Rep. Allen West (R-FL) is considering leaving the Congressional Black Caucus after a Democratic member said that the tea party — whose caucus West also belongs to — wants to see African-Americans "hanging on a tree."
West is the first Republican member of the Black Caucus in more than a decade.
He appeared on "Fox & Friends" Wednesday morning and responded to the comments.
“When you start using words such as lynching, I was born and raised in Georgia and my folks were from southern Georgia, born in the ’20s and ’30s, that’s a very reprehensible word and we should move away from using that type of language," West said. "I have to tell you, one of the things I’m starting to think about is reconsidering my membership in the Congressional Black Caucus because I don’t think that they’re moving towards the right manner in which we’re going to solve the problems. Not just in the black community, but all across the United States of America.”
The statement that pushed West over the edge was spoken at a Miami town hall event on August 22, but only surfaced in the media Wednesday. At the town hall, Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN) said that the tea party considered African-Americans "second class citizens."
“Some of them in Congress right now with this tea party movement would love to see you and me — I’m sorry, Tamron — hanging on a tree,” Carson said, addressing MSNBC's Tamron Hall, who hosted the event.
Carson's spokesman confirmed that the statement was accurately quoted.
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), another member of the Black Caucus, also recently made a comment that "the tea party can go straight to hell."
Requests for comment from West's office were not immediately returned.