The scales should have been removed from my eyes concerning racism within the Tea Party when I saw television news journalists snickering about “Tea Baggers.” But I went with a group to a Tea Party demonstration to see for myself.
Federal Way’s Tea Party leader is a lady named Robin Caldwell. She is an American who happens to be a mixture of African, native-American and European ancestry. Caldwell, a conservative libertarian, is a member of our local GOP organization. I have now come to conclude that she must be as deluded as I was before MSNBC and the NAACP “exposed” the Tea Party’s redneck, racist agenda.
Everyone at the demonstration in Seattle cared deeply about the impending health care legislation, taxes and Constitutional issues. But in a crowd of thousands, keen NAACP observers spotted a handful of so-called Tea Party demonstrators with signs depicting President Obama as either Adolf Hitler or as a caricature of his favorite president, Abraham Lincoln.
Days before the NAACP revelations, talk radio demagogues alleged that the NAACP lobbied the Department of Justice to dismiss charges against the New Black Panthers for intimidating voters with a weapon at a polling place. This ludicrous charge came on the heels of a video in which Mr. King Samir Shabazz, one of the poll watchers whose case was dismissed by Attorney General Eric Holder, made comments about killing “white cracker babies.”
Of course, the NAACP had no other choice but to go on the offensive. Shabazz was clearly a victim of the Right-Wing Attack Machine. His comments were “taken out of context” and Tea Party elements smeared the NAACP for its efforts to alleviate a torrent of racist attacks.
Conservatives responded by releasing a video of a U.S. Department of Agriculture official talking about how she did not give a white farmer “the full force of what I could do” to save his farm. She “took him to (a white lawyer) so that “one of his own kind’ would take care of him.” The USDA forced her resignation without giving her a chance to explain that she eventually became good friends with the white farmer and his family.
Meanwhile, conservatives got hold of e-mails from a private online forum called JournoList. This is part of a new conservative strategy to concoct a baseless conspiracy theory accusing the liberal journalists of conspiring to label anyone who disagrees with the president as a racist in order to help the Obama administration’s agenda.
Holder’s first pronouncement when he became the U.S. Attorney General was that America needs to have a dialogue about race. What a great job of getting the conversation going. I think this calls for a Federal Way beer summit.
Let’s invite Shabazz to talk about the picture of his AK-47 posted on his website and the full context of “you need to kill cracker babies and their mothers.” Then we’ll invite Eric Holder to tell us who got him to drop the case.