From its inception, the Tea Party has been under attack. The movement that was inspired by an off the cuff Rick Santelli rant on CNBC in February of 2009 finds itself the target of a leftist body politic that historically has shown little patience with dissent. And as per their standard operating procedure, they attack their opposition with charges of racism.
This isn’t new. For decades radicals, leftists and liberals have been quick to pull the race card in the face of the slightest criticism or opposing opinion, regardless of how ridiculous the situation.
“The thought of living with 100,000 white people…horrifies me.”
In 1983, the radical socialist Berkeley Citizens Action had control of the Berkeley school board and announced they were going to close some of the city’s schools. They said the reason was to save money.
The people of Berkeley felt that was doubtful. They thought the BCA was looking to further punish the liberals who lived in the Berkeley Hills.
That’s right. The socialists didn’t like the liberals.
When the school board slated John Muir School for closure, despite the fact close to $2 million had just been spent on it for earth-quake proofing, and it being a model school in the Berkeley school system, parents were convinced this was not about saving money.
John Muir was in the hills.
Carroll Williams was president of the school board at the time and opposed the BCA’s plan.
“Half the students were black, bused up there under the integration plan,” Williams said.
“Virtually no black parents were for closing Muir.”
Williams was accused of being “objectively racist.” Williams was black.
It was later revealed the BCA intended to put low cost housing in the closed schools and use them to repopulate Berkeley with blacks. The black population had dropped by nearly 25 percent as many sold houses they bought decades eariler and were now worth selling.
A BCA school board member said, “The thought of living with 100,000 white people who eat at Chez Panisse every night horrifies me.”
Neighborhoods in Berkeley began organizing against the BCA. Barry Wofsy was one of the leaders of the neighborhood movement and said, “The BCA are masters at manipulating symbols and language. No matter what side of an issue you’re on, you’re a racist if you’re not with them.”
That tactic was used in the 2008 campaign against two Democrat icons.
“If Obama was a white man…”
Former Congresswoman and Vice Presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro was about to get educated. Despite being in politics for thirty plus years, she had never faced an opponent who not only charged her with racism, but had the media behind them to make it stick.
Ferraro was in the Clinton camp in the 2008 election. During an interview with The Daily Breeze, she stated:
“I think what America feels about a woman becoming president takes a very secondary place to Obama’s campaign – to a kind of campaign that it would be hard for anyone to run against,” she said. “For one thing, you have the press, which has been uniquely hard on her. It’s been a very sexist media. Some just don’t like her. The others have gotten caught up in the Obama campaign.
“If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position,” she continued. “And if he was a woman (of any color) he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept.”
That was all it took. Ferraro was now a racist.
Then Senator Obama said:
“I think that her comments were … ridiculous. … I think they were wrong-headed. I think they are not borne out by our history or by the facts.”
“The notion that it is a great advantage to me, an African-American named Barack Obama, in pursuit of the presidency I think is not a view that has been commonly shared by the general public,” he said during a campaign event at the Chicago History Museum.
“Divisions of race, gender, of region are precisely what has inhibited us from moving effectively forward to solve big problems like health care, energy, the war on terror,” he said.
Obama himself never called her a racist. He didn’t need to. As with so many things during the 2008 campaign, he let his sycophantic mouthpieces make the case for him. People like Keith Olbermann said Ferraro’s statement was “clearly racist.”
Obama’s senior advisor David Axelrod called for Ferraro to be removed:
“The bottom line is this, when you wink and nod at offensive statements, you’re really sending a signal to your supporters that anything goes,” Axelrod said in a conference call with reporters on Tuesday.
Ferraro wasn’t amused. She fired back, saying:
” ‘Any time anybody does anything that in any way pulls this campaign down and says let’s address reality and the problems we’re facing in this world, you’re accused of being racist, so you have to shut up,’
Eventually, Ferraro had to resign from Clinton’s campaign. Obama’s spin team had effectively branded her a racist. They then turned their sights on a bigger target: America’s first black president. By the time they were done with Clinton, he was a racist too.
Today, the same tactic is being used against the Tea Party.
“This is racism straight up.”
Rather than consider there is a number of Americans who are concerned about the leftist agenda of the current administration or about the reckless spending, it’s easier to label them all as racists.
After the first April 15th Tea Party in 2009, liberal commentator Janeane Garafalo told MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann:
It’s not about bashing Democrats, it’s not about taxes, they have no idea what the Boston tea party was about, they don’t know their history at all. This is about hating a black man in the White House. This is racism straight up.
That premise has been bounced off every wall of the liberal echo chamber.
Black congressmen walked through a sea of Tea Party activists. Some claimed they heard racial slurs being chanted at them. Video evidence disputed that claim. Andrew Breitbart offered $100,000 to anyone who could produce evidence proving the claim. None has been produced.
One claimed to be spit upon. Video evidence disproved that claim.
Now, liberal activist groups have taken to manufacturing evidence of Tea Party racism.
Democrat Congresswomen Sheila Jackson Lee told a crowd, “All those who wore sheets a long time ago have now lifted them off and started wearing, uh, clothing, uh, with a name, say, I am part of the tea party. Don’t you be fooled.” The NAACP signed a resolution calling the Tea Party racist. That didn’t sit well with some black Tea Party members.
Rather than address the legitimate concerns of the Tea Party, the leftists and their myrmidons return to the hammer they have used against every nail they have faced. They are attempting to marginalize and discredit the Tea Party by convincing the masses they are racists. This allows them to continue their agenda without having to actually address the opposition.
Expect the efforts to be redoubled in the coming months. It’s obvious what agenda the Democrats will be running on in November. The left knows this is a very effective tactic.
We’ve seen this platform before. It was used against Carroll Williams and Geraldine Ferraro. No matter what is said against the Democrats, it will be labeled racist.
David Horowitz explains why it works:
There is no recourse for the individual targets of these gutter attacks, no national arbiter of fairness and balance. The libel laws will not protect a public figure falsely accused, and probably no private citizen either. The courts regard the charge of “racism” under the category of opinion, which is libel-proof in our First Amendment culture.
The left has done this time and again throughout their history in America. Before, the victims of this tactic have not been able to withstand or refute the charge. Today, members of the movement like Andrew Breitbart are leading the charge against marginalization by defamation.
If enough people follow his lead, perhaps this time it will fail.
Update: Linked at Riehl World View. Thanks, Dan!