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Yes. That Allen West. No, he hasn't really gone away. The craziest and most outspoken wing-nuts never go away. They get gigs on FOX.

And they get invited to events put on by crooks like GOP grifter, Ralph Reed and his Faith and Freedom Coalition. That is where West, the former Florida Congressman and future FOX contributor was recorded waxing nostalgically about the good old days when African American communities supposedly fostered entrepreneurship, before LBJ and the Great Society came along and tore down the wondrous accomplishments of Jim Crow,

From Salon:

He blamed most of the the troubles that have befallen African-Americans on the legacy of Lyndon Johnson’s administration. Pointing to a man who had 22 children with 17 women, West said it was an example of “the unintended  consequences and second and third order effects” of LBJ’s Great Society and War on Poverty. Johnson also signed the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts into law.

West said that in the Atlanta he grew up in, he “could see black entrepreneurship.” But now he sees a “shell of that,” with no black entrepreneurship in sight.

What a load of revisionist crap, thought I, as I composed a rant and compiled and reviewed references to LBJ's accomplishments during the glorious Summer of 1964, as he was about to be elected in a landslide to a full term as President. All of that is out in the tall grass, if you are interested.  

Right Allen. You were three years old when LBJ signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. I was 15 and lived in a political family. I lived through and paid attention to that Presidential campaign and that Summer of unprecedented legislative triumphs of progressive policy implementation and social progress that came to a climax when Democrats totally kicked GOP ass in the November election.

When you were 14 years old, Allen, I spent time in Atlanta while a Naval officer and had friends from there. I was well aware of the importance and strength of the civil right movement in Atlanta and that the City of Atlanta had begun an unprecedented era of growth, spreading prosperity and civil rights progress. When you were 14, Allen, Atlanta elected its first African-American Mayor, Maynard Jackson, a formidable activist for his community. According to the New York Times:

But it was his fiery advocacy for the new black majority that had elected him -- in particular, by setting up affirmative-action programs for hiring city workers and contractors, and by giving neighborhoods a voice in city planning -- that constituted a political revolution in the heart of the South. Seemingly overnight, it transformed Atlanta into a mecca for talented, aspiring blacks from across the country.
Gee, Allen, what a setback for African American entrepreneurs in Atlanta while you grew up there. And, Allen, if you think all of that Black entrepreneurship in Atlanta has faltered somehow, tell that to the talented and accomplished members of the Atlanta Black Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.

In terms of barriers to prosperity coming to the Black neighborhoods of Atlanta during those years when you were growing up, Allen, a reasonably accurate, if incomplete explanation is found in the State's official history:

Despite the passage of federal civil rights legislation, public facilities in Georgia and throughout the region remained segregated in many areas well into the 1970s. Even as recalcitrant communities succumbed to federal pressure, de facto residential segregation remained a common feature in many locales throughout the state. Atlanta's indices of residential segregation actually increased between 1940 and 1980, as middle-class whites abandoned urban residential areas for new developments on the suburban periphery. Similar developments occurred in other cities throughout the region, and today the persistence of segregated residential patterns in contemporary southern communities attests to Jim Crow's enduring legacy.
If you want instead to talk about the objective reality of that Great Society Summer of 1964, consider this list of legislation signed into law in July and August, while LBJ ran against Goldwater (who opposed all of it). Remember laws back then had names that actually described what they did, unlike today's propagandistic titles
The Economic Opportunity Act 1964

    Provided training to disadvantaged youths aged 16-21
    Helped low income students to work their way through college
    Recruited volunteers to work and teach in low income slum areas

The Re-Development Act 1964  

    Provided money for replacing inner city slums with new homes.

Civil Rights Act of 1964
Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1964
Economic Opportunity Act of 1964
Wilderness Preservation Act of 1964

The following year, with swollen Democratic majorities in Congress, LBJ carried on with the Voting Right Act, Medicare, Medicaid, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, among other initiatives.

When you were three years old, in Atlanta, Georgia, Allen, Jim Crow ruled your world. In the next few years, unprecedented change occurred. In the 50 years from 1914 to 1964, social and economic progress for African Americans had happened, but very slowly and gradually and very, very partially. Suddenly, there was a revolution, built on a foundation of unprecedented federal government action taken entirely within its lawful powers. The pace of change and improvement accelerated enormously, though it remains incomplete. In the 50 years since 1964, race in America has remained a messy problem that won't go away. But things are much better and continue to improve. Evidence of that is everywhere, from the occupant of the White House to the White Panic about it.

