Friday, September 25, 2009

Congressional Black Caucus

I was reading an article this morning in the Washington Post entitled, "Congressional Black Caucus Members Vote Support for Obama."

First off, Obama is everyone's president, no matter what color we are. Secondly, you would have to blind, deaf, and oblivious to the world around you if you are surprised by the black members of congress being supportive of our president. But as Obama so eloquently told David Letterman the other night, he has been black all his life. Therefore, why is it a news item that the black members of congress support him. This is no different than saying that Democrat members of congress support him.

But most importantly, why is there a black caucus anyway? I can see where at one time, this country faced issues that were solely 'black.' But we have moved past those horrible times. Must we now form a white congressional caucus to counter black separatism? Can white members of congress join the congressional black caucus? So how is a body within the United States Congress that has only black members, not racist? Doesn't congress have enough problems with partisanship without adding race to the mix?

I am not of the opinion that only white people can be racists.

I understand that the black experience has been uniquely different than my white experience, but that doesn't mean I can't empathize with my black brothers and sisters. And likewise, they have not experienced issues from my past, so they should empathize with me. That is what understanding and tolerance, for which we all strive, is about. Our past experiences do not define us if we do not let them. We must rise above whatever occurred in our past and move forward.

So I ask, is a black caucus really necessary? What is it that black members of congress can discuss among themselves that they can't discuss with other members of congress? Isn't this the very same kind of separatist thinking that people of color have complained about from non-color folks? Isn't it time to do away with this black and white racial divide in the body that makes laws that affect all of us?

This same concept applies to all other caucuses in the congress:

  • Blue Dog Coalition
  • Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC)
  • Congressional Black Caucus
  • Congressional Hispanic Caucus
  • Congressional Progressive Caucus
  • New Democrat Coalition

Read the constitution - we are all equal.