Black Caucus silent on 'slavery' border claims

28 September 2021

3:40 PM

28 September 2021

3:40 PM

The Congressional Black Caucus did not respond when asked on Friday whether they agree with Rep. Maxine Waters’s comment that the treatment of Haitian migrants by Border Patrol agents is ‘worse than what we witnessed in slavery’.

‘What we witnessed takes us back hundreds of years. What we witnessed was worse than what we witnessed in slavery,’ Waters said during a news conference outside the Capitol on Wednesday. ‘Cowboys — with their reins, again — whipping black people, Haitians, into the water where they’re scrambling and falling down when all they’re trying to do is escape from violence in their country.’

Members of the CBC attended a meeting at the White House on Wednesday to condemn viral images that they claim showed Border Patrol agents whipping Haitian migrants in Del Rio, Texas, as they attempted to illegally cross the border into the United States. Waters chaired the CBC from 1997 to 1999.

The Spectator reached out to the CBC on Friday to ask if they agreed with Waters’s statement but have still not heard back.

Other members referred to the photos as ‘horrific’ but stopped short of saying they are ‘worse than … slavery’.

Vice President Kamala Harris, a former CBC member, came the closest to echoing Rep. Waters’s remarks during a Friday appearance on ABC’s The View. 

‘Human beings should not be treated that way. And as we all know, it also evoked images of some of the worst moments of our history, where that kind of behavior has been used against the indigenous people of our country, has been used against African-Americans during times of slavery,’ Harris said.

Thus far, there has been no evidence that Border Patrol agents whipped or struck the migrants. Left-wing activists originally claimed the agents were carrying whips, but they were actually split reins used to control their horses. The agents will sometimes swing or twirl the reins, which may look intimidating, but is used to ‘”drive” the horse’, per the National Fraternal Order of Police. The photographer who captured the scene also said the images he took were ‘misconstrued.’

‘I didn’t ever see them whip anybody, with the thing,’ Paul Ratije said. ‘He was swinging it. But I didn’t see him actually take — whip someone with it. That’s something that can be misconstrued when you’re looking at the picture.’

Nonetheless, the Biden administration is temporarily prohibiting Border Patrol from using horses in Del Rio. Agents who were pictured on horseback twirling the reins have been reassigned to ‘administrative duties’ pending an investigation.

President Biden promised on Friday that the agents ‘will pay’ for their actions.

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

Show comments