Nation must see racist acts for what they are

March 24, 2010


So it turns out that, contrary to what I argued in this space a few weeks back, racism is not “a major component” of the so-called tea party movement. I am informed of this by dozens of tea party activists indignant and insulted that I would even suggest such a thing.

In other news, tea party protesters called John Lewis a “nigger” the other day in the shadow of the U.S. Capitol.

For the record, Lewis wasn’t their only target.

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver was spat upon.

Rep. Barney Frank, who is gay, was called “faggot.”

But it is Lewis’ involvement that gives the Saturday incident its bittersweet resonance. The 70-year-old representative from Georgia is, after all, among the last living icons of the Civil Rights Movement. Or, as Lewis himself put it, “I’ve faced this before.”

Indeed. He faced it in Nashville in 1960 when he was locked inside a whites-only fast-food restaurant and gassed by a fumigation machine for ordering a hamburger.

He faced it in Montgomery in 1961 when a group of Freedom Riders was attacked and he was knocked unconscious for riding a Greyhound bus.

Most famously, he faced it on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma 45 years ago this month when his skull was fractured by Alabama state troopers who charged a group of demonstrators seeking their right to vote.

In the very arc of his life, Lewis provides a yardstick for measuring American progress. The fact that he rose from that bridge to become a member of Congress says something about this country. But the fact that people demonstrating against health-care reform chose to chant at him, “Kill the bill, nigger!” well, that says something, too.

Which is why tea party leaders have spent much of the last few days spinning the incident, deflecting renewed suggestions that their stated fears — socialism, communism, liberalism — are just proxies for the one fear most of them no longer dare speak. Some even faxed the McClatchy Newspapers news bureau in Washington to suggest, without offering a shred of evidence, that the episode was sparked by Democratic plants within the crowd.

Amy Kremer, coordinator of the Tea Party Express, went on Fox News to dismiss what she called an “isolated” incident. Your first instinct may be to cede the benefit of the doubt on that one. It seems unfair to tar nine reasonable people with the hateful behavior of one lunatic.

But ask yourself: When is the last time organizers of protests on other hot-button issues — say, abortion rights or globalization — had to apologize for “isolated incidents” like these?

Moreover, given how often tea party leaders have been forced to disavow hateful signs and slogans and even the presence of organized white supremacist groups in their midst, is it really fair to use the word “isolated”?

Is there not a rottenness here? And is not the unwillingness to call that rottenness by name part and parcel of the reason it endures?

No, my argument is emphatically not that every American who opposes health-care reform is a closet Klansman. Certainly, people can have earnest and honest disagreements about that.

But by the same token, as these “isolated” incidents mount, as the venom and the vitriol increase to the point where even proxy words no longer suffice, it insults intelligence to deny that race is in the mix.

Not that the denial surprises.

Often we tell ourselves lies to spare ourselves truths. Had you asked them, the people who locked John Lewis inside that restaurant, the ones who mauled him at that bus station and smashed him down on that bridge, would not have said they acted from a rottenness within.

No, like the ones who called him “nigger” half a century later, they would have told you they were good people fighting for principle, trying to save this country from the liberals, the socialists and the communists.

They would not have said they were racists. Racists never do.

— Leonard Pitts Jr., winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for commentary, is a columnist for the Miami Herald. He chats with readers from noon to 1 p.m. CDT each Wednesday on www.MiamiHerald.com. lpitts@miamiherald.com


anon1958 7 years, 7 months ago

The Tea Party is pretty much a lunatic movement of uninformed right wing crybabies, hardly surprising that there is a significant racist component. They draw from the angry white trash crowd, what do you expect? I am sure in every Tea Party member is a "Birther" and Lou Dobbs fan ready to be born.

Paul R Getto 7 years, 7 months ago

Like Christians trying to explain a certain family in Topeka who claims authority to speak for their version of the church, Republicans are in danger of getting painted with a broad brush which may allow the most extreme members of the TeaParty to stand for their principles. While some of the fear and anger may be justified, the heated rhetoric, threats of violence and racist tone of their literature might come back to haunt them. Fear and hysteria may not be the best campaign strategy. Time will tell, won't it?

