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Denounce or be damned

I'm not an apologist for the Tea Party movement, but I've seen no evidence that the movement is pervaded by racism. Certainly, it's predominantly white, and certainly it has attracted some racist nuts. (Along with some non-racist ones. A billboard comparing President Obama to Hitler and Lenin is crazy, but it's not racist.)

Still, I see a fairness problem with the NAACP's resolution calling upon Tea Party leaders to "repudiate those in their ranks who use racist language in their signs and speeches." (The quote is from an NAACP press release which does not provide the text of the resolution.)

Calling on an organization to denounce abhorrent behavior by some of its devotees may seem reasonable. But it implies that the extremists/bigots/bombers are a sufficiently significant component of the organization that such a gesture is necessary.

It's a clever rhetorical device that anyone can use to put a movement or a cause on the defensive, and it often serves the ulterior motive of discrediting the organization through guilt by association. In the case of the NAACP and the Tea Party, it had another negative consequence: more publicity for Sarah Palin.

-- Michael McGough


 

 

Comments () | Archives (19)

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CaliPHOBE

"[M]ore publicity for Sarah Palin" is certainly not a "negative consequence".

IMLaughing

The only negative consequence will be that of the further irrelevance of the NAACP. This condemnation of the Tea Party is one of the most ridiculous moves in a long time. Can the NAACP really believe that this will move the Democratic base to be energized? Disassociate themselves is more like it.

Thanks alot, NAACP. A shot in the arm that the Democratic DO NOT NEED.

Jim8

Uh, you don't?

R U Joking?!

The NAACP wanted one legal standard for all races to end Separate but Equal in the 60's.

What they got was Separate & Unequal, in which blacks, Hispanics, women & others enjoy special legal privileges (affirmative action, quotas, etc) at the expense of white men. Jim Crow didn't end, it reversed.

No matter, they continue to act the role of the boy that cried wolf & play a single note of 'RACISM!' on their tin horn. They ought to just shut up & enjoy those fat gov't jobs with no work & crazy benefits, instead of slinging mud & rumors against whites. Essentially biting the hand that's feeding them.

They may get their wish some day soon, when the whites they call racists answer that, yes, they are interested in their own racial prosperity, & want to end affirmative action to ensure that.

Keep it up...

RFootman

I take a 'I will, when you will approach' to this. It seems conservatives were all too happy to paint everyone associated with ACORN with a broad brush so why not the Tea Party. And not for nothing, but what does it take to be labeled a racist? I mean aside from the posters, the spitting on black congressmen, the T-shirts that say 'Yeah I'm a racist!;? How far does willful ignorance stretch in the summer?

spatter

Whatever number of racists the tea bags have among their ranks, they should get rid of those people and then just say "Hey, we are NOT a racist organization." The Republican Party would be willing to do this. But the tea bags don't have the will or stomach to do so, because they are afraid that the racism is so fully interwoven into the fabric of their organization that getting rid of the racists might cause the entire fabric to unravel...

Windfall

Poster at Tea Party rally:

It Doesn't Matter What I Say

You'll Still Call Me a Racist

steve

Just because a black person says something is racist does not make it so. In fact, I don't even give any value to that word when used by blacks because I believe they have abused the word by applying it when there is no proof of racism....on many, many occasions.

"Once you label me you negate me" -Soren Kierkegaard

Seems like Jackson learned that strategy a long time ago, however, it's had the opposite effect on me. As I mentioned, I apply no value to the word, however, I realize why people like Jackson use it. To dismiss people at will. So pathetic.

tonye

The NAACP is a racist organization.

It long ago ceded its moral ground.

I'd like to see the NAACP repudiate its racist leaders first, before it calls others racists. It's a clear case of those who live in glass houses not throwing rocks.

Michael

First off, let's remember the "C" in NAACP stands for "colored". So I'm not really concerned about an organization so far behind in the times that even its own name is degrading to those it's supposed to serve.

Second, it's easy for a united organization to attack a loose-knit coalition of Tea Party groups with no central leadership. And they know this. They also know it's easier for people with dishonest intentions to crash these Tea Parties. And yes, they've tried, and failed. How are they rooted out? I'm not about to tell that.

