Richard Carroll, the Green Party’s only state legislator in Arkansas, sought to join the state legislature’s Black Caucus and was denied. From an editorial in the Feb. 13 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette:
It’s not easy being Green, but white’s harder if you want to be a member of the Legislature’s Black Caucus.
OK, so the wordplay is a little lame. So is state Rep. Joyce Elliott’s suggestion that discrimination on account of race is OK when the perpetrators are black and the victim is white. And she a Democrat, too.
Actually, “lame” is the kindest thing that could be said about it.
Here’s the deal. Rep. Richard Carroll is the Arkansas General Assembly’s only Green Party member. He is white, but his wife is black and he represents a predominantly black district in North Little Rock. Recently, he asked to join the Legislature’s Black Caucus because, he said, he wanted to better represent and understand the views of his constituents.
The caucus said no. Carroll is welcome to attend the group’s meetings and even voice his opinions, but he won’t be allowed a vote there.
The high-minded Elliott, whose many honors include recognition from the ACLU as a great civil libertarian, patiently-and nonsensically-explained to a reporter that “all discrimination is not bad. You can discriminate about whether you are going to drink four beers or 10 beers. I would say that’s good discrimination.” She went on to claim that excluding white lawmakers is a legitimate form of discrimination because black legislators need to join with others of “common cause.” Never mind that Carroll’s district was found to be 65 percent black in the last census.