So Allen, when you are speaking to an audience principally comprised of White Southerners, and you want to talk about why African Americans have yet to achieve economic and social equality in America, don't waste time trying to blame LBJ. Just ask the audience members to look at the persons sitting on their right and their left. Allen, sadly, by going in front of a white, Christian, mostly Southern crowd and pretending progress has hurt Blacks, you are a pitiful caricature of a kind of clown act that I had hoped had become purely historical. You sound perfect for FOX.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (19+ / 0-)

    "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness." John Kenneth Galbraith

    by LeftOfYou on Sun Jun 16, 2013 at 11:20:13 AM PDT

  •  Shorter Allen West (7+ / 0-)
    a pitiful caricature of a kind of clown act
  •  Well said. n/t (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LeftOfYou, palantir, Calamity Jean

    "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's the thing you know for sure that just ain't so." Mark Twain

    by Expat Okie on Sun Jun 16, 2013 at 11:40:51 AM PDT

  •  Allen West - Not a real black man (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Allen West is probably an example of a complete and under hypocrite and my friends (who are black) have argued Allen West is no black man but rather a complete dickhead who would be probably worse spending time with than Rush Limbaugh.

    •  No, he's black alright... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      milkbone, msmacgyver, Calamity Jean

      To say otherwise is falling prey to the "No True Scotsman" logical fallacy. His mentality is just somehow formed by a 1960's John Birch Society-level mindset.

      I always wonder how these men (all the examples I know are males) come by their crass need to imitate the worst elements of conservatism. Why do Allen West, Clarence Thomas, or E.W. Jackson think and act the way they do?

      Did it originate as a need to imitate ultraconservatives in order to fit into their environment, and became an ingrained behavior? Were they traumatized as teenagers by radicals? Or is it something else?

      `Ideology offers human beings the illusion of dignity and morals while making it easier to part with them.'- Vaclav Havel

      by Black Brant on Sun Jun 16, 2013 at 01:14:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The "Straw Boss" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Major Kong

        He'd never really be in charge, but he does promise to beat the field hands extra hard.

        There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

        by bernardpliers on Sun Jun 16, 2013 at 01:25:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You got me there (0+ / 0-)

        I'm only going by what my Black friends say.  Black is not simply just color but also an identity.

        But yes, Blacks getting involved in conservatism really just makes them bad role models for the African-American/Black community.  With all the struggles the community faces these days, from Richmond, California to South Central L.A. to Detroit, the last thing they need is to look up to a dickhead like Allen West, who is an elitist and probably the worst role model.

        And what about Senator Tim Scott from South Carolina?  He's not Allen West by any means but he's a hypocrite and still talks about conservatism as some kind of elite point of view with no sense of being welcoming and open to anyone in the Black/African-American background who disagrees with him.

      •  He is self-loathing nt (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        When someone is impatient and says, "I haven't got all day," I always wonder, How can that be? How can you not have all day? George Carlin

        by msmacgyver on Sun Jun 16, 2013 at 02:40:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  He's an uncle tom, not a real black man, but (0+ / 0-)

        another 2013 obedient slave.

  •  Like Allen West actually means anything (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    palantir, msmacgyver, Calamity Jean

    If he ever did. He's a loon who managed to get a House seat for a single term, did nothing while there except rant and scream and make a complete jackass off himself and then promptly got booted out. He's a joke, he always was a joke and now he gets to be a professional joke with the rest of the jokers at Fox News.

    I'd like to think that he didn't read the fine print of his contract and only found out later that his primary duties would be to fetch Hannity's coffee.

  •  One of your best diaries LOY (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Expat Okie, LeftOfYou


  •  Following ex-Congressman West these (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    msmacgyver, Major Kong

    last several months, it occurs to me that it might be a good idea to revoke his driver's license.  

    It's in the national interest to have dangerously unstable people off the roads.

  •  The Classic Minstrel Show "Stump Speech" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Egalitare, LeftOfYou

    I'm not going to embed this video, but it's sort of like Professor Erwin Cory in black face.

