And he's terrifying, but more on that in a second.
Allen West is one of two black Republicans who joined Congress after wins in November. He recently announced he's joining the Congressional Black Caucus which hasn't had a Republican member since 1996 when Gary Franks of Connecticut was part of the caucus. And West's membership should be interesting considering he is certifiable, and not in that, "We politely disagree way," but in a, "He believes in violent voter suppression and almost killed a guy" kind of way.
West, a Florida representative who rode in on the Tea Party wave, thinks President Barack Obama isn't a "real American" because he spent time in Indonesia as a child and didn't play Little League Baseball. Oh, and he hates the idea of a "big tent party" or inclusion. Oh, and he was discharged from the Army in Iraq for roughing up a police officer and firing a gun near the officer's head. Oh, and he's kind of known for hanging out with a criminal motorcycle gang that, in the past, has members who have spouted some anti-semitic, sexist and racist rhetoric. And he hates Muslims. For real.
West also has close ties to the Outlaws motorcycle gang, which an NBC News report found had criminal ties and a website that features a page honoring members who are in prison, extolling "members convicted of violent crimes, including murder." In a letter, West wrote: "Please, no more references to ‘criminal' because I can tell you, they have the utmost respect for me and that which I seek to achieve. I was never more amazed at how members of the Outlaws guarded me during a one hour cell phone radio interview."
West has addressed events sponsored by Outlaws-linked organizations, used Outlaws members to harass his rival's campaign workers, and writes a column for the group's magazine. The magazine, "Wheels on the Road," has published anti-Semitic, racist and sexist material, and once called women "oral relief stations."
West encouraged his supporters to use violence in suppressing the votes of opponents, saying, "You've got to make the fellow scared to come out of his house."
Dude is kind of horrifying. What the hell, Florida? And how weak were the folks who ran against him?
Soooo ... this should go wonderfully. I'm sure West and CBC member, Rep. Keith Ellison, who has been targeted by some Tea Party people because he is Muslim, will get along just dandy. And, for what it's worth, the CBC said they would be welcoming to either West or South Carolina's Tim Scott.