CBC members plan State of Union protest

During a recent lengthy, members-only meeting on Capitol Hill, members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) discussed various options to protest the current president of the United States. Their protest plans centered around the annual State of the Union address, scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 30 at 8 p.m.

Weeks after President Donald Trump reportedly called Haiti, El Salvador and the continent of Africa “s—hole countries” during a meeting on immigration with members of Congress in the Oval Office, many CBC members have had it.   

CBC members discussed several options to protest Trump, including walking out, wearing African-themed garb and or not showing up to the State of the Union address at all. The more vocal members included U.S. Reps. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), Greg Meeks (D-N.Y.) and Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.). 

CBC Chairman Cedric Richmond (D-La.) said they might hold their own State of the Union. 

“We will…discuss how we want to respond to the president’s State of the Union,” Richmond said. “We could go, we could go and walk out, we could go and hold up fists…or we could not go, or we could hold our own State of the Union.”

A few Black Caucus members have already stated that they will not attend the president’s State of the Union address. They include Reps. John Lewis (D-Ga.), in addition to Waters and Wilson.

Some CBC members are concerned about Congress’ largest caucus not being unified in protest, whatever form the protest may take. Other members wanted to make sure serious issues are highlighted and expressed concerns about the protest taking attention away from serious policy discussion. 

But in the age of former reality TV star turned president, others say that the best response is to fight fire with fire.

The meeting the CBC held to talk over State of the Union protest plans occurred only hours after 66 members of the House voted to act on impeaching Trump. That effort was led by Black Caucus member and Houston Congressman Al Green. His second impeachment try failed 355-66.