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The Whole 'Tea Party Is Racist' Meme

...is false. I don't buy it. However, to ignore racist elements in the Tea Party movement would be ludicrous. RNC Chairman Michael Steele:
"Recent statements claiming the Tea Party movement is racist are not only destructive, they are not true," Steele said in a statement.

Steele added, "Tea Party activists are your mom or dad, your local grocer, banker, hairdresser or doctor. They are a diverse group of passionate Americans who want to ensure that our nation returns to founding principles that honor the Constitution, limit government's role in our lives, and support policies that empower free markets and free enterprise."
Yeah, yeah, yeah. We get it Mike; the Tea Party is a movement for the Everyman.

But come on folks. You don't think that there are fringy elements out there? Exhibit A:
Billy Roper is a write-in candidate for governor of Arkansas and an unapologetic white nationalist.

"I don't want non-whites in my country in any form or fashion or any status," he says.

Roper also is a tea party member who says he has been gathering support for his cause by attending tea party rallies.

"We go to these tea parties all over the country," Roper said. "We're looking for the younger, potentially more radical people."
Yeah. No racism there, right?

Clearly, Mr. Roper is not representative of the movement-at-large, as most Partyers are interested more in smaller government and lower taxes than they are in the skin color of their nation's leader (or anyone else for that matter).

But, to ignore the fringe elements and merely hope that they go away is a frightfully bad idea. The longer that Mark Williams makes fun of the NAACP for calling attention to the fringiness of some folks, the longer that the 'Tea Party is racist' meme will continue to be around.

All that the national Tea Party leaders (Mark Williams, Sarah Palin, et al) need to do is say, "Look, these a**holes don't represent our ideals and beliefs. These hate-filled individuals are bastardizing our message, which is one of individual liberty and freedom. These qualities are the antithesis of racism and hate. Thanks, and have a great day."

Now how tough would it be to say that? If you ask me, that would put a quick end to all of the allegations coming from the NAACP and other liberals. And if not, when pressed, the Tea Party folks could say, "Yeah Wolf, we already covered that subject with our blanket condemnation of racists statment. Next topic."

But no, you get Williams out there on his blog mocking the NAACP (which will never end up as a net-positive), and you have Sarah Palin defending the Tea Party as not racist.

Newsflash Tea Party folks: these things won't help your cause.

Putting your fingers in your ears and yelling "la la la... there aren't any racists here... la la la..." won't cut it. Sooner or later, the de facto leaders are going to have to address this issue in a serious manner.