The Tea Party Isn't Racist

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At this week’s
NAACP annual meeting, members voted to censure the Tea Party as
"racist." But it’s the NAACP that’s the throwback, argues
Tunku Varadarajan.

we all agree that it stands for the National Association for the
Advancement of Cynical Politics?

The proper
expansion of “NAACP” has a profoundly archaic ring to
it. I know, I know: The retention of that primordial name –
the National Association
for the Advancement of Colored People
– has to do with
safeguarding history; and an irrefutably impressive history it is,
too. But can anyone deny that the “colored” part of the
organization’s name is no longer preservative of anything that
is at all meaningful?

Colored: Who
the heck says that in the America of today, unless you’re a
very, very old friend of the late highwayman (as in dedicated asphalt,
not armed robbery) Robert C. Byrd?
Which is why no member of this once-courageous black organization
will spell out its full name. Everyone says, instead, “N-double
A-CP”: To elongate the abbreviation is to expose oneself to
derisive – or, worse, baffled – inquisition. (“Dad,
Mom, what’s with the ‘colored’ thing?”)

this vestigial bone on the American body politic, has thrust itself
into the headlines by voting, at its annual meeting Tuesday, to
censure as “racist” the Tea
Party movement
. This controversial public rebuke – delivered
a day after the first lady, Michelle Obama, addressed the NAACP’s
conference – has opened up a raw, new racial front in the run-up
to the November elections. In effect, the self-congratulatory, post-racial
Obama camp is reaching for the crudest weapon in the Democratic
arsenal: the racial blunderbuss.

Of course,
desperate times call for desperate measures, and the NAACP is going
back to an old playbook. The NAACP is resorting to the Jacksonian
(Jesse, not Andrew) ploy to use the race card (a) to rally blacks
to the mid-terms; and (b) to intimidate the mainstream media, so
that it doesn’t report critically on a liberal administration,
urging it instead to focus on the perceived sins of the Tea Party

the rest of the article

17, 2010

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