Thursday, 15 July 2010

Is the Tea Party Movement Racist?

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The Tea Party movement is consciously constructed around the founding principles of the Declaration of Independence — all men are created equal. These words were echoed 87 years after the Declaration of Independence by Abraham Lincoln, the Great Emancipator of African Americans.

How odd, then, that the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People adopted a resolution condemning the Tea Party movement as racist.  Liberty and equality under the law are the antithesis of racism.

This sort of resolution reflects the decline of the NAACP and the perversion of the idea of liberty and equality. Strong defenders of liberty, like Barry Goldwater, were early and strong supporters of the NAACP. These men and women who embraced the foundational principles of America saw Jim Crow laws, lynching of blacks, and disenfranchisement of blacks as wrong and something that Americans should all strongly oppose.  So when Goldwater in his 1964 Convention speech said “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice,” he was speaking for the rights of everyone to liberty, definitely including black Americans. Goldwater finished his famous phrase with “and moderation in the pursuit of virtue is no virtue.” 

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How curious that the consistent and clear stand of Goldwater, a lifelong supporter of equal rights for blacks, has been twisted into some sort of pseudo-racism while lifelong racial bigots like Robert Byrd and Al Gore Sr. have been elevated into the pantheon of civil rights gods. It is not just curious, but Orwellian, that large numbers of black Americans can be whipped into a frenzy of fear and anger by those very symbols which emancipated, liberated, and elevated blacks in America, while the shackles of welfare slavery and blindered groupthink  are worshipped by the straw bosses, the house slaves, of entrenched statists.

Hopefully, some black leaders have taken issue with the reflexive opposition to the Tea Party Movement. Reverend Kyev Tatum, an organizer with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, disagrees with some of the Tea Party positions but does not believe that its members are racist. Tatum adds that he no longer is a Democrat or a Republican, but rather an independent who votes for the individual candidate whose views and character appeal to him most. If more black Americans, indeed, if more Americans of any color, viewed partisan politics like Reverend Tatum, our nation would be closer to the road back to the Founding Fathers.

Photo: South Carolina Republican gubernatorial candidate, Rep. Nikki Haley, an American of Indian heritage, won the nomination with support from Tea Party activists: AP Images