Brent Garner 7 years, 7 months ago

I find it interesting that video of the alleged "racist" incident which has sound has been shown on YouTube and no one can hear anyone using the referenced "N" word. As for the Barney Frank incident, those who were there to protest report that the man who used the 'fag" word was completely unknown to them, showed up at the very moment Frank was in the vicinity, and vanished immediately thereafter. So, who was he? No one knows as he cannot be found nor identified. Some have wondered aloud if he was not an agent provocateur. I seem to recall a similar incident in Colorado in 2008 where someone vandalized a democrat party candidates campaign office. Of course the media blamed the republican opponent but the investigation eventually identified the perpetrator as a left wing democrat.

Graczyk 7 years, 7 months ago

"When a lions share of racist violence is perpetrated by blacks against whites."


Mel Briscoe 7 years, 7 months ago

i like lenny pitts. i think i'll post this article on my facebook page. he's a good writer. very thought-provoking and shoots from the hip.

oh, and i already thunk this about them tea party peoples. veiled racism... just that the veil is made out of saran wrap.

Mel Briscoe 7 years, 7 months ago

"Can't say that you're not racist when you do things like that out in public. "

.... walks like a duck, quacks like a duck....

beatrice 7 years, 7 months ago

Sarah Palin's lack of comment on these comments is telling. Tell a joke that touches on her daughter and she is everywhere. The "party" for which she was the main speaker just a month ago spouts racist hatred, and not a peep. Telling indeed.

"When a lions share of racist violence is perpetrated by blacks against whites."

Just about as stupid a thing as I've ever read on this board.

Liberty275 7 years, 7 months ago

It rough being on the other side of the first amendment, isn't it, lefties? Go burn us some flags or something. At least if you are desecrating the symbol of your liberty, we won't have to listen to your incessant whining because even stupid rednecks deserve the same protections you psuedo-intellectuals do.

Your jackbooted chicago thugs and liberal whining are no match for the constitution. Buck up and take it like a man.

As an aside, when you start thinking about making thoughts a crime, you are well on your way to being your worst enemy. Not that you aren't already. Tread lightly bright boys, we dumb hicks are watching you.

Mel Briscoe 7 years, 7 months ago

"Your jackbooted chicago thugs and liberal whining are no match for the constitution."

but dubya was. didn't he fiddle quite a bit w/ that rock sold iron clad constitution of ours?

Mel Briscoe 7 years, 7 months ago

"Tread lightly bright boys, we dumb hicks are watching you."


Liberty275 7 years, 7 months ago

"significant racist component" - "white trash crowd".

Epic fail for hypocrisy.

Mel Briscoe 7 years, 7 months ago

do i qualify as a light skinned negro?? oh pleeease say that i do!!

Orwell 7 years, 7 months ago

Remarkable. Now the right wing has pivoted to a variety of defenses and rationalizations to excuse – and even celebrate – the bigots in their midst.

There's nothing in the First Amendment that keeps these hate speech apologists from repudiating actual racist sentiment, is there? The right wing tactic of supporting free speech, without addressing the substance of its its most extreme hate-filled exercises, says a good deal about the character and motives of the Tea Party and its elected/bankrolling enablers.

Liberty275 7 years, 7 months ago

"really??!! "

Not you. You aren't worth it. Porchi laughter neither.

"didn't he fiddle quite a bit w/ that"

I don't remember dubya attacking news outlets (not unlike dictator chavez and wannabe dictator obama) and forcing Americans to buy products from corporations simply because they are Americans. I do remember Janet Reno sending in a swat team to shove a rifle into the face of a little cuban boy and burning down a ranch full of children because a religious wacko wouldn't come out. Also, Ruby Ridge.

You don't want to play tit for tat because I'll post 2 examples of the left utterly abusing the constitution or human rights for every one you find showing the guilt of righties. Look up "National Socialists" for a hint.

