Larry Elder
The tea party, according to Rep. Andre Carson, D-Ind., a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, would "love to see us as second-class citizens" ... and "some of them in Congress right now with this tea party movement would love to see you and me ... hanging on a tree." Of the tea party's influence on Congress, Carson called it an "effort that we're seeing of Jim Crow." Another CBC member, Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., said, "The tea party can go straight to hell."

This was too much for Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., the only Republican member of the CBC. Another black Republican, Tim Scott, R-S.C., pointedly declined to even join the CBC. Given the hard-left views of the CBC, one wonders why West joined in the first place. West, presumably, thought he might change the CBC's "blame whitey" approach to the problems and concerns of black Americans.

West wrote a letter to the chairman of the CBC, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., to denounce the comments by Carson and Waters: "I believe it is incumbent on you to both condemn these types of hate-filled comments, and to disassociate the Congressional Black Caucus from these types of remarks. Otherwise I will have to seriously reconsider my membership within the organization."

Insert laughter.

Does West really think the CBC intends to condemn racial rhetoric, the very rhetoric CBC members routinely use? Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., a founding member of the CBC, said of the 1994 GOP House: "It's not 'spic' and 'nigger' anymore. They say, 'Let's cut taxes.'" Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., another founding member, was once asked why a largely Arab area outside of Detroit flourished economically, while a mostly black area nearby continued to suffer. "Racism," said Conyers.

Does West really think the CBC cares whether West wants to "seriously reconsider" his CBC membership? In the '90s, another black Republican, Rep. Gary Franks, R-Conn., joined the CBC over the objection of other CBC members. Because of Franks' opposition to race-based preferences, CBC member Rep. William Clay, D-Mo., said, "It would probably be better for all concerned if you did resign ... admitting you never should have joined the ranks of black legislators who fight to protect the rights of black people."

West represents a direct threat to the CBC's worldview -- that the problems of "Black America" stem from racism, and more government spending remains the answer. How racist is a country that elected a black man as president with a greater share of the white vote than either John Kerry in 2004 or Al Gore in 2000?


Larry Elder

Larry Elder is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an "Elderado," visit www.LarryElder.com.


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