Disturbed by overtly racial, anti-Tea Party remarks made by several of his colleagues over the August recess, Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) says he's re-evaluating his membership in the Congressional Black Caucus:
Well, it was interesting while it lasted. Representative Allen West of Florida, the first Republican to join the Congressional Black Caucus in over a decade, said Wednesday that he was considering leaving the organization because of remarks that a fellow lawmaker made concerning the Tea Party. “When you start using words such as lynching,” Mr. West said in an interview with Fox & Friends, “that’s a very reprehensible word and I think we should move away from using that type language.”
Here's West on Fox & Friends this morning, explaining why he's "reconsidering" his affiliation with the CBC:
West is the only Republican member of the caucus, which has come under fire after a controversial video we posted yesterday began making the media rounds. The ugly mash-up features clips of CBC members leveling declarations of "war" against the Tea Party, as well as darkly suggesting that some Tea Party-affiliated Congressmen would prefer to see black people "hanging from a tree:"
As an African American and a prominent Tea Party supporter, West is in a tough spot. Based on the shameful rhetoric highlighted above, would anyone blame West for cutting ties with the CBC? It's abundantly clear that his worldview is totally unwelcome within their ranks -- he's literally viewed as "the real enemy" by at least one colleague -- so why carry on as a pariah? If West bolts, and Rep. Andre Carson remains a member in good standing, free from repercussions for his abhorrent comments, that will say everything that needs to be said about the Congressional Black Caucus.
UPDATE - Verum Serum examines the media's reaction to "you lie!" vs. "you lynch!" (Spoiler, the former comment constituted a civility catastrophe. The latter comment was...what comment?)