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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Griper Blade: Some of the Tea Party's Best Friends are...

Confederate flag at tea party rally
"I'm not a bigot, some of my best friends are _____." It's a fairly common argument in America. If you're accused of racism or bigotry, you point out your associations with minorities. When the tea party was originally chastised in July for harboring racism by the NAACP, tea partiers put together a "Uni-Tea" rally. The rally featured minority speakers and would demonstrate the diversity of their movement. What actually happened was that the speakers wound up doing all their speaking to a small, mostly white crowd. Organizers were expecting around 1,500 to attend -- a third of that showed. Let's be extrememly generous and say that the failure of Uni-Tea had less to do with the average teabagger's lack of interest in diversity and more to do with their lack of interest in an event that wasn't specifically about anger. On that count, the tea party organizers -- if not the partiers themselves -- demonstrated that some of their best friends were indeed minorities.

But if "Some of my best friends are ____" proves you aren't a bigot, then what does it say when some of your best friends are racists? And I'm not talking about casual, comment-under-the-breath racism -- I mean active racists. The kind who actually try to do something about their racism, who join racist groups and create racist publications and websites. Who organize behind racist causes. Real, honest-to-goodness hate group members. What does it say about you that these are some of your best friends?

It's a question that the tea party would do well to consider, since the NAACP now backs up its charge with documentation. A report on tea party ties to racists, titled Tea Party Nationalism, has been released by the organization which "compiles opinion polling data, documents significant examples of racist vitriol on the part of Tea Party leaders, shows incidents where well-known anti-Semites and white supremacists have been given a platform by Tea Partiers, and analyzes the attempt by white nationalist organizations to find new recruits in Tea Party ranks." In short, it's pretty rock-solid...[CLICK TO READ FULL POST]

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