Rep. Andre Carson: Tea Party Wants to See Black Americans 'Hanging on a Tree'
Democratic Rep. Andre Carson told a Miami crowd last week that the Tea Party movement would "love" to see black Americans "hanging on a tree."
The comment is the latest charged remark made by a member of the Congressional Black Caucus as lawmakers tour the country talking about jobs. Carson, D-Ind., lamented at the event that the Tea Party was stopping "change," in an effort he said was reminiscent of the "Jim Crow" era.
"Some of these folks in Congress right now would love to see us as second-class citizens," he said. "Some of them in Congress right now with this Tea Party movement would love to see you and me ... hanging on a tree."
The remarks were captured in a recording posted on YouTube. Carson spokesman Jason Tomcsi confirmed the congressman made the comment at a CBC jobs event -- he said Carson was prompted by "the frustration" voiced by people about the inability of Congress to lift up the economy.
"He believes that members of the Tea Party are ones that are standing in the way," Tomcsi told FoxNews.com. "He used the strong language because he believes that that agenda jeopardizes the most vulnerable."
The Tea Party Patriots, in response, called on the congressman to "immediately resign" over the remarks.
"This type of disgusting, hateful rhetoric has no place in our political discourse. At a minimum, he should be removed from leadership in the Congressional Black Caucus, and censured by his colleagues," said Mark Meckler and Jenny Beth Martin, who head the national Tea Party group.
The remark also drew a rebuke from Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., the only black Republican in the Congressional Black Caucus, who said he's thinking about "reconsidering" his membership in the body in light of such comments.
"I think we should move away from using that type of language," West told Fox News, calling the remarks "reprehensible." He said some lawmakers are using the Tea Party as a "scapegoat" for broader problems.
This month, CBC member Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., also told a crowd that the "Tea Party can go straight to hell."