Roll Call magazine, a very trustworthy source, reports that Congressman John Culberson (R-Houston), my home representative, has gone on an appalling rant of breathtakingly offensive proportions. According to a House staffer who leaked the story, Congressman went off on an elevator ride in between meetings when he lamented the fact that museums were being built to commemorate African-Americans or Latinos. Per his reasoning, since there was no Federal Government memorial to Czech-Americans, it would be unfair to dedicate museums to drastically unappreciated and ignored portions of our history (this is a little inaccurate, as Texas itself is riddled with Czech museums, including one just down the road from his constituency). This reminds me of the oft-repeated, pseudo-racist claim that there should not be a Black History Month since there is no White History Month.
Furthermore, Culberson sarcastically stated that a museum honoring the struggles of women in this country could be “OK” if only because “it’s important for little girls.” The comments appalled the staffer, who quickly called into Roll Call remaining anonymous. He was appalled that such a narrow worldview would be advanced by such a man as Culberson, a public servant who has been entrusted to represent all of his constituents.
The comments made today were not broad platitudes, they had to do specifically with an eye towards the proposed National Museum of African-American History and Culture, which is currently being built. Further, when asked to clarify the Congressman’s remarks, a spokesperson redoubled opposition, albeit with a different attitude for the opposition.
“It’s my understanding that Rep. Culberson is concerned with the cost of building new museums when our current network of museums are in need of updates and repair,” the spokesperson said, a stark difference from the previous whines about a lack of White-heritage sites. Furthermore, the spokesperson tried to point to the more stable financial grounding of the proposed National Women’s History Museum, though –once again– this isn’t what Culberson himself said when he was freely talking off the cuff.
“It was just such a striking view into his world,” the source said. “I was so profoundly offended. I couldn’t believe this happened in the Capitol.”
The source further said that some of Culberson’s congressional colleagues were “stone-faced” throughout his diatribe. Those colleagues included Doc Hastings (R-WI), the House Natural Resources Committee Chairman, and Candice Miller (R-MI), the House Administration Committee Chairwoman, both establishment Republicans with few Tea Party influences. Culberson, for his part, is not the Chairman of any committee or subcommittee, despite having been in the House over a dozen years.
Culberson will face James Cargas, a Democrat, in the November election. His district is heavily favored to the Republican Party.