It's Only the Race Card When You Play It

By Ta-Nehisi Coates

Heh. Allen West:


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," West said in an appearance on Fox News Channel's "The O'Reilly Factor," responding to the anger that black Democrats showed earlier this week at a Congressional Black Caucus town hall in Detroit. 

"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, who is the sole Republican member of the Congressional Black Caucus. 

Some black leaders are "are nothing more than overseers over that plantation," West said, including Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), whose remarks at that town hall expressing frustration with President Barack Obama have drawn widespread attention.

The black voters are presumably the slaves, Waters and company the overseers who do the slavemaster's bidding, and West the freedom fighter who will lead them to liberty. West is effectively calling Waters a sell-out. West, himself, would of course go into a frothing seizure should such a charge ever be lodged at him.

West finished his comments by noting that the Republican Party has not always done a very good job at "reaching out" to black communities. Presumably now that West is on the case, the Promised Land is upon us.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/08/its-only-the-race-card-when-you-play-it/243799/