Former Florida Rep. Allen West (R) took to Fox News on Tuesday to condemn a recent claim by Florida Rep. Alan Grayson comparing the Tea Party to the Klu Klux Klan.
Grayson’s statements were made last Thursday in an interview with Al Sharpton. He added fuel to West’s fire when he later sent out an email with a transcript of his interview featuring a burning cross as the ‘T’ in Tea Party.
West called on Democratic leaders to “reprimand and censor” Grayson’s “demeaning” marks comparing the Tea Party to the Klan.
“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 were responsible for lynchings, and horrible things in the South and all across this country,” West said.
Rep. Grayson appears to be standing by his comparison, though. The congressman released a lengthy statement to the Huffington Post today in which he detailed the reasons behind his Tea Party – KKK comparison. Here is the statement:
"Regarding the image that the campaign circulated, the Tea Party has engaged in relentless racist attacks against our African-American President. For example, when the President visited my home of Orlando, Tea Party protesters shouted “Kenyan Go Home.” Other examples include Tea Party chants of “Bye Bye, Blackbird,” and Tea Party posters saying “Obama’s Plan: White Slavery,” “Imam Obama Wants to Ban Pork” and “The Zoo Has An African Lion, and the White House Has a Lyin’ African,” as well as this repulsive one, depicting the President of the United States as an African witch doctor with bananas in his hair:
Tea Party members also have persisted in falsely characterizing the President as Kenyan and Moslem, despite all evidence, in order to disparage him. Members of the Tea Party have circulated countless altered pictures depicting President Obama and the First Lady as monkeys. Tea Party members also called my fellow Member of Congress, civil rights hero John Lewis, a “n***ger,” and Rep. Barney Frank a “faggot.” More generally, the leader of the Texas Tea Party displayed a poster saying “Congress=Slave Owner, Taxpayer=Niggar [sic].” Tea Party Members of Congress have referred to Hispanics as “wetbacks,” and having “cantaloupe-sized calves” from picking fruit. Tea Party candidates, including my opponent in the last election, have endorsed forcing Hispanics to speak English. One could go on and on, because there is overwhelming evidence that the Tea Party is the home of bigotry and discrimination in America today, just as the KKK was for an earlier generation. If the hood fits, wear it."