The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People put forward a resolution yesterday formally accusing the Tea Party movement of racism. That's ironic coming from an organization whose mission is to promote the fortunes of one particular racial group.
Post-racial America has yet to arrive for many black leaders. President Obama has shown little interest in leading the national dialogue on race he once proposed, and civil rights groups are unwilling or unable to reach beyond their usual tired rhetoric. Saying the Tea Party movement contains "racist elements that are a threat to democracy" is a shameful slap at the millions of Americans untainted by bigotry who oppose Mr. Obama's radical leftist policies regardless of his color.
The Rev. C.L. Bryant, a black Tea Party activist who used to be an NAACP chapter president in Texas, said charges of racism are lies intended to further a liberal political agenda. ABC News quoted him as saying the NAACP wants to "create a climate where they can say that those on the right are in fact racist and those on the left are their saviors. This is very much what the liberal agenda is about." Blacks who show any signs of independent thinking do so at their peril. In August, Kenneth Gladney, a black Tea Partier from Missouri, was severely beaten by two thugs from the Service Employees International Union. The NAACP started a campaign to defend Mr. Gladney's assailants, saying the victim was an "Uncle Tom" who was "not black enough" to protect.
Last week, the Project 21 black leadership network asked Mr. Obama for the second time to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the Justice Department's failure to prosecute New Black Panther Party members for blatant, race-based voter intimidation in Philadelphia in 2008. Project 21 Chairman Mychal Massie wrote that "the problem has festered to a point where perceptions of racial bias within your Justice Department cannot be ignored." The perceptions were reinforced July 6 when former Justice Department official J. Christian Adams, who resigned to protest the handling of the case, testified to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights that Justice Department attorneys in the Civil Rights Division were instructed to ignore cases that involved black defendants and white victims. Justice apparently is not colorblind.
Black Panther Minister King Samir Shabazz, otherwise known as Maurice Heath, was one of the people engaging in voter intimidation. He also was featured in a January 2009 video proclaiming to a black audience, "You want freedom? You're gonna have to kill some crackers! You're gonna have to kill some of their babies!" Mr. Shabazz added, "I hate white people - all of them! Every last iota of a cracker, I hate 'em." The Washington Times' Kerry Picket reported last summer on Jerry Jackson, another accused Black Panther and an elected member of Philadelphia's 14th Ward Democratic Party committee. His interests, according to his MySpace page, are: "BLACK POWER, BLACK LOVE, BLACK UNITY, BLACK MINDS, KILLIN CRAKKKAS." These are the kind of violent black extremists that Attorney General Eric Holder's Justice Department is coddling.
No such comparable hateful language has come out of the Tea Party movement. The NAACP's tired racial rhetoric is simply the product of a time long gone. It has been almost half a century since the Civil Rights Act was passed. The United States elected a black president. American society has closed the racial divide. However, those who benefit politically from keeping the racial wound fresh continue to wave the bloody shirt and smear those who disagree with their hard-left political agenda. It will take more than a beer summit to heal the racial wounds these black leaders are inflicting on the country.
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