citing his allegedly rancorous experiences with black Democrats while he was a member of the South Carolina Legislative Black Caucus. But ruffled personal feelings are just part of the equation. There’s the issue of party affiliation, ideology, and the even larger question of what most African-Americans expect from their representatives.

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