Monday, August 09, 2010
The Wrong Crowd to Sell Weaponized Racism To
On August 4, 2010, the Tea Party Express organization held a press conference in Washington, DC. At this conference a number of black conservative leaders and thinkers hosted reporters from a number of media outlets.
Those assembled -- including, among others, Alan Keyes, Star Parker, and the Reverend Jesse Lee Peterson -- discussed their involvement in the Tea Party movement, and answered questions regarding the charges of racism lobbed against the movement.
In recent weeks, a growing collection of smoking guns regarding the American far left, the Tea Party and weaponized racism have become apparent.
Journolist member Spencer Ackerman declared that questions regarding Reverend Jeremiah Wright should be shut down with accusations of racism, and more recently former Civil Rights Commissioner Mary Frances Berry publicly mused about the success of using racism as a political tactic in order to distract Americans from real issues.
"Tainting the tea party movement with the charge of racism is proving to be an effective strategy for Democrats," she remarked. "There is no evidence that tea party adherents are any more racist than other Republicans, and indeed many other Americans. But getting them to spend their time purging their ranks and having candidates distance themselves should help Democrats win in November."
"Having one’s opponent rebut charges of racism is far better than discussing joblessness," she concluded.
As far as smoking guns go, it may be even more damning than Ackerman's.
It's with this candour in mind that one turns to a question asked at the Tea Party Express press conference by Joyce Jones of Black Enterprise when she recycled the claims of the Democrat Congressional Black Caucus that they had been serenaded with racial epithets by Tea Party protesters.
"John Lewis put his life at considerable risk and danger so you could stand here and speak about freedoms," Jones began. "I want to know why it's so impossible for you to believe that someone did spit on him or call him the N-word?"
"Why would he lie about that when he's experienced so much worse?" she asked.
William Owens responded very simply: there is no evidence. So Jones asked a follow-up:
"Why is his word not good enough?" Jones asked.
"On the stage of public opinion, evidence is paramount," Owens explained. "It's one person's accusation against another. It was so public it should not be a difficult time to find evidence, and there is none."
Jones' explanation that she was there quickly faltered in the face of an admission that she didn't hear the epithet spoken, but that "there were crowds" present.
Alfonzo Rachel then responded by asking why the word of others aren't accepted with the same value -- including the word of those accused. Jones effectively had no answer.
The episode serves as a reminder of the McCarthyite tactics adopted by those executing Spencer Ackerman's and Mary Frances Berry's game plan.
When Senator Joseph McCarthy orchestrated his reign of terror over the United States, he orchestrated a rhetorical environment in which denials were treated as admissions of guilt, and only admissions were accepted. In a perverse distortion of any reasonable standard of evidence, McCarthy allowed his own suspicions to stand as evidence, and abused the powers granted to him to pursue his own personal anti-communist crusade.
Those working so hard to brand the Tea Party with accusations of racism -- to the extent that they have to distort and fabricate evdience -- are utilizing the same tactics. The question of Joyce Jones -- why the words of Represenatives John Lewis and Emanuele Cleaver aren't simply accepted despite the wealth of evidence to the contrary -- is a stark reminder of that.
Needless to say, black conservatives are clearly the wrong crowd to which to attempt to peddle weaponized racism.
That in itself should speak volumes.