Christian Watson National Spokesperson for Color US United

Christian Watson


Live from Music Row Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed the host of Pensive Politics and National Spokesperson for Color Us United, Christian Watson, to the newsmaker line

Leahy: We are joined on our newsmaker line now by our very good friend, Christian Watson. He’s the national spokesperson for Color Us United and the host of Pensive Politics with Christian Watson.

Well, Christian, again, you troublemaker you. (Laughter) You got this story up at Inside Sources. Is the Congressional Black Caucus Really Black? How can you ask such a question, Christian?

Watson: Because I think that the Congressional Black Caucus is based upon something that really shouldn’t be a political thing at all. And that something is simply them claiming to represent all Black people when in all reality, represent people who have a certain kind of political persuasion, which is not necessarily all Black people. So I figured it’d be a good inspiration for an article.

Leahy: It’s really the Congressional Black Liberal Caucus, I guess, or Congressional Black Progressive Caucus. Is that your argument?

Watson: Absolutely. And even more broadly, I try to argue that it is wrong for anyone to try to say they represent every one of a particular group. Even people who have the same political ideology or roughly the same political ideology are not represented by a single group.

And this is proven by the fact the Republican Party has so many factions, and Democrats have so many factions within it as well. Factualism is kind of our political circumstance right now.

And so I think that it is even more insulting for you to claim that you have been someone just because of the color of their skin, which is not at all a politically descriptive condition. It is simply a human thing that requires a lot of nuance to fucking understand.

Leahy: Now, this is interesting. In the House of Representatives, there are 435 members. I guess there are two Black Republicans. And how many? 25, 30 Black Democrats? Is that the number? Something like that?

Watson: I wouldn’t quote me on that. But I believe so.

Leahy: It’s in that ballpark. Here’s what you write. In June, the Congressional Black Caucus denied membership to Florida Republican Byron Donalds, one of only two Black Republicans in the House. How could it be a Congressional Black Caucus if they deny membership to a Black Republican?

Watson: Oh, I agree entirely. And that’s part of the argument. And the answer is that really Byron Donalds just doesn’t embody the ‘values of the Congressional Black Caucus.’ He has questions about, ‘voting rights.’ When in all reality, a lot of Black Americans do indeed support measures to ensure people vote with IDs.

He has questions about a lot of things that are talking points of the Congressional Black Caucus. And I guess questioning these issues critically and trying to weigh the relevance to all Americans, not just Black Americans, but all Americans is an afront of the Congressional Black Caucus abilities.

Leahy: Is Burgess Owens, the guy from Utah, the former NFL player, is he the other Black Republican?

Watson: Yes.

Leahy: Did they deny him membership, or is he in the Congressional Black Caucus?

Watson: I’m not sure, but I wouldn’t be surprised. Burgess Owens is quite the outspoken lad. I wouldn’t be surprised. He’s actually more outspoken than Mr. Donald or myself. So I’m not sure, but I would suspect so.

Leahy: Let’s get this from your article about that. Rather than justifying this half-witted decision to reject Florida Republican Byron Donalds, a Black member of the House from the Congressional Black Caucus, a spokesperson for the caucus, dodged the question and immediately pivoted to the caucuses commitment to fighting for issues that support Black communities such as police accountability, voting rights, and a jobs bill different than in 2010.

Then Chairman Barbara Lee told Politico the group welcomed Republicans, adding, membership of the Congressional Black Caucus has never been restricted to Democrats. What is the great sin of Republican Representative Byron Donalds of Florida, according to the Congressional Black Caucus?

Watson: (Laughs) I believe that same spokesperson said again that the values between Mr. Donalds and the Congressional Black colleagues were not necessarily aligned. It is quite a stark change, isn’t it to see over the course of a decade or so to see that the Congressional Black as a whole just takes us on a starkly different approach towards the Republican counterparts.

And it’s really indicative of our current political moment if you ask me. Because right now things have become so polarized. And especially post-Mr. Trump things have become so polarized, and it’s no longer about entertaining different opinions.

It is now about ensuring the survival of a certain interest group. And according to the Congressional Black Caucus, I suspect they believe they’re not simply representing any matters that can be debated with a multiplicity of opinions.

They are representing matters that are integral to the survival of certain Black people. And if those matters are compromised on or if there are other opinions, then you, therefore, compromise the survival of Black people.

This is the problem when political issues become integral to the integrity of our own lives. You cannot entertain different perspectives, because in the face of life and death, what is a different perspective.

Or in the face of life and death what is their perspective? There is none. So that’s the problem with Congressional Black Caucus’ perspective there.

Leahy: I just went to the Congressional Black Caucus website. I’m looking at the membership. Burgess Owens, the other Republican Black member of the House of Representatives is not listed as a member of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Watson: Not surprised.

Leahy: So all we have is basically and I’m looking at the number here. We’ve about (Counts) 40 members of the Congressional Black Caucus. But it’s basically 41 rather. It’s the Congressional Democrat Black Caucus.

It’s not the Congressional Black Caucus. If we were to call them up today and put them on the phone here with us and say why are you just a bunch of Democrats? Why have you been actively rejecting?

And it looks like here what we’ve got is a rejection of Congressman Donalds from Florida. It looks like Burgess Owens from Utah did not apply for membership.

Watson: If I were on the phone with them, I would simply ask them, why do you proclaim to represent all Black people in the abstract? And if you do proclaim to do that, then why in the world, once you consider the very perspective amongst Black folks, it is true how many black folks in America do vote Democrats.

But it is also true, as I mentioned with the data in the article that there are Black Americans who identify as independent or who do not identify with either of the parties as well. And surely all Black Americans, those two categories must also be represented here. But that’s not the case here.

Leahy: Christian, do you try to talk to these guys at the Congressional Black Caucus?

Watson: I have not personally reached out, but I don’t have a lot of faith they would respond.

Leahy: But do me a favor will you? Next time, reach out to their spokesperson. We’ll get you and their spokesperson on the call here together, we have a little nice little discussion about it. What do you think of that?

Watson: I would love that. I would be very happy. I’m not sure they would agree, but I’d be very happy.

Leahy: Why don’t you challenge them to it? Challenge them to it. My prediction, they will not step up to it. Christian Watson, thanks for joining us.

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Christian Watson” by Christian Watson.















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