Pressley: Democrats don't need 'any more black faces that don't want to be a black voice'

Rep. Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyMaryland Legislative Black Caucus pushes for state to release racial breakdown of coronavirus impact Pressley experiencing flu-like symptoms, being tested for COVID-19 The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Airbnb - Senate overcomes hurdles, passes massive coronavirus bill MORE (D-Mass.) reportedly said Democrats don't need "any more black faces that don't want to be a black voice" during a liberal Netroots Nation conference on Saturday, a comment that comes as racial politics threaten to divide the party.

The Washington Post reports Pressley said she's not interested in bringing "a chair to an old table." 

“This is the time to shake that table. ... We don’t need any more brown faces that don’t want to be a brown voice,” Pressley reportedly said during the event. “We don’t need any more black faces that don’t want to be a black voice.”

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Pressley's spokeswoman, Lina Francis, told the Post the congresswoman was making the point that “diversity at the table doesn’t matter if there’s not real diversity in policy.” The Hill has reached out to Pressley's office. 

Pressley's comments followed a tumultuous week of Democratic infighting, as establishment Democrats continue to clash with a new wave of elected progressives in the party. 

Pressley and fellow freshman Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOvernight Health Care: Global coronavirus cases top 1M | Cities across country in danger of becoming new hotspots | Trump to recommend certain Americans wear masks | Record 6.6M file jobless claims Trump blasts Schumer over 'incorrect sound bites' on coronavirus Trump warns against 'partisan investigations' after Pelosi establishes select committee on virus response MORE (D-N.Y.), Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibDemocrats eye additional relief checks for coronavirus 20 House Dems call on Trump to issue two-week, nationwide shelter-in-place order Pressley, Tlaib introduce bill providing .5B in emergency grants for the homeless MORE (D-Mich.) and Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarTexas man arrested for allegedly threatening Democrats over coronavirus bill Undocumented aliens should stay away as COVID-19 rages in the US The Southern Poverty Law Center and yesterday's wars MORE (D-Minn.) clashed with Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi eyes end of April to bring a fourth coronavirus relief bill to the floor Pelosi, Democrats using coronavirus to push for big tax cuts for blue state residents US watchdog vows 'aggressive' oversight after intel official fired MORE (D-Calif.) after the four progressives did not vote for a border aid package last month when Pelosi put forward a Senate-approved bill. 

Pelosi told The New York Times’s Maureen Dowd that the congresswomen "have their public whatever and their Twitter world. But they didn’t have any following. They’re four people and that’s how many votes they got."

Ocasio-Cortez then called out Pelosi for "the explicit singling out of newly elected women of color," though she said she does not think Pelosi is racist. 

Ocasio-Cortez's chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, also came under attack in a Twitter feud last week after he said Rep. Sharice DavidsSharice DavidsConservative women's group unveils new congressional endorsements Here are the lawmakers who have self-quarantined as a precaution Hillicon Valley: US hits Huawei with new charges | Judge orders Pentagon to halt 'war cloud' work amid Amazon challenge | IRS removes guidance on Fortnite game currency MORE (D-Kan.), who is Native American, has taken votes that "enable a racist system." 

The House Democratic Caucus tweeted back that Davids is a "phenomenal new member who flipped a red seat blue." 

Chakrabarti pushed back on the caucus, saying Davids is a friend and his tweet was aimed at the "terrible border funding bill that 90+ Dems opposed." 

The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), aligned with Pelosi, is also furious with the progressive group Justice Democrats for backing challengers to incumbent lawmakers of color, especially African Americans. 

Justice Democrats backed Pressley and Ocasio-Cortez in their successful bids to oust powerful, long-term Democratic incumbents. 

The group is backing primary challengers to eight-term Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), a Hispanic Caucus member, and 10-term Rep. Wm. Lacy ClayWilliam (Lacy) Lacy ClayDems unlikely to subpoena Bolton Lawmakers honor JFK on 56th anniversary of his death Trump tax breaks for low-income neighborhoods draw scrutiny MORE (D-Mo.), a CBC member. 

The group has also floated the idea of finding a primary challenger to House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), a CBC member primed to be Pelosi's successor. 

CBC leaders fear the progressive group may target other black House Democrats in coming weeks.