What do you buy for the former Judge whose career ended when he was impeached and convicted of conspiracy and accepting a $150,000 bribe and went on to become a Congressman from the state of Florida? Apparently not Chick-fil-A. This might be one of the funnies stories of ex post facto outrage I have ever seen.
It seems as if the Congressional Black Caucus has some lunches, and the members take turn treating the others to a meal. So as not to be accused of racism, I will let Congressman Alcee Hastings describe the events as they typically unfold.
“We have a rotation in the Congressional Black Caucus where every member provides the lunch one of the weeks when we meet,” Hastings said in a Monday interview with the Huffington Post. “We have fried chicken. And we have catfish and BBQ. We do not have watermelon, although sometimes people will have fruit. We serve a full course meal with collard greens. We have Jamaican beans and rice.”
What? Did he just volunteer the "We do not have watermelon" or did the reporter actually ask him that? Was he expressing his disappointment, or making a mental note for the next time he is buying the food? If I had been interviewing him and he had said fried chicken and I asked about watermelon, I would be accused of racism. Of course, the outburst of laughter I had while I was reading that probably wouldn't have gone over all that well either, but I digress. Here is where the problem came in.
But when it was West’s turn to provide the lunch, Hastings said, he “sent Chick-fil-A with biscuits. Ok?” And then he turned around and walked out—and has never been seen again at a CBC meeting.
Okay? And the problem? Oh, yea! Chick-fil-A is hate chicken. I had almost forgot. So the owner of the joint blasts gays in an interview, then Allen West shows up with a bucket of his chicken and walks out. Right? Not exactly.
Florida Republican Congressman Allen West has raised the ire of the Congressional Black Caucus for delivering Chick-fil-A chicken and biscuits to their weekly meeting, then walking out. Though it happened six months ago, Florida Rep. Alcee Hastings said he has no doubt that West meant the gesture as an “in your face” challenge to the members of the Congressional Black Caucus. West, the only Republican member of the CBC, has made statements recently in support of the restaurant chain and its president Dan Cathy, who is a vocal opponent of gay marriage and has contributed money to fight it.
It happened 6 months ago! You can't hold a guy accountable for buying a bucket of chicken 6 months before the owner made his controversial comments! What am I saying, this is Alcee Hastings here. What am I thinking? This is a guy who was elected to office 4 years after he was convicted of accepting bribes! He can't be held accountable 4 years after his trial, but West can be besmirched for something that happened 6 months before he bought chicken (and no watermelon, I might add)?
Now I'm not suggesting that Congressman West wouldn't have done it again after the comments were made, because he likely would. I'm just saying, we live in a Country where a man is innocent until proven guilty, and in the case of Hastings, perhaps even after having been proven such. Don't the rules of etiquette dictate... wait a second, did I say rules?
That's right. When you are a judge or a Congressman there ain't no rules, you can just make them up as you go along. But if you're a Republican Congressman buying dinner for the CBC, you had better be careful where you shop. You never know what the owner might say six months later that will make your choice of food six months prior offensive to Alcee Hastings.
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