A lot of people, especially people here on the Internet, like to decry their enemies as McCarthyists when they get into an argument. Saying of someone that they’re no better than America’s most infamous anti-communist politician Joseph McCarthy is seen by many as a great way to attack someone while not descending into calling them a Nazi. Most people are not McCarthyists, of course, but for some, there’s no better term. Congressman Allen West is a McCarthyist, quite literally.
Two weeks ago, at a town hall meeting in his Florida Congressional district, West told constituents that there are nearly 80 Communist Party members currently in the House of Representatives. When people asked him to name the names of those communists, West just said that everyone in the Congressional Progressive Caucus is a communist. Many of West’s colleagues disagreed with his inaccurate alarmism, noting that he had no evidence to prove his statements, but West refused to budge. “I don’t regret [my words] whatsoever,” he said in a later news conference. “I’m not going to back down. I’m not going to be afraid about the fact that I called a spade a spade. That’s my responsibility to the American people.”
In response to West’s rather insane ramblings — even the Communist Party called West’s accusations “a sad ploy” — his local NAACP chapter has decided to cancel an event at which West was supposed to give a keynote. The congressman was originally scheduled to deliver the address at the group’s annual Freedom Fund Banquet, but organizers have rescinded the offer in light of West’s communist allegations. They’re rescheduling the event, and they’ve asked West to not even attend anymore.
Perhaps it was a bit hasty of the group to cancel the thing altogether — surely they could have tapped a new speaker to take the stage in time to not have to cancel — but in the end they probably made the right choice by canning the congressman. If West can’t extend basic courtesy and civility to his own colleagues through his opinions, why would anyone extend him the honor of being able to express those vile opinions in front of a room full of people? Let him spew his nonsense in private.
The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of BET Networks.
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(Photo: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)