The Congressional Black Caucus is enjoying unprecedented power, with more of their members in leadership roles than ever before, not to speak of one of their number in the White House, but many are disturbed by changes in the political atmosphere, Politico reports. As the 42-member group holds its annual legislative conference this week, they say the increasingly hostile tone of President Obama's critics smacks of racism. Others are angered by the GOP's attacks on ACORN.
President Obama will address the group's annual Phoenix Awards dinner Saturday night. “It is a great year for the CBC to be celebrating. Many of us have spent a lifetime getting where we are now,” majority whip Rep. Jim Clyburn, a South Carolina Democrat, says. “But people who think the election of Barack Obama puts us in a post-racial world are being a bit naive at best.” The recession has made it easier for racial tensions to be exploited, Clyburn says, noting that a weak economy in the South contributed to the creation of the Ku Klux Klan.