ACORN’s former CEO Bertha Lewis urged Africans-Americans to support increased immigration as a strategy to gain political power.
“We got some Latino cousins, we got some Asian cousins, we got some Native-American cousins, we got all kind of cousins,” said Lewis, who spoke Thursday at the annual political conference of the Congressional Black Caucus.
“Cousins need to get together because if we’re going to be [part of the non-white] majority, it makes sense for black people in this country to get down with immigration reform,” said Lewis, whose ACORN group was formally disbanded in 2010 after a series of scandals.
Lewis did not mention solidarity with whites, or with people who define themselves as Americans, in her appeal for power.
“Everyone, even all white folks in this country, acknowledge that in a minute, [the] United States of America will be a new majority, will be majority minority, a brand-new thing,” she said.
In 2012, “for the first time ever in history, African-Americans outvoted white Americans. Oooh. That’s the fear of the white man. That could change everything. That’s why [immigration] should matter to us,” she declared.
Lewis got only modest applause from the room of 300 attendees, nearly all of whom were black.
But her appeal for non-white solidarity was backed up by New York Democratic Rep. Yvette Clarke.
“What will happen with comprehensive immigration reform will be a new landscape of humanity in the United States of America,” Clarke told the attendees.
“America is a shape-shifter, and based on who’s here, in what numbers and at what time, determines the political outcomes,” she said. Blacks should cooperate with Latinos, she said, adding “we all have skin in the game, literally.”
The racial appeal was echoed by William Spriggs, chief economist at the AFL-CIO. “If we are going to be the new majority, we’re going to have to start acting like the new majority and start setting the new rules,” he said.