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Published:November 9th, 2010 12:59 EST

Shame On Rep. Barbara Lee For Playing Racial Politics

By Robert Paul Reyes

"The battle over who will be the No. 2 leader of weakened House Democrats in the next Congress took on racial overtones Monday as Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, who is white, and Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, who is black, battled for supporters.

Rep. Barbara Lee of California, who chairs the 41-member Congressional Black Caucus, told colleagues in a letter that it`s important to keep an African-American on the party`s House leadership team. Rep. Bobby Rush, an Illinois African-American, sent a separate letter backing Clyburn for the post.

Thirty House Democrats - none of them black - sent colleagues their own letter soliciting support for Hoyer, who`s served in Congress for three decades.

Read more: Racial Overtones Haunt Battle

Steny Hoyer and Jim Clyburn are political hacks, and if I had my druthers I`d rather see fresh faces (of whatever color) on the Democrats` House leadership team.

Rep. Barbara Lee doesn`t tout Clyburn`s experience or qualifications for the position of Democratic whip; she makes a naked plea based on Clyburn`s race.

Rep. Lee argues that it`s important to keep an African-American on the party`s leadership team. I would contend that it`s important to have individuals of integrity and experience on the Democrats` leadership team, regardless of their ethnicity.

Rep. Lee seems to have forgotten that the President of the United States is black, if she wants to be fair and logical she should be advocating for an Asian or an Hispanic to be the next Democratic whip.

God help us from white racists who don`t like to see minorities prosper, and God help us from black racists like Rep. Barbara Lee who always push for the black applicant to get the promotion, even if he is unqualified for the position.

If Rep. Jim Clyburn is elected as Democratic whip it won`t be a sign of racial progress, it will simply be another example of politics as usual.

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