Congressman-elect Allen West (R-Fla.), who said he plans to become the only black Republican in the Congressional Black Caucus, accused the organization of failing the black community by promoting dependence on government welfare programs.
"The Congressional Black Caucus cannot continue to be a monolithic voice that promotes these liberal social welfare policies and programs that are failing in the Black community, that are preaching victimization and dependency, that's not the way that we should go," West said on Fox News Friday. "And those are not the types of principles that my mother and father raised me with in the inner city of Atlanta, Georgia."
West is one of two black Republicans elected to Congress during the mid-term; Tim Scott (R-S.C.) declined to join the CBC after it said it would welcome both men. West said despite his criticisms, his deceased parents would be "absolutely appalled" if he chose not to join the caucus.
"I think it's important that we have varying perspectives and insights that can challenge in the Congressional Black Caucus, and I think it will make things better for the Black community as we go forth in the 21st century," he said.
West also accused Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) of playing the race card and employing double standards in his defense of Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.), who was convicted on ethics charges by a House panel this week. West said Lewis failed to come to his defense when he was the subject of racist attacks during his Congressional campaign.
"I think it shows this duplicitous standard, this hypocrisy where there are certain rules that apply to everyone else but those same rules don't apply to the left," West said.