Bintel Blog

Rep. Steve Cohen Makes History

By Daniel Treiman

  • Print
  • Share Share

The Associated Press reports:

The House on Tuesday issued an unprecedented apology to black Americans for the wrongs committed against them and their ancestors who suffered under slavery and Jim Crow segregation laws.

“Today represents a milestone in our nation’s efforts to remedy the ills of our past,” said Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, D-Mich., chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus.

And who is behind this historic resolution? None other than Rep. Steve Cohen, the freshman Jewish congressman who represents a predominantly black district in Memphis, Tenn. — indeed, according to the AP, “the only white lawmaker to represent a majority black district.” Cohen, the AP reports, introduced the apology resolution as one of his first acts in Congress.

But Cohen has had his own fraught history when it comes to the issue of race. Originally elected two years ago following a primary contest that featured a crowded field of black candidates, Cohen had faced criticism from those who thought that his majority-black district should be represented by an African American. (Cohen had expressed interest in joining the Congressional Black Caucus, but the caucus has a policy of only admitting black legislators as members.)

Since then, as this resolution highlights, Cohen has made some progress in building bridges with black members of Congress. Many African-American representatives were among the original co-sponsors of his apology resolution, and the AP reports that several members of the Congressional Black Caucus are backing Cohen’s reelection bid against a black primary challenger.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Steve Cohen, Slavery, Congress

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.


Comments
Peter Musurlian Wed. Nov 19, 2008

Congressman Cohen is a mystery. On one hand he appears to have a great social conscience, dealing with the national shame of slavery and speaking out against genocide in Darfur. Then, on August 6, 2008, his hate-speech against Armenian-Americans reverberated thoughout almost every Armenian-American household. Go to YouTube and type in "Cohen Bigot," and you'll see to what what I am referring. Thanks.




Find us on Facebook!
  • Israelis are taking up the #IceBucketChallenge — with hummus.
  • In WWI, Jews fought for Britain. So why were they treated as outsiders?
  • According to a new poll, 75% of Israeli Jews oppose intermarriage.
  • Will Lubavitcher Rabbi Moshe Wiener be the next Met Council CEO?
  • Angelina Jolie changed everything — but not just for the better:
  • Prime Suspect? Prime Minister.
  • Move over Dr. Ruth — there’s a (not-so) new sassy Jewish sex-therapist in town. Her name is Shirley Zussman — and just turned 100 years old.
  • From kosher wine to Ecstasy, presenting some of our best bootlegs:
  • Sara Kramer is not the first New Yorker to feel the alluring pull of the West Coast — but she might be the first heading there with Turkish Urfa pepper and za’atar in her suitcase.
  • About 1 in 40 American Jews will get pancreatic cancer (Ruth Bader Ginsberg is one of the few survivors).
  • At which grade level should classroom discussions include topics like the death of civilians kidnapping of young Israelis and sirens warning of incoming rockets?
  • Wanted: Met Council CEO.
  • “Look, on the one hand, I understand him,” says Rivka Ben-Pazi, a niece of Elchanan Hameiri, the boy that Henk Zanoli saved. “He had a family tragedy.” But on the other hand, she said, “I think he was wrong.” What do you think?
  • How about a side of Hitler with your spaghetti?
  • Why "Be fruitful and multiply" isn't as simple as it seems:
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.