Are Tea Party Conservatives Racists?
FOR THE LAST TWO DAYS, I’ve wrestled with what to write about the latest charges of racism and bigotry being leveled at the Tea Party movement. If you’d like to read more on those allegations, please search online for the alleged racial and homophobic epithets made by a few Tea Party protesters on March 20, 2010 toward Congressmen Lewis, Cleaver and Frank.
A Few Thoughts on the Allegations
I decided not to spend time recounting those charges, for two reasons:
- Oddly, there is no video or audio corroboration of the racial epithets, even though video cameras were rolling during those moments.
- More importantly, if those incidents did indeed occur, it’s still wrong to misconstrue a few isolated incidents to the entire Tea Party movement, which has clearly proved to be a peaceful, cordial, yet spirited movement involving hundreds of thousands of Americans — if not millions — from all walks of life, of all ages and all colors.
A Few Words of Precaution for Tea Party People
During the time that I covered the March 20, 2010 D.C. Tea Party, I came across a man and woman from Code Pink who were clearly there to stir up things. Unfortunately, they succeeded in drawing the unruly reaction they were looking for — in this case, “the finger” — from one Tea Party attendee, a young woman. Unfortunately, it didn’t seem to occur to the Tea Party woman that she was being set up.
When I later reviewed my photos of that encounter, the Code Pink lady was looking directly at me with a smile on her face at the very moment the “emphatic gesture” occurred. She probably thought she’d just scored a big photo in a publication. But fortunately for the Tea Party woman and the movement, I wasn’t part of the mainstream media and would not be using that photo as propaganda against the Tea Party.
Hence These Precautions for Tea Party People:
- SETUPS: Be alert to possible setups during Tea Party events by those who wish to paint the Tea Party movement in a bad light. At the minimum, allow any such conspirators their right to free speech, and simply ignore them. If possible, alert event organizers of the presence of such individuals.
- SIGNAGE: Tea Party people should also be mindful that much of the mainstream media are looking for protest signs that can be construed as racist, vulgar or “extreme” in some way. Express your views, certainly, but try to avoid signage that will only be used against you and the Tea Party movement.
I’ll close today’s article with an audio slideshow. Because I was busy taking photographs during the March 20, 2010 Tea Party, I unfortunately did not capture much audio. Nevertheless, I put together an admittedly short audio clip that contains about 30 photographs that capture some of the spirit of the event.
Yes, some loud chanting can be heard, but it’s “family friendly.” Enjoy!
[NOTE: If you're reading this article from a FEED READER, you may need to CLICK on the following link in order to view the slideshow directly from the website: Are Tea Party Conservatives Racists?]
Visit the Photo Gallery
The edited collection of 145 images is available for online viewing in the 03/20/10 Washington, DC Tea Party photo gallery. Just CLICK on the “Slideshow” link on the gallery’s menu bar, and then sit back and enjoy a view of the Tea Party movement that has been denied by the mainstream media.