West: I'm a 'modern-day Harriet Tubman'

In an interview Wednesday, Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) described himself as a "modern-day Harriet Tubman" leading African-American voters away from the Democratic Party's "plantation."

"So you have this 21st-century plantation that has been out there where the Democratic Party has forever taken the black community for granted and you have established certain black leaders who are nothing more than the overseers of the plantation and now the black people on that plantation are upset because they've been disregarded, disrespected and their concerns are not cared about," West said to guest host Laura Ingraham on Fox's "The O'Reilly Factor."

"So I'm here as the modern-day Harriet Tubman to kind of lead people on the underground railroad away from that plantation and to a sense of sensibility."

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West also said that Democrats have directed black leaders to keep the black community firmly behind their party, regardless of whether policies actually help them or not.

"What you end up having — you know I'm going to be brutally honest — is that white liberals have turned over to certain leaders, perceived leaders, in the black community, like a Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton or Maxine Waters or Barbara Lee, and said pacify and keep the black community firmly behind us regardless of the failures of our social welfare policies," West continued.

West's comments came in response to remarks made by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) earlier in the week in which she said that it was unclear why President Obama had not visited any black communities on his Midwest bus tour.

On Thursday, Waters said that it was not clear what Obama's strategy was with the bus tour but it was important for African-Americans to call attention to high unemployment in the black community.

"We have not been privy to which way the president is going and why, but it's time to step up and note that our communities are not being dealt with and to make sure that this administration understands that we cannot continue to go on this way," Waters said on MSNBC. "The Black Caucus is being challenged and they're asking us, what're we doing? Why aren't we speaking up? Are we in communication with the president?"

West did not reserve his criticism for black Democratic leaders, also reiterating his critique that Republican leadership was passing the buck by dismissing Congress into summer recess.

“We're sitting around saying we are on constituent work periods,” West said. “But the constituents want us to be working up there in Washington, D.C. So that maybe fiscal year 2012 we don't have to hear the words ‘continuing resolution’ and ‘omnibus’ again.”

West said that he e-mailed House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) about his concerns, but has not received a response.

West’s comments come in the same week he indicated for the first time he was considering a Senate run in 2012.

“If people want to talk to me about something like that, it would be very disrespectful and rude for me to slam the door in their face,” West said Monday night at a Palm Beach County Tea Party meeting.

Watch West below.

This report was updated at 9:28 a.m.

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