Allen West may only be a Freshman in the House, but the Republican representative from Florida had a lot to say about his black colleagues across the aisle.
While appearing on Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor,” West argued that Black Democrats had consistently let down their constituencies when it came to addressing unemployment and then taken their support for granted come election season. Saying that political leaders like Jesse Jackson were more likely to bow to the demands of white liberals than African-American needs, West said that many black leaders were no better than plantation bosses.
In an excerpt from the interview, West is heard saying:
“So you have this 21st Century plantation … where the Democrat party has forever taken the black vote for granted, and you have established certain black leaders who are nothing more than the overseers of that plantation,” West said. “And now the people on that plantation are upset because they’ve been disregarded, disrespected and their concerns are not cared about.”
“So I’m here as the modern day Harriet Tubman to kind of lead people on the Underground Railroad away from that plantation into a sense of sensibility.”
Though West is criticizing Black Democrats, he is a part of the Congressional Black Caucus, the organization of lawmakers on the Hill who are of color. Currently, that body is leading a jobs tour across the country but it remains to be seen if the tour will generating more jobs than press. West says that while Black Democrats are happy to talk the talk, they do not walk the walk. He pointed to the recent flash mobs in Philadelphia and Cleveland as evidence of a disconnect between youth and leaders, saying:
“That’s the absence of this ‘leadership’ in the black community, which as I say are nothing more than overseers of this 21st century plantation.”
Do you agree with West’s assessment of Black leadership among the Democrats or is his critique off base? Weigh in and tell us what you think Clutchettes and gents- let’s discuss!