The policy of the Congressional Black Caucus to restrict its membership based on race for members of that body to decide, according to a spokesman for the White House.
[Journalist Lester] Kinsolving asked then asked: “California’s Democratic Congressman Pete Stark risked his life on behalf of civil rights in Mississippi in the 1960s, and because his Oakland district has a large number of blacks, he applied to join the Congressional Black Caucus, but he was turned down because of his skin shade. And my question: Does the president know of any change in this Black Caucus segregation, and if not, does he believe there should be?”
“I would say that the executive respects the right of the legislature to make rules on their own organizational practices,” Fratto [Deputy Press Secretary Tony Fratto] said.
[Editors Note: Stories about Steve Cohen, another white congressman who has not been admitted to the Congressional Black Caucus, despite the race of his constituency, are listed here.]