I won't defend the Patriot act outside of saying it is an odious law that I'm not sure we can do without while fighting an asymmetric war. OTOH, if you want to whine about gitmo and waterboarding, watch the daniel pearl beheading video and tell me how bad we are. Gitmo is an ideal prison and waterboarding is nothing we don't do to our own special forces as part of their training. It is probably not far off from the stint every member of the US military does inside the gas chamber in basic training. It will make you feel like you are dying, even though you aren't.

Mel Briscoe 7 years, 7 months ago

LOL @ five finger discount.

damn, barry, you are effing creative if nothing else!! LOL

Mel Briscoe 7 years, 7 months ago

"Not you. You aren't worth it."

if i'm not worth it, why did you just post a long, detailed comment in response to something i said?... so are you saying that i AM worth it?!

Liberty275 7 years, 7 months ago

"The right wing tactic of supporting free speech, without addressing the substance of its its most extreme hate-filled exercises"

Free association works two ways. The government can't dictate your friends nor can they dictate your enemies. Hate is a thought, are you joining the crowd to abolish thought crimes? Which thoughts would you criminalize next? There is the substance.

Like I always say, the right may be greedy scoundrels, but the left will violate your rights given the chance much faster than the right ever will.

I'm certainly no right-winger. But I'm not blind either.

Mel Briscoe 7 years, 7 months ago

"I'm certainly no right-winger."


Liberty275 7 years, 7 months ago

"if i'm not worth it, why did you just post a long, detailed comment in response to something i said?"

I didn't pay attention to who posted it. I don't address people outside of porchi laughter (and maybe anna the stripper). I usually address statements. I only address porchi laughter because he has the guts to argue his opinions without shame and too much copypasta and he always puts that (laghter) thing in, which annoys me because he should be putting in "LOL". I sort of like him because he annoys me. Go figure.

Mel Briscoe 7 years, 7 months ago

"and maybe anna the stripper"

in person, right?

Mel Briscoe 7 years, 7 months ago

" I sort of like him"

me too. i think we should start a fan club. that guy is pretty sharp. :)

Liberty275 7 years, 7 months ago

"Janet Reno applied the law. "

The wet foot, dry foot policy is the name given to a consequence of the 1995 revision of the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966 that says, essentially, that anyone who fled Cuba and got into the United States would be allowed to pursue residency a year later. After talks with the Cuban government, the Clinton administration came to an agreement with Cuba that it would stop admitting people found at sea. Since then, in what has become known as the "wet foot, dry foot" policy, a Cuban caught on the waters between the two nations (i.e., with "wet feet") would summarily be sent home or to a third country. One who makes it to shore ("dry feet") gets a chance to remain in the United States, and later would qualify for expedited "legal permanent resident" status and U.S. citizenship.

She trampled the law and the constitutional rights of a young boy by sending him to a country that has severe human rights deficiencies. I suppose that fits the definition oi "law" to a Lefty. Nevermind shoving an M4 carbine in his face. ( I think it was an M4, I'm not really a gun nut outside of admiring m16s, M1s and AKs)

Liberty275 7 years, 7 months ago

""Dubya" tried to pad the judiciary"

What do you mean tried? He did pad it with conservatives. Also, I think you will find that it is entirely constitutional for presidents to appoint supreme court judges. Porchi. you are too smart to forward such a dumb argument. Stop it.

"David Koresh, noted child molester and polygamist, was supposed to not shoot at (and kill) law enforcement when they came to his door. Randy Weaver lied about being in the Aryan Nation"

Do those count as good reasons for killing innocent children and women of questionable innocence, none of which had been convicted and sentenced to death to my knowledge.

jafs 7 years, 7 months ago

The question about speech is an interesting one.

We have the Constitutional right to freedom of speech, however, it is not absolute.

Defamation is against the law, as is incitement to violence.

I think that it must be recognized that speech is an action, and that when that action harms others, it is acceptable to restrict it.

Whether or not that means we should be able to restrict racist insults or prevent the Phelps' from picketing funerals is an open question to me.

