THE BLOG
07/16/2010 06:03 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The NAACP, the Tea Party and the Truth

From the website of the NAACP:

Today, NAACP delegates passed a resolution to condemn extremist elements within the Tea Party, calling on Tea Party leaders to repudiate those in their ranks who use racist language in their signs and speeches.

The resolution came after a year of high-profile media coverage of attendees of Tea Party marches using vial, antagonistic racial slurs & images.

(The statement then goes on to reference the incident reported by the Washington Post in a March 20, 2010 article titled, "Tea Party Protesters Accused of Spitting on Lawmakers, Using Slurs".)

Mark Williams, a national Tea Party spokesman, responded to the NAACP's resolution by saying:

I don't recall the NAACP speaking out when George Bush was portrayed as Curious George or as The Joker... You're dealing with people who are professional race-baiters, who make a very good living off this kind of thing. They make more money off of race than any slave trader ever. It's time groups like the NAACP went to the trash heap of history where they belong with all the other vile racist groups that emerged in our history. [Read more of the NPR story from which this quote was taken.]

Sarah Palin also rushed to the defense of Tea Partiers, by posting a note on her Facebook page that in part reads:

I am saddened by the NAACP's claim that patriotic Americans who stand up for the United States of America's Constitutional rights are somehow "racists." The charge that Tea Party Americans judge people by the color of their skin is false, appalling, and is a regressive and diversionary tactic to change the subject at hand... The only purpose of such an unfair accusation of racism is to dissuade good Americans from joining the Tea Party... It is time to end the divisive politics.

Hmmm.

So let's imagine that after giving it some real thought, my wife came to me, and said, "John, you really hurt my feelings by calling me a bimbo."

Which of the following would be my best, most honorable response to her?
  1. "I didn't hear you complaining when your sister's husband was calling her a bimbo. And I've heard you call someone a bimbo before. So you have no right to complain."
  2. "It's morally offensive for you to suggest that I, a perfect husband, would ever say anything like that. Shame on you."
  3. "I never called you a bimbo -- and you know it. You're just being a manipulative, bald-faced liar."
  4. "I'm so sorry. I got carried away in the moment, and acted shamefully. It was totally thoughtless of me. Thanks for letting me know I hurt you. I promise it won't happen again. And if I ever do say anything that stupid again, please let me know ASAP so I can do my best to make it right."

C'mon, Tea Partiers. No one's saying you have to be perfect. But about this you'd do well to remember one of the most important things Jesus ever said, which is that the truth will set you free.

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Related post: If You've Ever Said Any of These Six Things, You Might Be a Racist.