The House ethics committee is currently investigating seven African-American lawmakers -- more than 15 percent of the total in the House. And an eighth black member, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.), would be under investigation if the Justice Department hadn't asked the committee to stand down.
Not a single white lawmaker is currently the subject of a full-scale ethics committee probe.
The ethics committee declined to respond to questions about the racial disparity, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus are wary of talking about it on the record. But privately, some black members are outraged -- and see in the numbers a worrisome trend in the actions of ethics watchdogs on and off Capitol Hill.
There really isn't much you can say about this story because it's almost entirely anonymously sourced. I can't really speak too much about the ethics of Congress, but the ethics of running a piece like this, with an implicit claim of racism but no actual on the record accusers, rubs me wrong.
Maybe there is some racism here, but I really have no idea, in part because I can't evaluate the credibility of the accusers. I think these sorts of stories run because "racial disparity" generates a lot of hits, and lots of links (yep, I'm guilty) and a lot of heat. The actual veracity of the claim is pretty irrellevant.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.