A local NAACP chapter has canceled an event featuring Rep. Allen West, R-Fort Lauderdale, because he said in a town hall meeting earlier this month that “up to 80 U.S. House Democrats are Communist Party members.”
His remarks have, yet again, put West in the center of a controversy. In response, the nonpartisan NAACP has decided to reschedule its September event with another keynote speaker.
The NAACP chapter pulled the plug on the event Tuesday — four days before it was to be held at a Palm City country club.
“There’s a certain statement he made about Communists,” said Jerry Gore, president of the Martin County chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
Gore was referring, of course, to West’s remarks at an April 10 campaign event in Jensen Beach.
“That statement alone … we do not represent that type of atmosphere,” Gore told me Thursday.
The NAACP is a nonpartisan group. Hosting West after he tossed around such allegations would thrust the group into a very partisan realm, Gore said.
In a recent newsletter to constituents, West said he was “pleased” his remarks were getting so much attention.
In the newsletter, West said:
As you may be aware, much has been made of my recent response to a question from a constituent and assertion regarding so-called “communists” in the Congressional Progressive Caucus. I am pleased it has inspired so much passionate debate, for that was precisely the point. When I was studying for my Masters degrees in political science at Kansas State University and at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff Officer College, the very best professors were those who would begin each lecture with a challenging assertion. It engaged discussion and analysis, and was the best way to uncover the essence of the particular subject of the day. As Americans, we must bring to the forefront a fundamental discussion of what we want our country to be like 10 years, 20 years, and 100 years from now. Do we veer from our Founders’ vision of a constitutional republic, which preserves and protects the individual sovereignty of its citizens, along with the free market and the rights of the several states? Or do we continue to slide down a path of expanding the secular welfare state, nationalizing production, and enforcing economic equality and achievement?
You may call this what you wish. The esteemed constitutional scholar and author, Mark Levin, calls it “statism.” In our lifetime, the unpalatable and pejorative brands “socialist” and “communist” have been replaced with the more user-friendly “progressive.” But this is not a discussion about labels. It is a discussion far more important and grave, for it affects our nation’s future, our security, and the lives of each and every one of us. The dialogue must be about the future and direction of these United States. It is about the choice between two futures: a constitutional republic or a bureaucratic nanny-state. [Emphasis added.]
West has also used the fallout of his remarks to raise money for his reelection.