Florida (Politico)– Florida Rep.-elect Allen West has a harsh critique for the Congressional Black Caucus he’s planning to join.
“The most important thing is that there has to be a different perspective. There has to be a different voice. We cannot have this monolithic voice,” West told reporters Monday after breakfast during a new-member orientation.
Earlier, West had told POLITICO that he’d be interested in joining the CBC, making him the first black Republican member since then-Rep. J.C. Watts of Oklahoma.
Like Watts, West criticized the liberal views that have dominated the black caucus.
“One of the problems we see in relation to the black community is that we cannot have this monolithic viewpoint of victimization and dependency,” West said. “I’m an inner-city alumnus of Atlanta, Ga., and I think I’m living the American dream. And that’s what we need to get out to all young black men and women in our country.”
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Asked if that culture of victimization dominated the CBC, West said, “If you look at some of the failures in our inner city, with the liberal social welfare … programs — you look at my neighborhood, at Houston, at Detroit, at Chicago — this is not the recipe for success.
Staff members for the CBC, which has said it would welcome West as a member, have spoken with West’s aides about setting up a meeting, he said.