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Allen West: A New Political Lawn Jockey

January 8, 2011

Representative Allen West has said quite a lot, both on the campaign trail, and in the first week of his service as Republican U.S. Representative from Florida’s 22nd Congressional district.   But sooner or later, he is going to be expected to do something beside continuing to make really obtuse and meaningless statements.  It is not enough to be the GOP’s shiny new political lawn jockey.  Is it?

This really has very little to do with politics.  This has to do with someone who is confused about the essence of who he is, and someone who seeks to be something else.  He seeks to be something else to anyone, of any other ethnicity, others that will accept him and help him hide from his self loathing.  So desperate for this acceptance, he dances the most elaborate jig, grins the biggest grin and says the most outlandish things that he can contrive.  In doing so he convinces himself, and seeks to convince others, that he is not what he sees as “a regular black guy”.  No…  Allen West sees himself as something very different than that.

If the statements of Mr. West were more specifically political, and his beliefs in small government and fiscal conservatism or any other right wing ideologies were his true reasoning, then that would be okay.  But that is not substantially what Florida residents hear from him.  He has attacked President Obama repeatedly, in ways that are mean-spirited,  unnecessary and unfounded.  He merely demonstrates his lack of appreciation or understanding of the complex challenges this nation faces.  He has chosen to do all of this by choreographing a traveling minstrel show of political song and dance that is solely and specifically created to entertain a racist Right Wing Lunatic Fringe.  Alan West wants to subtly make this his political race about race.  He seeks to convince people that he is something other than what they see.   The truth is, he is simply brainwashed and very confused…

Mr. West is hardly a Rush Limbaugh or Glen Beck, seeking to make millions selling hate.  Allen West is the quintessential “Uncle Tom” who simply wants acceptance within the GOP and the Tea Party  as the reward for his betrayal.  He is willing to wear the costume and do all the singing and dancing they want, as long as they let him hang around with them and laugh along with them at their off color jokes.  For him, anything would be better than hanging around with black people.  This is clearly his personal dilemma.

We have seen this movie before.  You get the occasional and understandable representation by people of color on the conservative and Republican side of issues, even American culture.  This is not unreasonable to expect.  Virtually every poll shows that people of color are Republican in small numbers.   But when I consider some of the most notable names from the right wing in recent history (both politicians and pundits), I don’t recall any significant accomplishment to rival the anger they have ignited or the embarrassment they have produced.   J.C. Watts, Armstrong Williams, Ron Christie, Juan Williams, Alan Keyes, Clarence Thomas (emphasis on the Thom) and of course, the always entertaining leader of the GOP Michael Steele.

Interestingly, the more I see it, the less I understand it.  There is a very obvious struggle among some blacks to place as much distance between themselves and their black roots and culture as possible.  Well that’s their choice and I’m not criticizing them for that.  In fact I’m not criticizing them at all.  I’m just wondering how they can imagine that belittling themselves, by appearing in public forums and spewing statements that nurture and cultivate myopic and racist opinions somehow makes them different.   How can they imagine that by agreeing with and supporting racists and evil doers, they find a much needed place to hide… from themselves.  I just hoped and imagined that maybe these people could just deal with issues and provide recommended solutions, rather than choosing to be the Republican “House Boys” that they have opted to become.

Try as I might, I can’t think of as many Republicans or professed conservatives from any other minority  ethnic groups, who routinely seek out opportunities to demean their own ethnic group or other people of color.

This is not a particularly complex model to examine.  When you consider all of the African-Americans who have done great and historic things, few if any have been as flagrantly vile and ignorant as Allen West.  My prediction is this.  He will be drummed out of the House of Representatives  in shame as soon as the next election rolls around, just like he was drummed out of the military.  He is ignorant, rash and inflexible. Ultimately he will become an embarrassment to the Republican Party in company with Black America… in fact, all of America.   I would not be surprised if Karl Rove and those pulling the strings behind the scenes, are already looking for someone to run against him in the next election cycle.  Like so many before him, Allen West has sold his soul in search of white acceptance.  All he really had to do was be an American.  When he discovers the myth, it just may be his undoing.  Politically, he was never anything more than a warm body to temporarily fill a political square.

Nobody expects Allen West to do anything beyond keeping his seat warm…

So come 2012, Fox News or some conservative group will be able to get themselves another used political lawn jockey… on the cheap.

L. A. Walker


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