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(Newsweek) — In November, Hansen Clarke, the newly elected Democratic congressman from Michigan’s 13th District, went to Washington, D.C. for freshman orientation. When he met with the Congressional Black Caucus, which he intends to join, he received what seemed like a cool reception. “Some of the members were probably upset because I defeated their friend Congresswoman Kilpatrick,” he says. “And some seemed sort of unsure about where I belong.  It is hard to blame them on either count. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick is a former head of the CBC and a highly regarded colleague of many caucus members. And Clarke is not at all easy to pin down ethnically. His father was an undocumented immigrant from the part of India that is now Bangladesh, his mother an African-American with roots in the South. Hansen was born in Detroit and raised a Muslim, but his father died when he was 8, and after that he lost interest. (“I was the worst Arabic student in the mosque,” he recalls.)

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