Members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) are reportedly planning to express their outrage at the president during Donald Trump’s upcoming State of the Union address on Tuesday.
CBC members discussed various options to stage a demonstration during a private meeting held on Capitol Hill on Jan. 19. After the meeting, some members confirmed that the group is considering a walkout, wearing African-themed garb, or not showing up to the speech at all.
Days before the meeting, CBC Chairman, Rep. Cedric Richmond, mentioned that the caucus might even hold its own State of the Union. “We will…discuss how we want to respond to the president’s State of the Union. 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,” Richmond told BuzzFeed News’s “AM to DM.” “So there’s a million options we could do, but I think the most important part is to let people out there know that we’re still here, we’re still fighting, we really don’t care what he thinks about us.”
Various elected officials, including CBC members Rep. John Lewis, Rep. Maxine Waters, and Rep. Frederica Wilson, have already announced they will not attend the president’s annual address.
On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Rep. Pramila Jayapal became the fifth Democrat to announce she would skip Trump’s address due to the president’s “racism” and recent comments in which he reportedly referred to African nations, Haiti, and El Salvador as “s–thole countries” during an Oval Office meeting on immigration policy. “I think it is absolutely unacceptable to see the racism and the hatred coming out the White House in a way in which this president is fueling the flames of divisiveness across our country,” said Jayapal in a video released on Twitter.
ANNOUNCEMENT: With all the racism coming from the White House, I will NOT be attending @realDonaldTrump's State of the Union.— Pramila Jayapal (@PramilaJayapal) January 15, 2018
Instead, we'll focus on the State of OUR Union, our opposition to his agenda, and we will lift up a progressive and inclusive vision of our country. pic.twitter.com/dcAWMIkZZV