Rep. Allen West (R-FL) fomented a racial controversy with comments describing African-American voters’ tendency to support the Democratic Party as a “21st-Century plantation.” Wednesday, he carried his meme even further, telling Fox News guest host Laura Ingraham that, “I’m here as the modern-day Harriet Tubman, to kind of lead people on the Underground Railroad, away from that plantation into a sense of sensibility.” To top it off, West went on to claim that leaders such as Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Barbara Lee or Maxine Waters were the “overseers of this 21st-Century plantation,” meant to “pacify and keep the black community firmly behind [white liberals], regardless of the failures of [their] social welfare policies.”
So, naturally, Hardball host Chris Matthews brought Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) herself on his show to respond. Waters revealed that West had advised his own brother to contact Waters in his search to find a job:
WATERS: Did I tell you his brother was here today?
MATTHEWS: Tell me.
WATERS: He has a brother that’s out of work. Well his brother came up to me, introduced himself, and told me that he’d lost his job — he’d been laid off. And I asked him if he’d called his brother [Rep. West] and he said he had. And I said, “And what did he say?”
He said, “He told me to come to the job fair. He told me to come and see you.” And so we’re hopeful that we can help his brother.
MATTHEWS: So he sent him to the plantation, as he put it?
WATERS: Well, you know, that’s a reasonable conclusion.
Later that same evening, Ed Schultz had footage of an interview with Rep. West’s brother, Arlan West, in which he praised the Congressional Black Caucus for holding the jobs fair — calling it “a prime example” of elected officials carrying out their responsibility to serve their constituents — and said his brother’s rhetoric was “unproductive.”