    The stump speech was a comic monologue from blackface minstrelsy (which is an American entertainment consisting of comic skits, variety acts, dancing, and music, performed by white people in blackface). A typical stump speech consisted of malapropisms (the substitution of a word for a word with a similar sound), nonsense sentences, and puns delivered in a parodied version of Black Vernacular English. The stump speaker wore blackface makeup and moved about like a clown. Topics varied from pure nonsense to parodies of politics, science, and social issues. Although both the topic itself and the black character's inability to comprehend it served as sources of comedy, minstrels used such speeches to deliver social commentary that might be considered taboo in another setting. The stump speech was an important precursor to modern stand-up comedy.

    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

    by bernardpliers on Sun Jun 16, 2013 at 01:01:04 PM PDT

  •  Georgia (4+ / 0-)

    I served most of my time in the US Army in Georgia in the mid-70s. I'm a white-looking guy (part Native American but the blond, fair-skin of a Finnish grandmother took precedence) and was out driving around with a couple of guys from my unit. I needed to take a p-break so we stopped at a long, low cinder block building to use the restroom.

    I walked into the door at the right side of the building. Inside were about a dozen black men, knocking back beers and whiling the time away. One of them pulled me aside and said, "Hey, man. What you doing in here? You need to go in the other door or you won't be safe."

    Being a northerner, I thought, hmm, what's going on here? I went back out, noticing for the first time that the door I'd entered was painted black. The door on the other end of the building was painted white. So I went to the other door and used the toilet in a room similar to the one on the other end of the building with one exception. All the people were white.

    I later asked one of the local guys in my unit what it was all about. Segregation. Black people could only drink in the black door section of the building. White people could only drink the white door section. Enforcement was by white people. Any black who tried to go into the white side would be beaten. Any white who went in the black side was a n-lover and would be beaten.

    Yeah, Allen West, it's all LBJs fault. If it wasn't for him and others like him, you'd still be walking through the black door instead of having a national platform from which to spew your filth.

    A waist is a terrible thing to mind.

    by edg on Sun Jun 16, 2013 at 01:11:40 PM PDT

  •  social progress yes, economic progress maybe (0+ / 0-)

    certainly ending jim crow and segregation opened the door for african-americans to participate in the social aspects of our society at will. I am not sure we would have had
    people like Charlie Bolden without the civil rights act
    and voting rights act to allow African-americans to
    participate in our social structures.

    Now, that said, economic progress is a much more mixed bag.  African american incomes have moved up, you have a black middle class, and adjusted for education and criminal justice, african americans earn as much as white americans, particularly amongst women.  However there is a large wealth disparity.  despite relatively good earning power, african americans have not accumulated wealth
    which harms them in climbing the ladder.

  •  maynard jackson was quite a guy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    he mentored my brother and, eventually, the 2 became business partners.  when our father passed away, there was a huge bouquet from maynard and he was also in attendance at my brother's wedding.

    it was a loss when he died.

    hope springs eternal and DAMN is she getting tired!

    by alguien on Sun Jun 16, 2013 at 02:34:17 PM PDT

  •  Allen West is like the most obedient slave the (0+ / 0-)

    confederates picked to fight against their own freedom as a last resort when they were about to lose the civil war. He is the type they put on the list, but never got a chance to call up, because it was within a few weeks to the end of the civil war. Now today as a last resort to save the southern strategy and their racist butts, they are calling on the obedient types again. But like 1865, it's too late.

  •  West, Cain and this jw guy are sh%t pan fetchers (0+ / 0-)

    for their massas. Slide the pan over here boy and hold it in place even if i sh&t on your hands. YAAAAL SUR.

  •  "rugged individualism" for blacks (0+ / 0-)

    The story goes that in the hard days before civil rights, before the endless and uncritical indulgence of welfare, before rap, etc. blacks out of necessity had to be a disciplined and ambitious model minority in order to get anywhere.  They built thriving communities instead of dysfunctional ghettos, complete with a middle class of educated professionals.  They embraced or at least professed old-fashioned Christian virtue rather than reveling in the stereotypes of thugs and their hos.  They didn't want a handout or a hand up for that matter; they recognized that what they needed most was pride, not simply to succeed but to own that success by owing it to no-one else, least of all to white "charity".

    It's a powerful myth that has a much larger following within the black community than you might think.  This is a slice of the ideal of the virile, self-determining blackness of Marcus Garvey, the Black Muslims, Bill Cosby's "pound cake speech", Huey Freeman, etc.

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