Black lawmakers in Washington D.C. are launching a “root out racism” campaign this week. They intend to hold President Trump and his administration accountable for their actions regarding race issues. This effort comes on the heels of the president’s remarks on the violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The eruption led to the deaths of a counter-protester.
President Trump said that both sides were to blame for the violence, the hate-groups that organized the “Unite the Right” rally as well as those who came to protest them. Trump praised the “very fine people” who marched in solidarity with groups like the KKK and neo-Nazis. They were there to protest Charlottesville’s decision to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
The D.C. black lawmakers are being led by Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.), chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC). Their “root out racism” campaign will focus on administration policies and White House personnel. They believe Trump’s team aims to encourage discrimination against minorities.
“The CBC will keep its foot on the Trump administration’s neck by calling their racist and discriminatory policies what they are,” says a list of CBC talking points that were distributed to members of the group last week. The CBC has a history of criticizing Trump’s agenda with civil rights, voter protections, law enforcement tactics and other issues that they believe target minorities unjustly.
The violence in Charlottesville has generated a deeper degree of urgency to their concerns. The CBC held a conference two days after Trump’s controversial press conference where he doubled down on his remarks that both sides were to blame. They are now proposing hearings into the threat that domestic white supremacist groups bring to our country and have offered resolutions to censure the president. They also want Confederate names removed from military bases and Confederate statues removed from the Capitol.
Reps. Al Green (D-Texas), Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Gwen Moore (D-Wis.) are members of the CBC and have supported efforts to impeach the president. The CBC has stopped short of endorsing that strategy, with some members preferring to wait for the conclusion of a special investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 elections.
The CBC will gather again in September, when Congress returns to Washington, for what they call a “robust discussion” on the group’s approach to the impeachment question, according to a spokeswoman.
The CBC is also pressing Trump to get rid of the nationalist voices in his administration. The departure of Stephen Bannon last week did not ease the concern that they have. They also want Trump to fire top advisors Stephen Miller and Sebastian Gorka.
“If President Trump truly wants to start healing the country post-Charlottesville, he should fire the white supremacists working for him in the White House,” Richmond said.
What do you think about the efforts of the CBC and the pressure they are putting on President Trump?
Credit: The Hill