Friday, October 29, 2010

The NAACP’s Last Desperate Effort

For some time, the NAACP has insisted that the Tea Party is comprised of racists and extremists, and have done everything possible to label it as a "whites-only" club.

Repeatedly, though, they have failed to provide any real evidence. Of course, that fact hasn't stopped those who want to believe it from doing so. Some people feel that any negative word regarding Barack Obama is an unquestionable sign of racism. And the Tea Party is certainly guilty of speaking out against our president, so many of Obama’s supporters have no doubt that the Tea Party is a racist hate-group.

But outside of these aforementioned people, the Tea Party is earning respect and influence in the political landscape, while the NAACP has lost nearly all credibility with the American public. And they had been doing so long before the Tea Party was even a whisper. Essentially, the NAACP is now considered by most as a dinosaur civil rights organization that has little useful potential in today's world beyond rabble-rousing, race-baiting, or community organizing. And there's not much real value in any of those things, except perhaps the latter, which perplexingly became a vital tool for any presidential skill-set in 2008.

The NAACP is gasping its last breaths of relevance before leaving the spotlight. And this is a good thing for most Americans. While we thank the NAACP for its contributions to the struggle for civil rights decades ago, we are tired of more recently shaking our heads at its outlandish claims of racism, and its efforts to prey on Americans’ fear of bigotry.

So now, desperate to remain relevant, they have produced a document meant to expose the Tea Party's racist roots and anti-Semitic values.

I would not doubt that there are very isolated segments of the Tea Party that hold bigoted or racist views. There are bad apples in every bunch; even Barack Obama’s supporting electorate has been proven to consist of blatant racists that suggest the infanticide of white children. But let's be honest. Most people who find the Tea Party to be racist usually think that way because of the perceived lack of racial diversity that the media loves to exploit.

But the Tea Party doesn't get a fair shake with this whole diversity thing. Membership may be largely Anglo-American, and African-Americans or Hispanic-Americans may hold a minority membership, but isn’t that reflective of the actual ethnic ratio of the American tapestry?

Furthermore, the Tea Party is even more disadvantaged by the fact that its counterparts are not even playing by the same rules. The NAACP, for example, is not held to the same standard of ethnic diversity, as its supporters are largely African-American. But we do not see Keith Olberman asking blacks at NAACP rallies, “Where are the white faces?”

The Tea Party is comprised of men and women of all races, bound together by a common set of principles, a shared sense of injustice in the government levying unwanted taxes, and a staunch desire to preserve traditional American values. Race is not a pre-requisite to be in their club, nor is any person denied membership due to their race.

I think Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would be proud.

So as usual, the NAACP’s claim of racism seems very manufactured and outlandish. But what about the claim of anti-Semitism in the Tea Party?

This is a futile, utterly outrageous attempt to paint the Tea Party some sort of Neo-Nazi organization. The NAACP’s argument is that some (again, very isolated) conservative elements of the Tea Party have been associated with anti-Semitic groups in the past. This is an absurd generalization that would equate to suggesting that the entire Democratic Party is a racist organization because Robert Byrd, a formerly prominent member of the Party, had been an influential member of the Ku Klux Klan. But that would be nothing more than ridiculous exaggeration. And as we know given the evidence in the last few decades, the NAACP is certainly not above that.

But since the NAACP is so eager to bring up the subject of anti-Semitism, perhaps we can take a glance at the broadly anti-Semitic rhetoric of a few African-American political figures that associate with the NAACP.

Barack Obama sat under the tutelage of a man that for twenty years spouted anti-Zionist rhetoric deriding America for its efforts to establish and defend an Israeli state, and is prone to making such comments as “them Jews ain’t gonna let him [Obama] talk to me.” Louis Farrakhan is a well-known and militant anti-Semite. Both were invited to speak at an NAACP event this past summber.

While running for president in 1984, Jesse Jackson claimed that the Jews were conspiring against him after he made a negative comment about Jews in New York, calling the city “Hymietown.” In 1991, Al Sharpton fueled an anti-Semitic riot by delivering speeches demonizing “diamond merchants” (code for Jews), which resulted in a rabbinical student being stabbed to death by a mob shouting, “Kill the Jews!” Both have been associated with the NAACP in the past.

The NAACP’s accusing the Tea Party of anti-Semitism seems to hold little water. But when you consider the anti-Semitic past of these African-American political figures associated with the NAACP, it really hearkens to the proverbial pot and kettle.

The Tea Party should have no problem deflecting these nonsensical claims. If anything, it furthers the damage to the credibility of the NAACP. Sal Russo of the Tea Party Express suggests that this event makes it obvious that “the NAACP has abandoned the cause of civil rights for the advancement of liberal Democrat politics.”

And that should come as no surprise to most Americans. Strong-arming, race-baiting, community organizing and activism are the NAACP’s calling cards, commonly used to extract money from private business and the wealthy under the guise of “social justice.” I’d say the organization meshes rather nicely with the current administration in Washington.

William Sullivan

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