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 into its 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 once 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 it invite a black man like me to address one of the first Tea Parties in Washington on Feb. 26, 2009? Why would the movement’s supposed 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 wait to see video footage and/or hear audiotape that proves these oft-repeated accusations. Mr. Lewis, Georgia Democrat, and Rep. Andre Carson, Indiana Democrat, were encircled by TV cameras, radio news gear, cell-phone 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 and over to embarrass and humiliate Republicans, conservatives and the supposedly racist Tea Party movement. In fact, no one has claimed conservative activist Andrew Breitbart’s $100,000 bounty for any documentary proof that those supposed race bombs ever were tossed at their targets.
Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity on Tuesday night played video footage from four news cameras that had captured the exact moment last March 20 when Mr. Carson says “maybe 15 people” yelled the “n-word fifteen times” as he walked outside the U.S. Capitol. “They started surrounding us,” he added, referring to himself, Mr. Lewis, and Mr. Lewis’ chief of staff. “It was like a page out of a time machine.”
None of these four videotapes shows anything resembling Mr. Carson’s scenario.
“The camera never blinks,” newsman Dan Rather once wrote. It does not hallucinate, either.
Consider the Tea Party’s Contract From America, a pledge to which it holds its endorsed candidates (TheContract.org). Among 10 planks, it advocates a single-rate tax, a two-thirds-vote requirement for tax increases, Obamacare’s repeal and the defeat of “cap-and-trade” legislation. Nothing is even remotely related to race, ethnicity or identity. Wouldn’t bigots devote at least one of 10 reforms to something racial?
The Tea Party movement avoids racial issues and instead advances lower taxes and spending and greater fiscal discipline. These issues are neither black nor white. They are green.
New York commentator Deroy Murdock is a nationally syndicated columnist with the Scripps Howard News Service and a media fellow with Stanford’s Hoover Institution.