The Political Playground

image On July 14th the NAACP passed a resolution condemning the racist elements with in the Tea Party movement. Needless to say that didn’t go over well with the Tea Party or the conservative movement in general.

Now, I'll be honest, I haven’t read the text of the resolution, but I find it hard to believe that the NAACP was actually condemning the entire Tea Party Movement, and was instead just targeting the racist fringe elements, elements that tend to exist within all most any political movement. Elements that most Tea Party leaders themselves have been trying to remove.

So, on the 19th, Andrew Brietbart dug up some video clips from an NAACP awards dinner in March where Shirley Sherrod, USDA Georgia Director of Rural Development gave a speech, edited them to remove any context, and posted them on his site Big Government in an attempt to prove a point. Using editied video to undermine your political opponents has exploded thanks to the advent of the YouTube era.

Unfortunately, Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, and the Obama Administration fall for the charade and Shirley Sherrod was forced to resign and the NAACP also fell for the trap and condemned her and called her racist. Of course if anyone would have bothered to watch the entire, unedited, video they would have seen that Sherrod was telling a story of how, in helping a white farmer save his land, she overcame her own racial prejudice.

Afterwards Britbart went onto Hannity and CNN and confessed that the video wasn’t about Sherrod’s comments at the dinner but it was all about the NAACP’s resolution about Tea Party Racism.

Frankly the whole Tea Party vs. the NAACP and racism stories, just seem to have an air of kindergarten name calling to me. Ever since Obama won the Iowa Caucuses in January 2008 the undercurrent of race that has always existed in America seems to have risen to a boil once again.

There is a tinge of it in almost every discussion about the Administration’s policies and efforts regardless of if it’s dealing with the Great Recession or the BP Oil Spill. It’s brought up every time Orly Taitz and the birther movement get in front of a microphone. It’s brought up every time Megyn Kelly of Fox News airs her obsession with a couple of members of the New Black Panther Party standing out side of a voting place in a predominately African-American neighborhood in Philadelphia. It’s pounded into the heads of every viewer that tunes into the lunacy of Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, or Jeremiah Wright.

image The Civil War ended 145 years ago but racism still infests our political discourse like a plague that we just can’t ever seem to kill. In the 60’s there was real animus towards African-Americans. Now, in the 21st century, It seems that labeling your political opponents as racists has become the new, cool kid, big man on the playground thing to do, just as last summer it was yelling and screaming at town hall meetings.

Yes, there are racist elements with in the Tea Party and the the movement's leaders really need to stand up vocally and publicly call it out and put an end to it, just as the NAACP needs to do the same to it’s own ranks. 

And by the way, we shouldn’t forget that a woman’s life has been ripped apart in order to make a political point. Kudos Mr. Britbart, I’m sure that you won’t care.