Allen West Turns Black History Month Into Attack on Democrats

Categories: Wild, Wild West
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"A commemoration of Black History Month, or: Why Democrats have been racists for 200 years."
​Last Wednesday, Congressman Allen West took to the House floor to commemorate Black History Month. As the first black congressman from Florida since Reconstruction, he was in a unique position to do so. West had hundreds of years of history he could have talked about, including 51 years of his own. Instead, he turned his "commemoration" into a partisan attack that featured delusional attacks for things that happened 150 years ago.

A hint at how hyperbolic this thing was: West spoke reverently about Abraham Lincoln and the end of slavery, then said, "The Democratic appetite for ever-increasing re-distributionary handouts is, in fact, the most insidious form of slavery remaining in the world today."

I'm not really sure how people who are actually modern-day slaves would feel about this statement, but here are a few others that merit a closer look:

West spent most of the 17-minute speech, which is titled "West Exceptional Speech" on his own YouTube channel, grabbing credit for Republican reforms that happened long before any of his old, ignorant colleagues were even born, reforms with forward-thinking, progressive qualities that seem to be long-gone in the GOP.

"The Republican Party has always been the party of freedom," West said. "The Republicans have always been the party of free men, of individual freedom."

The operative word here appears to be "men," because the Republican Party most certainly is not the party of freedom when it comes to reproductive rights, whether it's abortion, birth control or Planned Parenthood. And he probably meant to say "straight men," because we all know how outrageously free Republicans want gay people to be when it comes time to tie the knot. (Hint: West says gay marriage is an oxymoron.)

West also claimed the Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments to the Constitution for the Republicans, which might be technically true, but the party name is the only thing that's persevered: West said when the 15th Amendment passed, "it was the Democrats who resorted to poll taxes, literacy tests, intimidation and other pernicious practices in an effort to keep black Americans from exercising their right to vote."

There's no arguing voter surpression an under-handed tactic that's still very much a problem today. Unfortunately, it's the Republicans who are doing it now: A study several months ago found that laws in several states could keep as many as 5 million people from voting -- largely young people, minorities, and the poor.

West might fault Democrats for poll taxes and literacy tests from more than 100 years ago, but now, whether it be in the form of tightening voter ID laws, restricting early voting, or simply calling black precincts and telling them not to bother coming out, it's the Republicans who are trying to keep people from the polls.

And a lot of it is happening right here in Florida -- to which West has said nothing. Studies have found in states with early-voting programs that those systems were used disproportionately by minorities who couldn't vote on the Tuesdays of elections; some minority demographics had turnout proportions three times higher on the Sunday before election day, according to Politico.

The L.A. Times explains what happened in Florida after Obama won the state:
Early voting was reduced from two weeks to one week. Voting on the Sunday before election day was eliminated. College students face new hurdles if they want to vote away from home. And those who register new voters face the threat of fines for procedural errors, prompting the nonpartisan League of Women Voters to suspend voter registration drives and accuse the Legislature of "reverting to Jim Crow-like tactics."
What is happening in Florida is part of a national trend, as election law has become a fierce partisan battleground. In states where Republicans have taken majority control, they have tightened rules for registering new voters, reduced the time for casting ballots and required voters to show photo identification at the polls. The new restrictions were usually adopted on party-line votes and signed by Republican governors.
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14 comments
Dajones32301
Dajones32301

West is not the first black elected to Congress since reconstruction.  That honors goes to Carrie Meek outta Miami, and Alcee Hastings is the first man.  Wow, how erroneous can you be?!?!?!

Dan Hydar
Dan Hydar

My, my, my.  Socrates would be proud of your argument.

Dan Hydar
Dan Hydar

Funniest headline I've read in a while.  Apparently, the op/ed write thinks that Black History Month is only for ideologically correct Blacks.

Elf5051
Elf5051

Do you think people will ever except being responsible for their own life choices or will they continue to blame someone else for their failures in most everything they do.  The only thing given to me was a a love for my country and those that fought and died for my freedoms, the ability to think for myself and a strong work ethic to earn the things I hoped for in life.  It does not matter what color your skin is or what Faith you believe in or do not believe in - your parents, the neighbor, the guy in the next state or country does not owe you or anyone else a living.  There was a time when the people that came to the United States of America came here for the chance to have a better life - They learned the language, customs and became citizens.  There are many proud immigrants that have embraced the American culture and do not want our nation to be like where they came from.  Why do so many of you want to separate and divide Americans by race, color or creed?  Are you hoping for the destruction of the foundation  that United States of America was built on?  Did you consider what would be left afterward?It does not matter if you are a Democrat, Republican or Fence Post, each of you need to stop using your brain for a seat cushion and pull together as Americans fighting to save our country.

NOW you Democrats, Republicans and Fence Posts can tear my post apart from here to eternity, each of you with your self righteous agendas to divide and separate Americans in a group or neat little box should take a long look in the mirror to discover what is wrong in American society today, IT"S YOU!  

WakeUp
WakeUp

West is technically correct, but the modern Republican and Democratic parties are far different from how they looked in 1860 and 1960.  For example, it was not until Reagan that the South started solidly voting for Republicans, and the party has changed to meet the needs of southern voters (such as what the LA Times explained above).  This is nothing but typical politics - twisting words to contort the truth into what you want it to be.

Chaz Stevens, Genius
Chaz Stevens, Genius

The Dems are responsible for this new slavery?

I guess he means White Slavery, because there are more white folks on food stamps than anyone else.

I am thinking West's not so much into Jim Crow, as he is into Jim Beam.

Erich Hicks
Erich Hicks

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Peace.

Pooterlicker
Pooterlicker

Unfortunately for dems, West is correct.

Pete Pepper
Pete Pepper

Well it was relatively quiet on the criminal West front.  But I suppose he was all upset that Santorum was stealing all his crazy.Just because you scream out your ideas on history does not make it right.  One of the big platforms of the republicans is to do away with the EEOC and the NAACP.  Kinda throws Wests idea that he and his party are for them, doesnt it?

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nanguo45

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Dan Hydar
Dan Hydar

"it was not until Reagan that the South started solidly voting for Republicans" ... because by then, the olde tyme segregationist  Dems had mostly died off.  

drr543ff
drr543ff

Very true - here is a good look at it from a comment on the HuffPost: "When Johnson initiated the civil rights reforms of the 1960s pissed-off bigoted Dixie democrats flocked to the GOP, eventually took control of it, and watched as the party of Lincoln abandoned ship. The two institutio­ns of American politics then flipped like a Belgian waffle. The result is just the opposite of what West imagines it to be. His is the party of apartheid, of suppressio­n, of intoleranc­e. With a core belief in the supremacy and the sovereignt­y of wealthy whites and a few non-white toadies, the Republican party today is, and shall be in the foreseeabl­e future, the party of inequality­."

Dan Hydar
Dan Hydar

 Um, the trend of southerners shifting from Democrat to Republican started during the Eisenhower admin and continues consistently through to Reagan.   Sadly, that doesn't fit your model of "the civil rights reforms of the 1960s pissed-off bigoted Dixie democrats flocked to the GOP".  Oh well.  That's what you get fo getting your infor from "comment" boxes.

Check out this  book : http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer... for some details,  (Note that the author is respected by both Left and Right.)

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