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Pure, racist slander

The Augusta Chronicle New Black Panther Party members have been caught trying to intimidate whites at polling places and even calling for the extermination of whites. Mr. Obama this week said al-Qaida is essentially racist against Africa (agreed, but what about its racism against the rest of us, Mr. President?) Anti-Semitism, particularly in the Mideast, is on a frightening rise. So naturally, the NAACP issues a statement against racism — targeting the nascent Tea Party movement. How horribly sad and misguided. It is pure, racist slander. In fact, it’s safe to say no other mass slander in recent memory has been so unjust since that which was hurled against the other great social movement of our time, the civil rights cause. The NAACP’s unabridged slander of the Tea Party activists brings into focus the difference between an organization and a movement. The grassroots, non-hierarchical Tea Party may yet become an organization, and may need to; for now, it is still a mass of very loosely-knit citizens who are worried about America’s impending financial disaster and want it prevented. They also want to bring individual freedom back into style. Ironically, freedom was what the civil rights movement was all about. But that, too, illustrates an important distinction: The NAACP is not the civil rights movement. Whatever it purports to be, or what the turn-a-blind-eye federal government considers it to be, the NAACP is a highly partisan political organization whose malicious broadside against the increasingly influential Tea Party is no doubt intended to protect the political status quo in Washington. How regrettable to see a formerly great movement hijacked for transparently political ends. And how unfortunate if demagogues are allowed to further divide us by skin color and turn this urgent discussion over our nation’s financial future into a racial red herring. This isn’t about black and white people — it’s about young and old: We are, in short, robbing future generations of their hoped-for wealth, and endangering both their lifestyles and their ability to hold onto this country with our rampant and immoral deficit spending. This sorry incident says more about the myopic NAACP than the citizens of the Tea Party movement. Every budding movement has its rogue elements; the civil rights movement had its own. To condemn a great movement because of that is morally wrong and disingenuous. There is no evidence whatsoever that any local or national offshoot of the Tea Party movement has embraced, encouraged or tolerated racism. Again, any movement, especially in a country that cherishes free speech, can attract unseemly elements. To condemn a movement for that is nothing short of slander.

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