Patrick

The Tea Party was accused of calling Black Congressional leaders, racial epitaphs in Washington Dc, while being cheered on by their Senate friends. that would be classified as racial actions. The Black Congress-members chose to not bring charges against the people for personal reasons. That is a singular racist act the Tea party can be proud of, along with the whole we want "our" country back attitude. The country belongs to "all of us" including Blacks.

Patrick

The Tea Party was accused of calling Black Congressional leaders, racial epitaphs in Washington Dc, while being cheered on by their Senate friends. that would be classified as racial actions. The Black Congress-members chose to not bring charges against the people for personal reasons. That is a singular racist act the Tea party can be proud of, along with the whole we want "our" country back attitude. The country belongs to "all of us" including Blacks.

John

Most interesting is that few if any tea partiers understand the Constitution. They're just a bunch of angry, old white people who think the world owes them. It doesn't.

Raul, Los Angeles CA

As a casual observer of the "Tea Party Movement", I can't help but notice the overwhelmingly white complexion of its ranks. I am sure this is not lost on everyone. I have also observed that the signs hoisted by these folks at their rallies barely disguise their racist tones. So as a casual observer, what am I supposed to think of these people? Does patriotism also mean racism? They all claim to be super patriots. But if you poll their ranks, I bet very few have ever put on the uniform of the US armed services.

I proudly served in the US Army and US Navy. But you would never see me descerate the US flag by wrapping myself in it. These Teabaggers are sunshine patriots at best and psuedo-racist at the very least. I have nothing but contempt for their LOSER attitudes.

Rise

There has been NO proof of ANY racist remarks, spitting on anyone, etc. There is STILL a $100,000 reward offered for anyone bringing this to light. For the NAACP to try and call Tea Party goers racists, is ridiculous. AND, isn't it funny that the DOJ does NOTHING about the Black Panthers?!? Now THERE'S a group I'd want to represent me!!!

Mike K

It seems conservatives were all too happy to paint everyone associated with ACORN with a broad brush so why not the Tea Party.

You can't possibly be that stupid so this must be an attempt to equate a peaceful, self directed movement with an agitator group funded to the tune of $300 million by the feds. Too many people know the truth about ACORN. Otherwise, why would they change their name ?

Jerry Fullerton

"The Tea Party was accused of calling Black Congressional leaders, racial epitaphs in Washington Dc.." Despite a hugh press turnout for this event in DC, not one piece of film or tape exists documenting these so called "racial epitaphs" (by the way that last word does not mean what you think it does). Just another example of liberal lies used to smear a popular, grass roots conservative movement.

jeff

The term racist doesn't really mean much these days. Anyone who can't debate like an adult throws out the racism charge against their opponent. It's happening with ever increasing frequency. You can't go an hour without reading about some person or group calling another person or group racist. Look at comments to any article under the sun and people without a clue resort to calling others racist simply because they are incapable of raising a valid point.

It's really a shame because true racism does still exist in the world. This is turning into a case of the boy crying wolf a hundred times too many. It'd be nice if organizations like the NAACP or people like Obama worked to bring people together as opposed to trying to separate them with talk like this. These two entities have set race relations back a decade.

I've never cared a wit about the Tea Party, but with the NAACP stepping into the fray, I'm going to register with the Tea Party. I'm not colored, their term not mine, so I only have one place to go. How about denouncing the killing of cracker babies NAACP?

Bob Garcia

A better analysis of this issue can be found on The Atlantic website:

"The NAACP Is Right" by Ta-Nehisi Coates
http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2010/07/the-naacp-is-right/59793/

He basically points out that it is not so much the limited and minor associates of the Tea Party that act out their crazy racist views during rallies (although that is still very important to point out), but a problem of the leadership and those with influence that have been spouting off ridiculous and racist comments. People like Glenn Beck, Tom Tancredo, Steve King (the keynote speaker at the TP convention), and Mark Williams (spokesman for the Tea Party Express). With high-profile speakers like this spreading hate and lies, the NAACP is justified in calling out those racist bigots wherever they may try to get a foothold.


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