A Florida Black Republican congressman blasted the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) in an interview with CNN, calling the group “off-putting” for ignoring his request for membership.
Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL-19) said he has “not really heard much from the CBC” since he attempted to join the group, and that nobody on the caucus has reached out to him to explain anything.
He suspects that his support for former President Donald J. Trump, for which he was grilled by CNN’s Brianna Keilar. BuzzFeed, citing anonymous sources, also reported that Donalds’ support for Trump was the reason he is not allowed to join the group.
“As a Black man in America, I’m allowed to have my own thoughts on who I choose to support and who I choose not to support,” he said during the interview. “This is whether the ideology of somebody who is conservative is welcome in the Congressional Black Caucus. It’s really that simple.”
“If my positions and my support of President Trump is a problem for them, let them state that on the record,” he continued.
There are currently no Republican members of the CBC, though there have been in the past.
Donalds says he could provide a unique perspective for the group.
“I have a perspective being a 42-year-old Black man who’s come up in America after a lot of the battles through the civil rights movement that I think would actually be helpful and a helpful perspective to the CBC,” he said. “Whether they want to take advantage of that is really up to them.”
He emphasized that point in a follow-up statement released by his office after the CNN interview.
“As a young Black man who grew up in the inner city of Brooklyn in a single-parent household, my achieving of the American Dream would be a valued addition to the CBC and one that should transcend politics,” the statement said.
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