LOS ANGELES -- Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, Founder and President of BOND Action, is encouraging the two newly-elected Republican members of Congress to forgo seeking membership to the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC). Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) has stated that he plans to join the group in order to make sure that black conservatives are heard, while Rep. Tim Scott (R-SC) has said that he's leaning against joining. The CBC has been in existence for 40 years and several of their members are currently being investigated for ethics violations. They have a history of being hostile towards black Republicans and have been criticized for outright rejecting white applicants.
"Rep. Allen West and Rep. Tim Scott have more character and principle than the 42 black Democrat members of the CBC combined," said Rev. Peterson. "The CBC is a racist and corrupt organization. Two of their senior members, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), will be on trial over ethics charges this month. I encourage these newly elected black Republicans to shun this useless group and reject 40 years of divisive racial politics."
In the past, the CBC has denied admission to two white Congressmen who represent black constituencies. Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) and Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) were refused membership because the CBC leadership wanted the group to remain "exclusively black." Rep. J.C. Watts (R-Okla.) refused to join because of their close affiliation with the Democratic Party. He reported that the group accused him of being an "Uncle Tom."
"Members of Congress are elected to represent their districts, not their race. The CBC is all about promoting the Democratic Party and group thinking over the interests of their constituents. Rep. West and Rep. Scott are patriots who will help unify this nation, but their message is at odds with that of the CBC," said Rev. Peterson.