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Tea Partiers: Neither Racist Nor Extremists

Written By: Mychal Massie  |  Posted: Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

The absence of a significant number of blacks that both attend and identify themselves as tea partiers makes the tea-party movement no more racist than having only a few black skaters makes the National Hockey League racist.
The tea party is open and available to all who share the opinion that America is on a path that is not only unsustainable, but is antithetical to the Constitution. To suggest that this position is somehow color-sensitive is ludicrous. To suggest that the calcification of opinion into an amalgamation of peoples' shared ideals and beliefs is in some way owing to the color of Obama's skin is the last best argument of the desperate.
The tea party was not formed based on issues of race, nor has it transmogrified into same as it has spread from state to state across the nation. In fact, it wasn't started with a singular focus on Obama as such.
It began in Seattle, Wash., when Keli Carender, who blogs under the name "Liberty Belle, " encouraged people to gather at Westlake Park on President's Day 2009. They gathered to protest the domestic and economic agenda of the administration and Congress. It was called the "Porkulous Protest."
It is patently irresponsible for the likes of Bill Clinton, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson to claim tea partiers are extreme right-wing radicals who are dangerous and targeting Obama for harm. The only thing we are targeting Obama for is a one-way ticket out of Washington in 2012 - sooner if possible. And that has nothing to do with the color of his skin; it has to do with his policies.
Liberal talk-show hosts are guilty of attributing ridiculous allegations intended to foment racial discord. A black host, whose program I recently appeared on, tried to argue that a sign depicting Obama with Hitler's face was racist. I said it was insulting, but hardly racist.
I went on to question the host pursuant to the caricatures of Dr. Condoleezza Rice and President George W. Bush. I asked the host and those calling into the show how they would define the reprehensible things said about President Bush, Dr. Rice, Justice Thomas, Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, Ward Connerly and other conservatives - both black and white.
The program host became indignant with my response to Sharpton's claim that tea partiers are radical right-wing extremists about whom America needs to be concerned. I asked, was it right-wing extremism when Sirhan Sirhan assassinated Bobby Kennedy? Was it radical right-wing extremism when Hinckley attempted to assassinate President Reagan, or when Nidal Hasan murdered innocent civilians and troops at Fort Hood, or when Mark David Chapman murdered John Lennon? I asked the host to identify any radical right-wing groups that could be compared to the Earth Liberation Front or Lyman Faris, who tried to blow up the Brooklyn Bridge. Of course, he could not.
Why must the civil condemnation of policies that are antithetical to everything this nation was founded on be racist or extremist? The answer, of course, is because the real extremists - those on the far left - are afraid if enough of the citizenry rallies behind us, it will spell their demise. They know that empty promises won't stop this movement.
The left, including Obama, I submit, is looking for reasons not only to undermine the validity of the tea-party movement, but they are the ones looking for ways to do us harm. Why else would they call out a SWAT team supposedly to keep an eye on a group of grandmothers?
My friend and I were recently treated to dinner at a mutual friend's country club. During the course of dinner, a person from another table, overhearing our conversation, came over and enjoined us in our discussion, sharing information pursuant to her involvement in a tea party. That is not typical of the staid dining atmosphere of such environs. But her willingness, indeed eagerness, to share in that setting personifies the spread of the tea party.
These are not typical times we find ourselves in. People must realize their way of life is in danger of being stripped away. Tea partiers must realize that we cannot afford to fall into the trap of those who fear us. Obama and the far left must realize we are coming after them armed with the Constitution and the resolve to have it restored. Republicans must realize that a cover is what you sleep under, not what you run for when the Harry Reid and/or the media says untoward things about them.

Mychal Massie is chairman of the National Leadership Network of Black Conservatives-Project 21 - a conservative black think tank located in Washington, D.C. He was recognized as the 2008 Conservative Man of the Year by the Conservative Party of Suffolk County, N.Y. He is a nationally recognized political activist, pundit and columnist. He has appeared on Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, C-SPAN, NBC, Comcast Cable and talk radio programming nationwide. A former self-employed business owner of more than 30 years

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