Friday, July 16, 2010

I’m not saying OJ the NAACP was right,…but I understand…

So…by now you’ve heard about the NAACP passing a referendum on the racial elements of the Tea Party Movement. If you haven’t, here’s a little recap…

In Kansas City, Missouri, the NAACP adopted a resolution that initially would “repudiate the racism of the Tea Parties” and stand against the Tea Party and their attempts to “push our country back to pre-civil rights era.” This wording was amended to remove the criticism of ALL Tea Partiers, simply asking them to speak out against racism within their own ranks.

I’ve written this at least four times. There are so MANY elements to it, so many, I didn’t know where to begin. Let me be honest, I can appreciate the Tea Party…really, I can. I think in this government, EVERYONE needs someone to speak on their behalf. Nevertheless, after listening to, and seeing the Tea Party in action, I was glad somebody said SOMETHING, ANYTHING.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe that everyone within ENTIRE Tea Party movement is a racist. There are elements within ANY and EVERY group that could be considered extreme. Actually, in a perfect world, I would agree with some of the Tea Party's views. However, I do believe that some of their OTHER views are very narrow and don’t take into consideration the inequities and differences within and throughout our country. Additionally, I can see how their lack of basic sensitivity to racial issues could rub people the wrong way (but of course, this would then require them to be more Politically Correct, which we KNOW they are against).

I also believe if they we're being honest with themselves, we wouldn’t be at this point. I truly believe that a large majority of Tea Party members have never sat down and talked with members of other races about some of the issues. It is amazing how a different perspective can help form an opinion. That is just my opinion, and I could be wrong. I interact with people often who tell me that I’m the first black person they’ve ever had a conversation with. Really? This is true in 2010…? Yes! In 2010! So I don’t think my assumption is too far off. But, it is an assumption nevertheless. If they did some soul searching, I do think that they could start to see how their approach, and views can be seen as, at the very least, restrictive, at most, racist. Now, I will be the first to say that NO group should be judged by what a few rogue, fringe elements say. But is that who we are talking about? Was Tea Party Favorite, Rand Paul, a rouge/fringe element when he told Rachal Maddow that he would’ve voted against the Civil Rights Act because he didn’t think Big Government should be involved in Private Business? On its face, that sounds good, right? But this is the same Civil Rights Act that made it possible for people of all colors to enjoy dinning at the same restaurant. The problem is, along with many civil rights activists, “Big” Government helped to change laws, and even the constitution, to make this country a better place for EVERYONE. Not just those that look like Rand Paul…

 Was the OPENING SPEAKER of the 1st National Tea Party Convention, Tom Tancredo in the minority of Tea Partiers when he said, to a large cheering audience, that he wanted to go back to using Jim Crow laws for people to vote because it will weed out the people that voted for Obama, a “socialist," or that we should "send him back" to Kenya. Or that their support of the Arizona bill, a bill that was introduced by Russell Pearce who has KNOWN ties to white separatist (seen here with JT Ready) groups, would give the appearance (if nothing else) of racial prejudice. And let us not forget about their definition of “Real Americans.” Not the ones that live in the cities, but the ones that live on farms and carry guns, THOSE are the real Americans. Or just their general opposition to government, government programs and laws that have helped the progress of women, minorities, and the working class. They claim to be for equality and for the small businessperson…but if it wasn’t for the government, there would be no equality or small businessperson. Then, to top it all off…the Tea Party Express spokesman, Mark Williams, writes a fictitious letter to Abraham Lincoln under the name “Ben Jealous”, the nephew of Uncle Tome from Uncle Tom’s Cabin and “head colored person” from the NAACP.

Williams’ letter:

Dear Mr. Lincoln,
We Colored People have taken a vote and decided that we don't cotton to that whole emancipation thing. Freedom means having to work for real, think for ourselves, and take consequences along with the rewards. That is just far too much to ask of us Colored People and we demand that it stop! In fact we held a big meeting and took a vote in Kansas City this week. We voted to condemn a political revival of that old abolitionist spirit called the ‘tea party movement'

Perhaps the most racist point of all in the tea parties is their demand that government “stop raising our taxes.” That is outrageous! How will we Colored People ever get a wide screen TV in every room if non-coloreds get to keep what they earn? Totally racist! The tea party expects coloreds to be productive members of society?

Mr. Lincoln, you were the greatest racist ever. We had a great gig. Three squares, room and board, all our decisions made by the massa in the house. Please repeal the 13th and 14th Amendments and let us get back to where we belong.

Precious Ben Jealous, Tom's Nephew
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Head Colored

Really? So you can’t see at ALL how this can be offensive? Really?

I’m sorry, but I don’t think it is too much to ask for the Tea Party, if they are true to fighting racism, to step back and have a louder voice in that fight. ‘Cause right now, I’m not hearing them!

So in my best Chris Rock voice…
“Hey Tea Party…I’m not saying that the NAACP was right…but I understand…”

So speak up! Was the NAACP right/wrong? Is NAACP racist for even taking this action
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