Something has taken hold of the Congressional Black Caucus this summer. Rep. André Carson (Indiana) sometimes appears to still be learning how to give a good quote on the cuff, and has on occasion even deferred to another member. But apparently, after spending the past month traveling the country with the irrepressible Maxine Waters as part of the CBC jobs initiative, he’s begun expressing himself in some most interesting and controversial ways.
At a recent CBC town hall meeting in Miami, Carson said that the Tea Party wants to take African-Americans back to a very bleak time in history.
“This is the effort that we are seeing of Jim Crow. Some of these folks in Congress right now would love to see us as second-class citizens. Some of them in Congress right now with this Tea Party movement would love to see you and me… hanging on a tree,” he said.
Fellow CBC member Rep. Allen West, the group’s sole Republican, dashed off a furious response to CBC Chairman Emanuel Cleaver Wednesday afternoon, in which he said that Carson’s statement was “unconscionable.” Moreover, an earlier remark by Waters’, in which she directed the Tea Party to “go straight to hell,” was “appalling,” he said.
West also is going to “seriously reconsider” his CBC membership if Cleaver doesn’t condemn their “hate-filled comments.” There’s no way that’s going to happen, so he may want to start drafting that resignation note.
As Waters said when she told the Tea Party where to go, “This is a tough game. You can’t be intimidated. You can’t be frightened.”