(Politico) — A top lawmaker in the Congressional Black Caucus says tea partiers on Capitol Hill would like to see African Americans hanging from trees and accuses the movement of wishing for a return to the Jim Crow era.
Rep. Andre Carson, a Democrat from Indiana who serves as the CBC’s chief vote counter, said at a CBC event in Miami that some in Congress would “love to see us as second-class citizens” and “some of them in Congress right now of this tea party movement would love to see you and me . . . hanging on a tree.”
The explosive comments, caught on tape, were uploaded on the internet Tuesday, and Carson’s office stood by the remarks. Jason Tomcsi, Carson’s spokesman, said the comment was “in response to frustration voiced by many in Miami and in his home district in Indianapolis regarding Congress’ inability to bolster the economy.” Tomcsi, in an email, wrote that “the congressman used strong language because the Tea Party agenda jeopardizes our most vulnerable and leaves them without the ability to improve their economic standing.
“The Tea Party is protecting its millionaire and oil company friends while gutting critical services that they know protect the livelihood of African-Americans, as well as Latinos and other disadvantaged minorities,” Tomcsi wrote. “We are talking about child nutrition, job creation, job training, housing assistance, and Head Start, and that is just the beginning. A child without basic nutrition, secure housing, and quality education has no real chance at a meaningful and productive life.”