A Republican in the Virginia General Assembly, who is black, slammed the assembly’s Black Caucus this week after he claimed the group denied him entrance, which the Republican said made him feel like he was being told he was “not black enough.”
“It really did offend me,” Del. Aijalon Cordoza told Fox News in an exclusive interview. “It was a spit in the face. This says to me that I’m not black enough to be in the Black Caucus, and that’s an insult.”
“Defining what ‘black’ is by these liberal criteria is frankly wrong and disgusting,” the conservative added.
Cordoza, a veteran, said he attempted entrance into the caucus in hopes that his conservative voice would lend some thought diversity — and it would have been a familiar place for Cordoza, who said he was often the lone conservative voice when he attended an HBCU, which stands for “Historically Black Colleges and Universities.”
“I wanted to become a member of the Black Caucus because I wanted to be a voice, I wanted to be a conservative voice in a group that’s normally very liberal,” he told Fox News Digital. “And I wanted to represent all African Americans, not just liberal ones. I wanted a seat at the table.”
Speaking of his college experience, Cordoza said he was the only “open conservative” on his campus and found that when he was able to articulate conservative values to classmates, “they listened.”
“That’s what I wanted to bring to the Black Caucus,” he reiterated. “I wanted them to see what the other side is talking about.”
The Republican’s first venture into politics was to help elect former President Barack Obama. Though Cordoza later learned he aligned more with conservatives values, he noted.
“I actually got into politics right after high school, when I helped our nation’s first black president get elected — when I didn’t really know the party structure,” Cordoza said. “Over time I found out I more align with the Republican Party.”
Cordoza told Fox News Digital he wants a caucus that includes all viewpoints.
“It might be a caucus of one,” he said. “But it will be a caucus when new members come that’s going to welcome all African Americans, regardless of their views, because we want the African American voices to be heard, not just one singular voice rejecting all other black voices.”
“We want a full picture of what it is to be an African American, whether we agree or disagree,” Cordoza added. “We need to come together and say, ‘this is who we are.’”