Daniel Foster at NRO:
The NAACP will today vote on, and is expected to pass, a resolution condemning the “explicitly racist behavior” of the Tea Parties as a “threat to progress” for minorities. It calls on “all people of good will to repudiate the racism of the Tea Parties, and to stand in opposition to its drive to push our country back to the pre-civil rights era.”
Among the charges listed in the resolution, submitted by the group's Kansas City chapter, is that the movement “displayed signs and posters intended to degrade people of color generally and President Barack Obama specifically.” It references the Capitol Hill incident in March, in which several black members of Congress alleged they were called racial epithets by passing Tea Party protesters.
“We need to realize it's really not about limited government,” said Anita Russell, head of the Kansas City NAACP, of the resolution.
Maybe Anita can explain how this band of bigots all got together by way of a call to limit the expansion of government? I mean, you look at publicity for Tea Party events and it references the expansion of government, the bailout(s), the deficit, etc, with no "oh, by the way, also show up if you hate minorities" -- not even in small print.
Could a call to protest restrictions on bicycling laws in DC turn into an anti-gay rally? Could you bring together anti-Semites by way of a call to lower property taxes?
It's just childish to "deem" the racial epithets (that weren't there) at the Capitol Hill tea party. Videos of the event picked up all the yelling and commotion -- if a single n-word flew it would have been repeated endlessly on the network news. It would have been the Zapruder film of year, with endless CSI-like audio analysis: "Note how the 'r' sound rolls on, Katie, stretching out the last syllable...."
That's what concerned me about the call for "progressive" infiltration of the tea parties a few weeks later: Just one convincing mole could get the whole gathering condemned by yelling the right word at the right time. Thankfully the infiltrators weren't convincing.
But what if there had been a bigot in the crowd? Should the crowd be judged by the utterances of one guy? Or should the crowd be judged on its reaction to that one guy. I believe the Tea Party on Capitol Hill would have turned on anyone yelling out the n-word at legislators; but we'll never know because the word was never hurled. And wishing won't make it so.
But feel free to prattle on about it endlessly. When you're done doing the victim dance, maybe we could discuss the issue of whether the government should own car companies, run health care, or offer unemployment benefits in perpetuity.
Apparently NAACP President Ben Jealous dialed down the rhetoric on Thursday. Politico reports:
"We aren't saying that the tea party is racist," Jealous said. "What we're saying is that with their increasing power comes an increasing responsibility to act responsibly . . . and to call out when they see those things on those signs."
Good. I hope that interested Americans of all races will feel free to attend tea-party events. Then they can judge for themselves.