Tancredo: Abolish the Congressional Black Caucus

He has a dream. And it’s not a fever dream this time, either.

Ironically, after having had so many false accusations of racism leveled against him, his reputation’s sufficiently ruined that he can afford to float “outrageous” truths like this.

“Race is something that people have no control over, and should not be a prerequisite for any organizations membership,” said Tancredo. “It is disgraceful that more than a half-century after the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision, an organization sanctioned by the U.S. Congress maintains a policy of racial exclusivity.”…

“It is utterly hypocritical for Congress to extol the virtues of a color-blind society while officially sanctioning caucuses that are based solely on race – and restrict their membership based on race,” wrote Tancredo.

“Justice John Marshall Harlan, in his dissent to the infamous Plessy v. Ferguson ‘separate but equal’ decision wrote, ‘Our Constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens,” continued Tancredo. “His words are as true today as they were when he penned them more than a century ago – and if we are serious about achieving the goal of a color-blind society, Congress should lead by example and end these divisive race-based caucuses.”

Exit question: Will Stephen Cohen join the inevitable chorus of Democratic voices calling Tanc a bigot?

Update: Baldilocks notes below that some blacks aren’t welcome in the Congressional Black Caucus, either.

Another Republican, Rep. Gary Franks elected from Connecticut in 1990, accepted membership in the CBC but soon found that, despite paying $5,000 in dues, he was never informed of some of its meetings and was locked out of others by Democrats who wanted to keep what they discussed in those meetings secret from Republicans. In 1993, after Franks threatened to quit the Caucus, then-chairman Kweisi Mfume of Maryland persuaded him to stay by agreeing to a deal. Chairman Mfume’s deal was that the “Democratic Caucus” of the CBC — i.e., every member except Republican Franks — would continue to exclude him from their private meetings where they voted to set policies. But these policies, Mfume promised, would then be discussed and voted on again by the full CBC, where Franks was a minority of one.

When Franks was defeated for reelection in 1996, CBC member Bill Clay of Missouri wrote a six-page letter to the departing lawmaker, characterizing Franks as a “foot shuffling, head-scratching ‘Amos and Andy’ brand of ‘Uncle Tom-ism'” and a “Negro Dr. Kevorkian, a pariah, who gleefully assists in suicidal conduct to destroy his own race.” Rep. Clay described Franks as one of those “Negro wanderers” whose “goal … is to maim and kill other blacks for the gratification and entertainment of — for lack of a more accurately descriptive word — ultra-conservative white racists.” No other member of the CBC was willing to condemn or criticize Clay’s remarks.