Ever since the Tea Parties became a driving force of political influence in this country, there have been people attempting to discredit them. They have been relentlessly attacked by critics in the media, politicians and private citizens. These people accuse Tea Party organizations of being primarily comprised of violent, radical, uneducated white racists. Some have gone so far as to compare them to the Ku Klux Klan. They claim that the reason Tea Party members criticize the current administration is because “the president is a black man; nothing more.”
But from what I have seen – and judging from my own personal experiences and history – nothing could be further from the truth. As proof, I offer the example of the newly-elected Republican congressman from Florida – Allen West.
As you watch the video below, pay close attention to the people in the crowd and their reactions to what Mr. West says.
The reason I mentioned my experiences and history is because I was born and raised in the South during the 1960’s and 1970’s – a region traditionally known for rampant racism during that period. In fact, for the first twelve to fourteen years of my life I was a racist. But I wasn’t born a racist. I was taught to be one by the ever-present lies and propaganda spread by those driven by the irrational fear of a society based on racial equality. Those same people who were so fearful of others being exposed to the truth that they relied on the old premise of, “If you tell a lie a thousand times it become truth.” Fortunately for me, I figured out at a relatively young age that a lie is still a lie regardless as to how many times it is told.
I have watched countless videos of Tea Party rallies. I have been to a few, not as a participant, but as an observer. Because I had been indoctrinated into the world of racism, I know how racists think. I know how they speak. I know how they act. I know when they attempt to hide their racism. While the laws of probability dictate that no group of people of similar or greater size is 100% racist free, from what I have seen, the overwhelming majority of Tea Party members are not racists. I saw none in the above video nor did I find any at the rallies I attended. What I did find was a group of people who love their country enough to stand up for the values they see as fundamentally American.
Some critics have claimed that Tea Party members endorsed the campaign of Allen West because they could use him as a “token black man” to disprove accusations of racism within the organization. I find this logic to be totally baseless and ignorant. The truth is, while they may show apparent support in front of the media, white racists will not actually step into a voting booth and elect a black man to congress. Or the White House for that matter.
Critics could claim that the congressional district in Florida that elected Allen West was just an anomaly. But that wouldn’t explain how so many people in the Tea Party nationwide have expressed their desire to see Congressman West run for president in 2012. Nor would it explain the many people who were not Tea Party members at the time who have told me they voted for Barack Obama in 2008.
Whether or not you agree with the values of the people in the Tea Parties isn’t the point. The point is that they disagree with the direction in which this nation is heading under the current administration. In short, they do not criticize President Obama because of the color of his skin, but because they disagree with his policies. They did not support then candidate and now Congressman West because of the color of his skin, but because of his policies; nothing more.
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