Freshman Rep. Stephen I. Cohen, D-Tenn., is not joining the Congressional White Caucus after several current and former members made it clear that a black lawmaker was not welcome.Similar: "African-American Rep. wants to join Tennessee's White Caucus"
"I think they're real happy I'm not going to join," said Cohen, who succeeded Rep. Harold Ford, D-Tenn., in a majority-white Memphis district. "It's their caucus and they do things their way. You don't force your way in. You need to be invited."
Cohen 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 European-American."
...The bylaws of the caucus do not make race a prerequisite for membership, a House aide said, but no non-white member has ever joined.
Rep. Pete Stark, D-Calif., who is black, tried in 1975 when he was a sophomore representative and the group was only 6 years old...
MultiCultiCult · Tue, 01/23/2007 - 08:34 · Importance: 1