The Washington Post

Allen West’s runaway slave rhetoric

As I wrote in my previous post, Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) and Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) are rhetorical bomb throwers. But just when you think they have exhausted their ability to offend they come up with another gasp-worthy comment that lowers the bar of political discourse.

Like Walsh, West is a Tea Party freshman up for reelection. Unlike the mouthy Illinois congressman, West faces a primary challenge from a decidedly mild-mannered opponent. So, the shoot-from-the-lip black Republican who last year called himself “a modern-day Harriet Tubman” leading African Americans from what he called the “Democrat Plantation” ramped up the slave imagery at a campaign event on Sunday.

The offending comment hits at 1:14 in the video.

He does not want you to have the self-esteem of getting up and earning and having that title of American. He’d rather you be his slave.

No, being enslaved is the act of allowing a politician to let his fiery rhetoric substitute for real solutions. Luckily for them, there is a Republican alternative to West, Martin County Sheriff Bob Crowder. They just have to vote for him. Doing so would simultaneously secure their legislative freedom from their current rhetorical bomb thrower and elevate the national discourse.

Jonathan Capehart is a member of the Post editorial board and writes about politics and social issues for the PostPartisan blog.


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