On Tuesday’s broadcast of Fox News Channel’s “The Kelly File,” former Florida congressman and Fox News contributor Allen West reacted to a fundraising email from Florida Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson’s campaign that likened the tea party to the Ku Klux Klan. The email featured images of two Klansmen in the background with a burning cross used as the “t” in “tea party.”
West recounted his experiences as a young black man in the South and pointed to the absence of various civil rights leaders in response to the imagery Grayson used to identify so-called tea partiers.
“[H]aving been born and raised in Georgia, having parents that were born and raised during the 20s and 30s, I remember growing up and seeing that burning cross on a clear night atop of Stone Mountain so that everyone could see it across Atlanta,” West said. “This is despicable. This is demeaning. This is disgusting. We all know that Alan Grayson is pretty much a sensationalist and he can continue to say things that are over the top. But my concern is where is the NAACP and Ben Jealous? Where is the National Urban League and Marc Morial? Where is Rep. John Lewis, who is from Georgia, who marched with Dr. King? Who as I was growing up was my representative as a young man in Atlanta, Ga.? Where are the voices of the Congressional Black Caucus? Revs. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson?”
“Because obviously what we are seeing now is the party, the Democrat Party that created the Ku Klux Klan and also created that symbol of the burning cross, is obviously still proud to have that symbol being displayed,” he continued. “And you know, to all of us in the black community and those of us also as constitutional conservatives in the tea party — we have to be outraged. And this hypocrisy cannot continue to stand.”
West took a step further when he noted the absence President Barack Obama and suggested his silence may be due the fact he didn’t share the same racial experience that West and others had experienced.
“[Y]ou know, the president came out and started talking about civility in our dialogue,” West said. “Where is President Obama? You know, here we have the guy that is supposedly the first African-American president and we’re supposed to be celebrating this end of racial animosity. But I think it has gotten even worse and I think that the president should be speaking out about this. He should reprimand and censor Alan Grayson for what he said. But I think the big difference is that the president does not share that same experience that young men such as myself and women have seen and understand what the Ku Klux Klan represents in this country, especially if you grew up down south.”
“But why isn’t Nancy Pelosi speaking out about this?” West continued. “Why isn’t Debbie Wasserman Schultz or Harry Reid? You know, we continue to hear the use of this extremist language, jihadist language, arsonist, extortionist and now this equating constitutional conservatives — people who just believe in a constitutional way of government to operate — with people who are responsible for lynchings, and horrible things in the South and all across this country.”