Daniel Foster at The Corner:
The NAACP will today vote on, and is expected to pass, a resolution condemning the “explicitly racist behavior” of the Tea Parties as a “threat to progress” for minorities. It calls on “all people of good will to repudiate the racism of the Tea Parties, and to stand in opposition to its drive to push our country back to the pre-civil rights era.”
Among the charges listed in the resolution, submitted by the group’s Kansas City chapter, is that the movement “displayed signs and posters intended to degrade people of color generally and President Barack Obama specifically.” It references the Capitol Hill incident in March, in which several black members of Congress alleged they were called racial epithets by passingTea Party protesters.
“We need to realize it’s really not about limited government,” said Anita Russell, head of the Kansas City NAACP, of the resolution.
Deroy Murdock at The Corner:
The NAACP today is expected to adopt a resolution denouncing the alleged “racism” of the tea-party movement. Presumably this is the same tea party that has expressed its “bigotry” by repeatedly showcasing black conservative and libertarian speakers at its rallies, including, among others, yours truly, Deneen Borelli, Niger Innis, Mychal Massie, Kevin Martin, Bob Parks, and David Webb (who leads New York’s tea party). The tea-party movement focuses on cutting taxes, spending, and government debt. Promoting fiscal responsibility is neither black nor white. It’s green.
Rather than peddling lies, the NAACP should deploy such credibility as it may possess to denounce the New Black Panther Party. The NBPP is as loud, vocal, and unvarnished a pack of racists as exists in this country.
Larry O’Connor at Big Government:
For the NAACP to take on this resolution and declare a war of words with the Tea Party movement over these dubious charges is irresponsible and deplorable. They will tell you that they trust the word of Rep. John Lewis. They will say that to deny this episode is to call John Lewis a liar. But, in reality, John Lewis has never gone on record or been quoted in print stating that he heard these racial slurs. Only a spokesperson from his office has said so.
The report of racial slurs has come from one man: Rep. Andre Carson
If the NAACP is going to condemn an entire political movement as racist they had better have a lot more to go on than the claims of a 2-year congressman from Indiana who inherited his grandmother’s seat after she died (Louis Farrakhan spoke at her funeral, by the way). But, that is what they are doing.
They know that this move will create a vociferous response of outraged indignation from Tea Party members across the country. It seems that they to wish to further divide the country and drive wedges between political adversaries who have honest disagreements over political positions.
It’s ironic that as they paint an entire movement as beyond contempt, they don’t recognize that they, in fact are the ones hurling invective by blindly characterizing a group using their own pre-conceived notions and based on lies put forth by politicians hoping to retain power by pitting one race against the other.
It’s ironic and it’s an outrage.
Scott Johnson at Powerline:
There are precisely three witnesses to the alleged incident that occurred in the course of a public demonstration on Capitol Hill on March 20: Reps. Andre Carson, John Lewis, and Emanuel Cleaver. House majority James Clyburn immediately jumped on board to amplify the story and make sure it took off, as it did most notably in McClatchy’s “Tea party protesters scream ‘nigger’ at black congressmen.” According to Carson et al., protesters abused them with racial epithets while demonstrating against Obamacare on Capitol Hill on March 20.
There is one problem with the story: It did’nt happen. We believe that we demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt over the course of our 18-part “Don’t leave it to Cleaver” series that it didn’t happen.The congressmen’s story was a fabrication intended to defame the Tea Party movement and distract attention from the resistance to Obamacare.
Under circumstances where such evidence would exist if the incident had occurred, no audio or video recording corroborates it, despite Andrew Breitbart’s offer of a $100,000 reward to anyone producing such evidence. And no independent journalist or other eyewitness has stepped forward to vouch for the congressmen’s story — because it didn’t happen.
We posted correspondence from reader Greg Farrell providing his own testimony denying that the incident happened in part 7, part 16, and elsewhere in our series. Farrell had sent us his photographs documenting his position at the March 20 protest. Farrell was in a good position to testify: It didn’t happen.
Jim Newell at Gawker:
Ugh, conservative bloggers are so lucky today, getting all the juicy inflammatory freak-out stuff.
This debate over this story — IS THE TEA PARTY 100% RACIST? — seems about eight months too late, but hey, you can’t blame the NAACP for having only one convention per year. It’s just a matter of how they word the resolution! There are clearly racists in the Tea Party, but how effective can a resolution condemning “racist elements” of a group be? It would be like condemning the racist elements of Walmart or an intramural kickball league or any organization. On the other hand, if you’re condemning the entire movement as “racist,” you’re going overboard and inviting backlash.
Anyway, the Tea Party will call the NAACP “reverse racists” for this, and then the NAACP will have to reconvene next year to call the Tea Party “inverse reverse racists,” and so on. They should just called each other “scrappy” and make up and marry each other.
If there’s a silver lining in this bit of demagoguery, it’s that this should be a golden opportunity for Tim Scott, Nikki Haley, Marco Rubio, Allen West, and other minority tea-party heroes to get some free media out of it. Exit question: Guess whose tactics Benjamin Jealous, leader of the NAACP, thinks the left should emulate.
UPDATE: Ta-Nehisi Coates
Ta-Nehisi Coates responds to Weigel
David Weigel responds to Coates
Michael C. Moynihan at Reason
John McWhorter at TNR
UPDATE #2: John Hudson at The Atlantic