*Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., is speaking out about being shut out of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC).
Donalds’s spokesman Harrison Fields said in a statement to The Hill that “all we’ve got is the cold shoulder,” anytime his staff have reached out to members of the CBC. A source told BuzzFeed News that the caucus was blocking Donalds’s membership, most likely due to his political party.
“The sad reality is although the Congressman and those in the CBC share the same race, the (R) behind his name disqualifies him from membership today,” Fields said.
A spokesperson for the CBC told The Hill in a statement that the group “remains committed to fighting for issues that support Black communities, including the police accountability bill, protecting voting rights, and a jobs bill that helps our communities.”
“We will work with those who share our values and priorities for the constituents we serve,” the spokesperson added.
ICYMI: This morning, I joined @CNN to discuss the importance of diverse thought and political ideology in the Congressional Black Caucus. As a young Black man born into the inner city, my perspective and conservative ideals should be welcomed to the CBC, not ignored. Watch below. https://t.co/dlc9xSXBWT
— Byron Donalds (@ByronDonalds) June 10, 2021
Donald appeared on “The Ingraham Angle” to discuss being shut out.
“The media’s been covering Democrats for quite some time. So when they try to bring up President Trump and things he has said as justification I found it to be outrageous because Laura, the last time I checked, I was born Black, I’ve grown up Black, I’ve made it in America as a Black man, I graduated college as a Black man, I raised my sons as a Black man, I came into the halls of Congress as a Black man,” Donalds told Ingraham. “So I don’t know what Donald Trump, Joe Biden or frankly anybody has to do with the CBC and myself.”
He has reportedly spoken to three CBC members about joining the group but has not received an answer, Buzzfeed reported.
“For me, Laura, it’s about making sure that conservative ideals are actually being discussed in the room and at the table,” Donalds explained. “I know that a lot of members of the CBC will not agree with me and I’m not gonna agree with them. But it’s about actually having the conversation that the left always says they want to have. I’m prepared to have it, I’m ready to sit down and discuss it, but apparently, they don’t want to discuss it with me.”
He continued, “To me, we’re all members of Congress. We go on TV shows all the time. We debate each other in committees and on the House floor, so I don’t see why we just can’t have this conversation just in front of each other and then we go from there and part our ways if that’s what the decision is,” he continued. “I think it’s more a matter of they’re accustomed to the way they do things in the CBC. I don’t know if I cause a problem for them or not, but it’s really about all of Black America and all of America being exposed to all ideas and ideologies across the political spectrum, not just one.”
The CBC currently has no Republican members.