I might as well comment on a topic that has for the past week created a huge controversy, much conversation, and a lot of “BS” concerning what most would believe is freedom of speech involving the NAACP’s resolution presented at their National Convention, which I think was an honest conversation about the role of race and racism in the Tea Party. Good for the NAACP.
The push back from the Tea Party, its members, and all five black members made it seem as if we cannot believe our lying eyes to which they say they’re motivated primarily by a right-wing ideology, not by racism. So my question is what does the right-wing ideology, and remarks like “take back our country” mean?
Those of you who read my blog “Thought Provoking Perspectives” know that I speak from what I have seen and know to be true. For example, you have heard the phase “a wolf dressed in sheep’s clothing”. The pushback from the Tea baggers was as if they were insulted by the idea of a fair assessment of their behavior since the group was formed. Over the last year or so, we have heard members call the President the biggest threat to America, call him Hitler, argue that the Civil Rights Act should not have been passed, and suggested having literacy tests, while supporting a man who thinks businesses should have the right to deny patrons because of their race. Dare I remind you of the leader who wrote a letter to a dead president saying “We Coloreds have taken a vote and decided that we don’t cotton to that whole emancipation thing.”
Let face it, any suggestion that we need “literacy tests” that were once used to keep African Americans from voting. Or that we should return to a time of “receiving service through the back door” would suggest bigotry. Guess what, if it looks like a duck – it’s a duck.
This guise is as old as America, only this is the remolded version of what was once the Citizen Councils, John Burch Society, or even the Klan. I am old enough to remember segregation and therefore I know what that duck looks like. Let me remind you that a group like this with American Values back in 1896 was behind the Plessey Supreme Court decision that ushered in “Separate but Equal” that lasted a half a century and beyond.
Frankly, all Mr. Jealous was saying, “We’ve seen the signs, we’ve heard the slurs, and all we’re asking is for you to act responsibly and say there’s no space for bigots in the Tea Party.” But the pushback continued with the most visible supporter saying “Having been on the receiving end of a similar spurious charge of racism… I know how Tea Party Americans feel to be falsely accused.” She went on to refer to “America’s past racism,” and identified herself with Ronald Reagan, who said it was “a legacy of evil.” Yet, the former governor did not denounce them plainly or unequivocally.
“Guilt by association is wrong, but it’s legitimate to insist that those who believe in democracy and freedom take forceful steps to disassociate themselves from people in their movement who peddle racism, intolerance and fear. That’s what the NAACP is asking” said EJ Dionne Jr.
And I agree!