The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) on Tuesday unanimously adopted a resolution at its national convention in Kansas City condemning the tea-party movement as — guess what? — racist. This is false, outrageous, and no surprise. The NAACP is like a talking G.I. Joe doll with a cord coiled in his back. Pull it, and G.I. Joe says something manly and combative. Pull the NAACP’s string. “Racism!” squawks the shopworn voice. Pull it again. “Bigotry!” it squeals, as it has so many times before.
The NAACP was totally justified when it decried the racism and bigotry that the Jim Crow South’s Democrat-led governments mandated by law. In 2010, however, screaming “racism” sounds increasingly delusional, given that America is governed by a black man whom voters comfortably elected in November 2008 and wished well, largely across the political spectrum, on Inauguration Day 2009.
The NAACP’s original resolution sought to “repudiate the racism of the Tea Parties” and combat their supposed efforts to “push our country back to the pre-civil rights era.” This statement reportedly was toned down, although it was debated behind closed doors and will remain unseen until the NAACP’s board approves it in October.
If the tea-party movement really is fueled by bias, why did they invite a black man like me to address one of the first tea parties in Washington, D.C., on February 26, 2009? Why would these alleged racists invite me to rally an even bigger tea party in Manhattan on July 1, 2009? Did prejudice inspire them to let David Webb, a black man, organize that Times Square event, and also run the New York Tea Party? Did racial insensitivity lead the tea party to showcase Congress of Racial Equality national spokesman Niger Innis, Project 21’s Deneen Borelli, and other black conservatives and free-marketeers?
“In March, respected members of the Congressional Black Caucus reported that racial epithets were hurled at them as they passed by a Washington, DC health care protest,” the NAACP’s website states. “Civil rights legend John Lewis was called the ‘n-word’ in the incident.”
Americans still await video footage and/or audiotape that proves these oft-repeated accusations. Reps. Lewis (D., Ga.) and Andre Carson (D., Ind.) were encircled by TV cameras, radio-news gear, cellphone cameras, and other recording devices. To date, none of them has yielded any sound or image of anybody lobbing racial insults. If such comments actually were uttered, the NAACP and its leftist allies would have played them over and over and over to embarrass and humiliate Republicans, conservatives, and the allegedly racist tea-party movement. In fact, no one has claimed conservative activist Andrew Breitbart’s $100,000 bounty for any documentary proof that these supposed race bombs ever were tossed at their targets.
On July 13, Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity played video footage from four different news cameras that captured the exact moment last March 20 when Representative Carson says “maybe fifteen people” yelled “n-word fifteen times” as he walked outside the U.S. Capitol. “They started surrounding us,” he added, referring to himself, Representative Lewis, and Lewis’s chief of staff. “It was like a page out of a time machine.”
None of the four videotapes shows anything resembling Carson’s scenario.
“The camera never blinks,” newsman Dan Rather once wrote. It does not hallucinate, either.
Some have accused the tea-party movement of being racist just because its huge crowds are mainly white. By that measure, the NAACP should organize a boycott of the New York Philharmonic. I attended its delightful concert in Central Park on Tuesday evening. George Gershwin’s beautiful “Rhapsody in Blue” might as well have been “Rhapsody in White.” Scanning the thousands of faces on the Great Lawn, I spotted only a handful of black ones. What a racist orchestra!