William “Dollar Bill” Jefferson’s defeat to Joseph Cao, a Vietnamese-American Republican, puts another majority African-American district under a Congressional representative that is NOT an African-American.  If anyone has followed the Congressional Black Caucus for years, the main reason why it was formed was to make sure that African-Americans would have their voices heard in Congress.

In fact, the demographics of most of the members are largely African-American.  So, it would stand to reason that if a majority African-American district does not have an African-American representative in the House of Representatives, shouldn’t their representatives join or engage in the caucus that would educate them about the needs of their district and allow them to effectively represent their district?

If Cao is denied membership in the CBC, he wouldn’t be the first non-African-American denied membership.  Two years ago, Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Memphis) took over the Dark Sith’s old seat in Congress and one of his first acts was to seek membership in the CBC, per his campaign promise to the voters who elected him.

I can’t tell if he was actually denied membership, but from this, I would assume he was.

And Rep. Pete Stark (D-Fremont) was also refused membership in the CBC back in 1975 (he actually represented East Oakland, California, which has a large African-American population until the district was redrawn and given to Ron Dellums).  In that instance, the CBC at least voted on whether or not to allow him membership, while I understand Cohen didn’t even merit a vote AT ALL.

I’m throwing this out for debate, because I’m not sure what position I should take, given that I am one of a team of individuals who research and publish the evaluations of CBC members’ effectiveness in representing their districts.  Should membership in the Congressional Black Caucus be limited to African-American members only, or should it be extended to non African-American individuals who represent majority African-American districts?  On one hand, Memphis is reporting more effective representation in the past two years under Steve Cohen, than they got under 10 years of the Dark Sith.

On the other hand, is Jefferson’s successor serious about effectively representing African-Americans in his district, or is he trying to infiltrate like the snitches did with the Original Black Panthers?

And the final kick in all this is, can the CBC afford to engage in what could be called racist behavior, when they formed the Caucus for the very purpose of fighting against it?  And, wouldn’t this extend to not only the CBC, but the Hispanic and Asian Caucuses as well?

You make the call, JJP readers.

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