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.
“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.”
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.
“That was an ‘in your face.’ Every member of the Congressional Black Caucus that was there was offended,” said Hastings, whose district abuts West’s in Florida.
When asked why they were offended, Hastings said, “He did it deliberately,” Hastings said. He said they saw West’s message as, “You know, ‘That’s what I think of you all.'”
A spokeswoman for West would not respond to the Huffington Post’s request for comment.
West raised the ire of many Democrats last month when he twice in two weeks used the word “slavery” to describe what he said President Obama and the Democrats are doing to Americans who are increasingly dependent on government assistance.