I was passed an interesting article by another writer here on Associated Content about Congressman-elect Allen West, a Republican in Florida that criticizes the Congressional Black Caucus for promoting dependency on social programs that plans on joining the Caucus anyway. So one has to wonder exactly what he plans on achieving through joining an organization that seems to promote objectives that are not only in contrast with those of his political affiliation, but those that he feels are not doing those of his own race a disservice.
I also agree that as African-Americans, there is an atmosphere of entitlement concerning social programs for those who are on the programs. At the same time, we are not the only race on welfare; while a greater percentage of African-Americans are on welfare (in comparison to members of a racial group that are not on welfare) the majority of Blacks are not on welfare. In fact more than two thirds of African-Americans are not on welfare. If you are to look at the total number of those that receive welfare, 39% of the recipients are White and 38% of the recipients are Black. Eleven percent of Hispanics are on welfare, and 17% of all recipients are Hispanic. The true disparity, and the real disconnect, is that while 39% of the recipients of the program are White, only 5% of Caucasians are on welfare. So the real question is just how poor are Blacks and Hispanics to begin with, even though the majority of Blacks and Hispanics are not on welfare, they are still on the program to a greater degree, by far, than Caucasians. The White population in America is simply that large that it would only take 5% of the group to consist 39% of the makeup, and to an extent, that much more economically diverse.
But getting back to the question at hand about why Allen West wants to join; what it is about the Congressional Black Caucus that not only has Black Republicans signing up, but has rejected White Congressman on a few different occasions. There are also similar organizations representing Hispanic members of congress. Another question may be whether or not an organization that is exclusively for members of a single race should continue to exist. When I was attending a Historically Black College and University there were individuals of other races that were part of the fraternities on campus. While I can respect the fact that the Congressional Black Caucus wants to maintain their exclusive status, I think that if Caucasians and individuals of other races were good enough to advance our cause for civil rights back in the sixties they should be allowed to be in the Black Caucus.
Most do not know that in the twentieth century, which is considered the Modern Era, there were only four Black Senators. There were only two during reconstruction. This contrasts greatly with the amount of African-Americans that have served in the House of Representatives. There were 21 during the reconstruction, which is basically the nineteenth century, and over 100 during the modern era. The Congressional Black Caucus represents an organization that clearly, has a larger membership than the Senate for African-Americans.
There have been six Black Republicans elected to Congress since the inception of the Congressional Black Caucus, which is largely Democratic. Now that the Congressional Black Caucus has 43 members accepting Allen West into the organization would illustrate political diversity within its walls. The Congressional Black Caucus must be relevant, and clearly, Allen West feels that his acceptance into the organization would help solidify support from African-Americans and anyone else that could help him advance his political career. But is he merely using the organization to advance his own goals, or does he sincerely believe that the organization could benefit from whatever political expertise he is willing to share?