André Carson, a Democratic representative from Indiana and a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, suggested last week that certain members of the tea party in Congress are indistinguishable from violent racists.
"This is the effort that we're seeing of Jim Crow. Some of these folks in Congress right now would love to see us as second-class citizens," Carson said at a caucus event in Miami on Aug. 22. "Some of them in Congress right now of this tea party movement would love to see you and me ... hanging on a tree."
A video of the comments was circulated Tuesday by a video producer at "The Blaze," news and opinion site run by Glenn Beck, the former Fox News host.
Watch the video below:
The video features only an edited clip of Carson's remarks, but the lawmaker's office has confirmed the statement to news outlets including the Washington Post.
The comments were "prompted in response to frustration voiced by many in Miami and in his home district in Indianapolis regarding Congress' inability to bolster the economy," Jason Tomcsi, a Carson spokesman, said in a statement issued to news outlets. "The Tea Party is protecting its millionaire and oil company friends while gutting critical services that they know protect the livelihood of African-Americans, as well as Latinos and other disadvantaged minorities. We are talking about child nutrition, job creation, job training, housing assistance, and Head Start, and that is just the beginning. A child without basic nutrition, secure housing, and quality education has no real chance at a meaningful and productive life."
Tomcsi continued, stating that "yes, the congressman used strong language because the Tea Party agenda jeopardizes our most vulnerable and leaves them without the ability to improve their economic standing."
Carson's statement marks the second time in recent weeks the Congressional Black Caucus has used unusually blunt language to criticize the tea party.
Caucus member Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) earlier this month told an audience gathered for a community meeting in California "the tea party can go straight to hell."
A fight between the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the tea party over racism was brewing earlier this year. Leaders of each group accused the other of being racist. Tea Party Express leader Mark Williams called for an end to that war of words in July and removed from his personal website an imaginary letter to President Abraham Lincoln that accused the NAACP of being racist for using the word "colored" in its name.