Google “Congressman Allen West slavery,” and you’ll find a lengthy list of misused slavery metaphors (and not just the ones he’s uttered). The Florida Republican added another last night when he discussed similarly hyperbolic criticisms of President Obama leveled yesterday in Detroit by his Congressional Black Caucus colleague Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA). From Politico:
Rep. Allen West says he is a “modern-day Harriet Tubman” who wants to lead black voters away from the “plantation” of the Democratic Party.
There is a “21st century plantation” of African-American voters unwaveringly supporting Democrats, but the freshman Republican from Florida said Wednesday night that he is out to change that.
“The people on that plantation are upset because they’ve been disregarded, disrespected and their concerns are not cared about….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,” said West.
Congressman West seems set to continue with the slavery metaphors, because he thinks they help his cause and his party’s.
Like presidential candidate Herman Cain, he considers himself a liberator, and therefore a hero. One minor problem? I don’t know any fellow Blacks, on either side of the aisle and myself included, who enjoy being called slaves, even in a political metaphor. And make no mistake, that is exactly what he’s doing. (Why else would we need Harriet Tubman again?)
If Congressman West wants to win over Black voters to the Republican Party, perhaps he should suggest that his party do something real to win them over – you know, something other than imply that they’re slaves.