Tancredo calls for prohibition of race-based caucuses


Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo (R) on Thursday criticized the existence of race-based caucuses and called for their prohibition.

Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo (R) on Thursday criticized the existence of race-based caucuses and called for their prohibition.

"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," Tancredo wrote in a letter to House Administration Committee Chairwoman Juanita Millender-McDonald (D-Calif.), who is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC).

The Hill reported Jan. 4 that Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), who is white and represents a district with a black majority, had abandoned his bid to join the CBC.

"Race is something that people have no control over, and should not be a prerequisite for any organization’s membership," Tancredo’s letter said.

"I believe — as I think most Americans do — that the best way to remedy the ills of discrimination is to abolish, not sanction, organizations that maintain racially exclusive membership policies."

Tancredo launched a similar initiative to abolish race-based caucuses in 2003, his office said.

The House Administration Committee did not respond to a request for comment.

— Klaus Marre

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