Rep. Allen West (R-FL), the hard-line conservative Tea Partier who is currently the only Republican member of the Congressional Black Caucus, has announced that he is not quitting the organization, after he had threatened to do so last week.
“Cowards run from challenges, while warriors run to the sound of battle,” West proudly declared. “I will not be resigning from the Congressional Black Caucus. Constitutional Conservatism is now and will in the future be a part of the Congressional Black Caucus.”
West made his threat over comments made by Rep. André Carson (D-IN), who said at a CBC event in Miami, “Some of them in Congress right now with this Tea Party movement would love to see you and me — hanging on a tree.”
West posted a message Thursday on Facebook, announcing that he had met with Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) and Rep. William Lacy Clay (D-MO). “I expressed my condemnation of recent comments from fellow CBC members, especially Rep. Andre Carson,” West declared.
However, he also added:
Cowards run from challenges, while warriors run to the sound of battle. I will not be resigning from the Congressional Black Caucus. Constitutional Conservatism is now and will in the future be a part of the Congressional Black Caucus.
There may be those who criticize my decision but consider if Henry O. Flipper or the Tuskegee Airmen had taken the easy out over the hard in. Those men are part of my legacy as a career military office, a proud legacy.
I look forward to hosting the CBC lunch meeting next week. Also, Chairman Cleaver and I will be issuing a joint statement on policies to rectify the disastrous unemployment statistics in the black community.
The only other African-American Republican in Congress is Rep. Tim Scott (R-SC), who like West was also first elected in 2010. However, Scott declined an invitation to join the CBC, while West accepted.
For his part, West has made his fair share of racially loaded remarks about Democrats. Three weeks ago, he compared Democrats’ overwhelming margins among black voters to the “plantation” of the slavery era, and likened liberal African-American politicians such as Maxine Waters to “overseers” — the men who committed the day-to-day atrocities of ruling over slaves in the antebellum South.
“So I’m here as the modern-day Harriet Tubman,” West declared, “to kind of lead people on the Underground Railroad, away from that plantation into a sense of sensibility.”
Also in mid-July, following his exchange with DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) — in which West responded to her attacks against his vote to privatize Medicare with a letter telling her that she had “proven repeatedly that you are not a Lady” — West also accused Democrats attacking him because he is a black conservative.
“What we do is we totally invalidate the liberal social welfare policies and programs,” he said. “And you know, I’m the threat because I’m the guy that got off their 21st-century plantation, and they cannot afford to have a strong voice such as mine out there, reverberating and resonating across this country.”