Is calling Tea Party activists racist the best liberals can do?
Is calling Tea Party activists racist the best liberals can do?
Consider the thoughts of the inaptly named openmind82 in a post titled “Is the Tea Party or conservs the modern day Klan?” on the Daily Kos:
When I hear words yelled like, “Faggot, Nigger” or politicians being cursed and spit on, then one has to believe it’s no longer about politics, but about something else. And it’s RACISM, it’s always been about racism, you know it, I know it, and the media knows or at least they pretend not to.
These people can’t stand to see people of color, gays, and women making legislative decisions that can effect (sic) our country. It’s about a fringe group of racist conservatives and libertarians using anti-government rhetoric to hide their racist feelings, and this health reform simply exposed them.
Then there are those who simply object to Tea Party activists being melatonin challenged. Frank Rich of the New York Times writes, “The Tea Party movement is virtually all white.” Charles Blow, Rich’s colleague at the Times, elaborated on this thought by describing a poll about Tea Party activists by Quinnipiac University. Blow states the poll “found them to be just as anachronistic to the direction of the country’s demographics as the Republican Party. For instance, they were disproportionately white, evangelical Christian and ‘less educated … than the average Joe and Jane Six-Pack.’”
Well, so much for living in a country where people are judged by the content of their character. When in the company of Tea Party activists, Kevin Jackson, Pastor C.L. Bryant, and Deneen Borelli are judged not only by the content of their character but by the content of their message. They are Tea Party activists who happen to be black. Recently, I spoke with each of them over the phone.
Between them they have addressed over one hundred Tea Party rallies in the past year. If the Tea Party is as “comedienne” Janeane Garofalo claims nothing more than “racism straight up” then one would think that Jackson, Bryant, and Borelli would be at risk of imminent harm and infectious hatred. But the only infectious quality these three have encountered amongst Tea Party activists is their enthusiasm.
Of course, it doesn’t stop Colbert King of the Washington Post or Rep. James Clyburn from comparing Tea Party activists to segregationists in the South. Yet I don’t seem to recall segregationists in the South inviting black speakers to address their rallies.
Kevin Jackson, author of the book The Big Black Lie, told me unequivocally that the allegations of racism leveled against Tea Party activists last month by Rep. John Lewis and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus are “complete fabrications” and feelings of racism amongst Tea Party activists “doesn’t exist.” Of course, that doesn’t deter Lewis and company. Jackson states, “It’s their number one weapon to try to discredit the Tea Party.” While Jackson said he would like to see more involvement in the Tea Party amongst blacks (especially black youth), he does not feel out of place in the least. “No racism has been done to me,” said Jackson.
In fact, Jackson went on to say the only thing that would stir violence amongst fellow Tea Party activists would be towards displays of racist behavior. Thus the allegations leveled by Lewis and others are incongruent with his experience. Not only does Jackson find that his Tea Party speeches regularly receive standing ovations but he also finds himself invited out to dinner, to go fishing and asked “to marry their daughters.” If that doesn’t tell you racism is clinically dead in this country, then nothing will. “They care about your character, not your color,” Jackson said.
Pastor Bryant became a Tea Party activist completely by accident. Although Bryant describes himself as “an independent, fiscal conservative,” he had no illusions of becoming a political activist. However, when Bryant and his wife showed up early at a Tea Party rally Bossier City, Louisiana, and decided to help the organizers set up, he made quite the impression. As the minister presiding over the Cedar Hills Baptist Church in the village of Grand Cane near Shreveport, Bryant is quite accustomed to speaking before large crowds. They would not regret their decision to add Bryant to their roster of speakers.
Before long Bryant would be speaking all over the country spreading the gospel of liberty. Bryant, a New Orleans Saints fan, would even be well received by Indianapolis Colts fans in Hoosier country. Bryant’s reputation as an orator is such that he has been invited to introduce both Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin at upcoming Tea Party rallies. He also hosts a radio program called “Hot Tea Radio”.
Bryant told me the motivations of Tea Party activists have “nothing to do with a black President” and that accusations of racism are little more than “an intentional smear campaign against regular Americans.” “It’s not a black thing. It’s not a white thing. We are fiscal conservatives who don’t feel we are being represented,” said Bryant.
Deneen Borelli, a fellow with the black conservative network and policy think tank Project 21, has a different take on the charges of racism against the Tea Party. Borelli, who specializes in energy policy and is a contributor to the Fox News Channel, told me such allegations are indication the Tea Party is “making a difference.” She elaborated by stating, “The Tea Party’s message of small government and self-reliance is resonating with people and the liberal/left doesn’t want that message to get out.” Borelli dismisses allegations of racism as little more than “a tactic to stifle debate.”
If left-wing politicians and the liberal media persist in calling Tea Party activists racist, then it is up to Americans of all colors to tell them they have to do better.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?