Published Monday, February 27, 2012, 9:49 AM
A Black History Month-related videoclip, featuring a February 15 speech, is now making the rounds. The clip is of African American conservative-/Israel supporter-favorite U.S. Congressman (from South Florida) Lt. Col. Allen West.
Early on in the 16 1/2-minute speech on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives — a speech which is sure to irk so-called “progressives,” who of course prefer to treat blacks as infantile and dependent … and thus reliable voters for an overbearing leviathan-like State from which those “progressives” benefit — Congressman West noted that the first black members of Congress “served during Reconstruction, and they were all Republicans.”
He continued that those Congressmen “won their seats despite fierce threats of violence by groups like the Ku Klux Klan [which was comprised overwhelmingly of Democrats during the decades in which it had wide national membership], and they were successful only as a result of the firm support they received from the Republican Party.”
Congressman West noted his own personal legacy: “In some ways, Mr. Speaker, I carry the torch of Josiah Walls. You see, in 1876, the Democrats contested his election and had him replaced midterm with one of their own. No black Republican would again be elected from Florida to this House until November 2, 2010, when the voters of that State entrusted me to be their Representative.”
Putting the demise of Congressman Walls and other post-Civil War Southern black politicians in context, Congressman West pointed out that, after the Civil War, when the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution were enacted, it was due to the Republican Party. West said that, when the 15th Amendment passed, “it was the Democrats who resorted to poll taxes, literacy tests, intimidation and other pernicious practices in an effort to keep black Americans from exercising their right to vote.”
The Florida Congressman, later in the speech, also dealt with more recent history, saying that:
… it was the Democrats in the Senate who filibustered the first civil rights act of the 20th century and the Republicans who managed to pass it nonetheless. The law established a Civil Rights Division within the Justice Department and authorized the Attorney General to request injunctions against anyone attempting to deny a person’s right to vote. It was written at the behest of President Eisenhower after a long drought of civil rights bills under Presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt and President Harry Truman.
Additionally, Congressman West noted that: “It was a Senate minority leader, Everett Dirksen, a Republican, who helped write the first Civil Rights Act of 1964, widely regarded as the most influential of them all. And in recent years, it’s been the Republican Party that has fought to prevent African Americans from being trapped in a permanent underclass through dependence on government handouts.”
At another point, Congressman West goes beyond black-and-white issues to make more a general assessment: “The Republican Party has always been the party of freedom. The Republicans have always been the party of free men, of individual freedom.”
Congressman West continued along those lines in his conclusion, in which he said: “With a core belief in the supremacy and the sovereignty of the individual and the unconditional dignity of every human life, the Republican Party is, always has been, and forever shall be the party of equality of opportunity. Happy Black History Month. Thank you…”
Congressman West’s February 15 speech can be accessed via this YouTube link.