Also, stupid, lazy, and corrupt. Which is why they don’t like competition from new blood. They’re so intellectually lazy, and so eager to hold on to their share of political power, that they don’t recognize their enormous hypocrisy.
That said, I think the reason that a black caucus exists, because black constituencies have unique problems and interests that other constituencies don’t, is valid. Cohen represents just such a constituency, and he should be welcomed in with open arms.
Also, the counterpart to an explicitly black organization - college, caucus, fraternity, beauty pageant, social club, isn’t an explicitly white organization. The counterpart is any organization with a specific ethnic, religious, or regional focus. Say, a Mountain States Caucus, or a Miss Italian America beauty pageant, the Sons of Canute, or Jewish singles clubs.
Whiteness doesn’t reference any specific cultural, ethnic, religious, or regional identity. It tends to work more as a structure of power.
Because it is really about ethnic/cultural associations rather than the artificial construct of “race.” I doubt that anyone would bother getting upset about an Irish-American Caucus. Similarly, no one seems to get upset about the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
I think that keeping out congresscritters who are not black may be a dumb idea, but it does not seem to be inherently racist,
But basically I’m inclined to think you’re right: if a white guy represents a black district, he should be let in because the voters chose him. If he doesn’t have the same background as other CBC members and they believe he doesn’t understand their history and other important things, well, he’s a member, so teach him.
The problem is that there are overlapping categories of groups. Jesse Jackson was making this point when he and his focus group made the (ill-considered, IMO) call to change public references to blacks to African-Americans.
His point was that in the context of urban demographics (such as Chicago), there are references to (and groups supporting) Irish Americans, Italian Americans, Polish Americans, Chinese Americans, etc. However, when references were made to one specific cultural group, only the racial identifier, skin color, was employed. His point was that that was a cultural group in the same way that the other groups were cultually identifiable and to address the issues of that cultural group, it made more sense to use a term that was more like the term used for other cultural groups, hence: “African American.” (The Congressional Black Caucus predated the promotion of “African American” and they simply never changed the name.)
There are dozens of Caucuses in Congress and they all receive a certain amount of administrative funding.
This is where I have a problem. A group of Congressmen that eat lunch together or a private organization (like Boy Scouts, Freemasons, NOW, etc.) is one thing . . . but why is any group THAT RECEIVES FEDERAL FUNDING allowed to discriminate against a protected class?
Because they are not, despite your fervent dsesire to believe it, discriminating against any protected classes. (And because Congress generally writes the rules in a way that they are not bound by them.)
(You might also lose a discussion of your angst on the grounds that no lae is being broken as no one is being discriminated against in terms of hiring or services, since it is, effectively, a private association; no members are hired to join, for example. OTOH, I am not willing to pursue that line of thought, since we are basicaly engaged in a bit of Recreational Outrage, to begin with.)
I don’t know. Maybe we do. After all, every single member of Congress has women in their districts, and every one ought to have some notion of women interests in mind when they attend to legislative business.
There is no men’s conference, yet there are issues that affect men only that ought to receive similar direct attention. Selective Service issues and men’s health problems instantly come to mind.
I see no reason why these matters should be seen as an exclusive concern of one set of people only, and therefore I see no reason why groups looking at them should be exclusionary.