Black Caucus Wasn’t Always Open to GOP Members

Newly-elected Rep. Allen West will be a rare black Republican in Congress.

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When newly-elected Florida Republican Rep. Allen West joins the Congressional Black Caucus, there are likely to be some smiles and backslaps as the group welcomes a rare black Republican. But the caucus wasn’t always open to GOP views. Ron Christie writes in his new book, Acting White, that as a rookie black House staffer working for a Florida Republican congressman in 1991, he was ripped by Democrats. He reveals that Rep. Maxine Waters, currently facing ethics charges and a former caucus chairwoman, called him to her office after their first meeting to bark: “You are a sellout to your race! White people work for Republicans. Not African-Americans! You’re nothing but an Uncle Tom!”

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