Commenter Scipione ask whether Steve Cohen--who reps a majority black district--should be able to join the CBC:


I was wondering if I could get your take on Lacy Clay's comments when he decided not to allow Congressman Cohen join the CBC:

"Quite simply, Rep. Cohen will have to accept what the rest of the country will have to accept -- there has been an unofficial Congressional White Caucus for over 200 years, and now it's our turn to say who can join 'the club.' He does not, and cannot, meet the membership criteria, unless he can change his skin color. Primarily, we are concerned with the needs and concerns of the black population, and we will not allow white America to infringe on those objectives."

Obviously, on its face, Clay's logic is silly and Cohen should be allowed in the CBC. In fact, given his circumstance, I almost think he should sue them. Clay thinks he's punishing Cohen, but more likely he's punishing the black people who sent Cohen to Congress. That said, Clay's statement really is only shocking because we view black America through the prism of some old noble savage-type shit. The expectation, post-Martin Luther King, was that black folks should--and would--always and forever occupy the moral high ground.

But most of the people who benefited from the Civil Rights Movement weren't any more moral than the white people they wanted to compete with. They just wanted the right to get a better job and live in a bigger house. Nothing wrong with that. But we really shouldn't be shocked when black politicos, act in the same stupid provincial manner as other white ethnic politicos. There is a great saying about black America, power and the moral high ground--black folks only problem with slavery is that they were the slaves.

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