This is a very interesting move on the part of the NAACP. Accusations of racism make fighting back incredibly difficult for the Tea Party; not because the Tea Party harbors any sort of racist tendencies, but because when a group or individual is accused of something as strong as racism, outside actors will tend to see any following action or reaction in the light of said accusation.
What this means is that no matter how often Tea Party members claim to have not seen any racist displays amongst other members, outsiders will say, “but that is only your small group, what about the others you aren’t a part of?”
The NAACP has approved a resolution condemning what it calls “racist elements” within the Tea Party. The vote has sparked a war of words between the two groups, and NAACP leaders hope the move will help fire up its membership with midterm elections approaching.
The fray began when NAACP President Benjamin Jealous issued a challenge to the Tea Party:
“You must expel the bigots and racists in your ranks or take full responsibility for all of their actions.”
Liberal groups, like the NAACP, are rarely ever responsible for the actions of a few fringe members. And they shouldn’t be. Those elements rarely ever represent the thinking of rational members, or the overarching goals of the group–one hopes–but painting this sort of picture of conservative groups is a rather routine occurrence. Why?
Why is the belief in limited government racist? I’ve been to a couple of Tea Party gatherings. The speeches aren’t particularly unique, noteworthy, hateful, racist, et cetera, but what they have to say is representative of a group of people that are troubled by the actions of the government; this is simply because they have an opposing view of governance. Nothing more.
Since I guess I’m a little dumb, could anyone out there explain the racist angle to me?
- NAACP, Tea Party Volley Over Racism Claims: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=128505089&ps=cprs. Accessed 7/14/2010.