Grayson Defends Burning-Cross Image

by Andrew Johnson

Representative Alan Grayson (D., Fla.) is standing by his campaign’s use of a burning cross in a fundraising e-mail to illustrate a comparision between the Tea Party and the Klu Klux Klan. “If the shoe fits, wear it,” he said in a written statement.

“Tea Party members have circulated countless altered pictures depicting President Obama and the First Lady as monkeys. Tea Party members also called my fellow Member of Congress, civil rights hero John Lewis, a ‘n***ger,’ and Rep. Barney Frank a ‘faggot,’” Grayson said. “One could go on and on, because there is overwhelming evidence that the Tea Party is the home of bigotry and discrimination in America today, just as the KKK was for an earlier generation.”

In his fundraising e-mail, Grayson used the burning cross as the “T” in “Tea Party”; he described the Tea Party as “no more popular than the Klan.” His potential opponent in next year’s midterm elections, Republican Jorge Bonilla, called on Democratic leadership to condemn Grayson’s use of the image and accused the congressman of “troll[ing] for donations.”