The meaning of race

By Sean Aqui | Related entries in General Politics, News, Race

Rep. Tom Tancredo is a partisan buffoon. But even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes, and his latest hobby horse manages to hit a target worth skewering — even if it’s not exactly the target he was aiming at.

Tancredo, a Republican from Colorado and an outspoken opponent of diversity who has called Miami a “Third World country”, is calling for an end to race-based caucuses. He’s specifically taking aim at the Congressional Black Caucus, which has 43 members, and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, which counts 21 members.

First, let’s outline how Tancredo is wrong. To begin with, he apparently doesn’t understand what a caucus is.

The purpose of caucuses is to provide a gathering point and support for minorities within a larger group whose views and interests might otherwise be diluted or ignored by the larger group. I’m not talking just race: you could have a female caucus, an opera fan caucus, a sneaker caucus, or what have you.

Check out this list of Congressional caucuses. They’re all over the map. The only common principle is that they represent smaller interest groups within the larger body of Congresscritters.

A white caucus would be pointless, because the entire Congress is a white caucus. That said, Tancredo has every right to form one; he would just be displaying ignorance.

Being informal interest groups, caucuses should have the right to include or exclude anyone they want, since their sole purpose is to promote a particular interest, and it should be up to the caucus members to define what that interest is. So race-based caucuses are fine, in my book.

But not all caucuses are equally deserving of respect. And this is where the blind squirrel finds a nut.

(continued at Midtopia)


This entry was posted on Friday, January 26th, 2007 and is filed under General Politics, News, Race. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

3 Responses to “The meaning of race”

  1. SupportTancredo Says:

    http://www.teamtancredo.org/petition.php

  2. BenG Says:

    Well, the ‘support Tancredo’ link above provides nothing more than a glossy advertisement, like we need more of those in our life! Does anyone think past methods of running campaigns with fear tactics and ‘swift-boat’ stories is going to work this time? Yea, probably will…
    But, to the point, this quote by Tancredo: “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,â€Â? is hard to argue with. In a perfect world this would’nt be allowed in a government associated function. But we are far from perfect in this day and age when all the craziness mankind has concocted seems to be reaching a boiling point. We’ll keep posted…but now off to midtopia to see the rest of the story…

  3. Sean Aqui Says:

    BenG: It is indeed hard to argue with. But Tancredo is saying it not because he truly believes there are no racial distinctions, but because he opposes the power such organizations give to minorities, especially cultural minorities, whom he believes are a threat to American society.

    It’s a bit like David Duke posing as a defender of free speech when he rails against Holocaust denial laws. His point, too, is hard to argue with; indeed, I agree with him that such laws should be repealed. But that does not make Duke a civil libertarian.

    I am *not* comparing Tancredo to Duke. Just noting the rhetorical tactic is the same.

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