Mel Briscoe 7 years, 7 months ago

"Whether or not that means we should be able to restrict racist insults or prevent the Phelps' from picketing funerals is an open question to me"

okay.... i'm obviously not the only person getting the two threads mixed up....

feeble 7 years, 7 months ago

The Tea Party is a minority party, 13% of Americans self-identify as members of the Tea party: http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x1295.xml?ReleaseID=1436

Key take away for this November:

"While voters say 44 - 39 percent that they will vote for a Republican over a Democratic candidate in this November's Congressional elections, if there is a Tea Party candidate on the ballot, the Democrat would get 36 percent to the Republican's 25 percent, with 15 percent for the Tea Party candidate, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds. "

Reminds me of the Reform Party and the 1996 election.

frank mcguinness 7 years, 7 months ago

It's sooooo Awesome to watch nancy boy tom, barry penders, brent and the rest try to defend the racists. Oh it was an operative.

lol you losers cant see the forest for the trees.

As you try to defend these tea partiers as a fringe of your group you fail to see all the other things they are doing like sending "death threats" to members of the house, even boehner said that driehaus "may be a dead man". Stupak and slaughter have had threats made on their family's lives.

I guess it's just another day as a republican/ conservative.


P.S. Politico was started by reagan advisors so don't post that the article is slanted left or you'll look dumber than you already do.

K_Verses_The_World 7 years, 7 months ago

From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth. Acts 17:26

Liberty275 7 years, 7 months ago

"She sent him back to his Dad"

It doesn't matter where his dad was. He was sent, contrary to US law, to a country that is constantly in violation of human rights. The law is the law, and Reno broke it.

"Did Federal Agents at Waco prevent those innocent children and adults from surrendering and leaving peaceably? "

They did leave in body bags. Thanks to Janet Reno. I'm almost starting to think you are in favor of killing people that pose no imminent danger to the balance of society solely because they don't surrender and leave peaceably. Is that really what you think, or are you that desperate to make up excuses for Janet Reno? I think you are desperately making up excuses, and that is below you.

"I watched the film. No one pointed a gun at a child's face."

Yes, the image was photoshopped. No porchi, stop it.

"No. I watched it live on television. I saw what happened."

We all saw the tank shove the barrel through the wall of the house. Then we saw the fire start. There was NO reason for the tank to be within 20 miles of the house, much less shoving the barrel through the house. If your theory is that Koresh started the fires, there was NO reason to push him to that point outside of the embarrassment he causing the ATF and Janet Reno. We could have easily outlasted the nuts inside and gathered them up as they came out suffering of hunger and thirst. Instead, we killed them. For their own good.

"Did Federal Agents force Randy Weaver to join the Aryan Nation, sell sawed off shotguns to strangers, blow off court dates and refuse to talk to his own attorneys."

Yes porchi, a grown man selling sawed-off shotguns, freely associating and not obeying the law is a great reason for killing a 14 year old boy. In a liberal's world.

"Get real. When someone becomes "fringe", it doesn't absolve that person from taking responsibility for their own actions."

But being the attorney general does? Your America isn't anything like mine. Granted, we can't prosecute Reno because she was acting in her role as attorney general and that is one that shouldn't be undermined by personal lawsuits, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't be critical of the decisions she made. Your defense of her shows how quickly you will sell out your ideals for a popularity vote from the team. Sickening.

"try to defend the racists."

They don't need to be defended. Thought and expression should never need to be defended unless it incites a particular act of violence. Your talking points reek like conservative babble.

bearded_gnome 7 years, 7 months ago

all this?
Pittsie say anything about the black SEIU thugs actually recorded on video [actually existed] attacking conservative black pastor protesting against Obama in St. Louis? lots of racial epithets, actual documented violence.

Pittsie is simply exhibiting the despicable double standard on race. what this is is actually a leftist attempt to discredit opposition to Obama.

the left is very troubled that Mr. Obama couldn't get himself elected dog catcher now if election were held today. they know that the health care debacle and the dirty deals with stupak, illegal alien fascilitators, and the Nebraska Nebbish along with more than a dozen others, will be a millstone around their necks in the coming elections. they're trying to limit the damage.

Liberty275 7 years, 7 months ago

"The Stock Market is up"

Happy days! My next door neighbor with a family of 6 that survives on 1/3rd of our income has been looking for a better job for the last 6 months, and he can't find one. Maybe I'll tell him how great the stock market is and how we are going to be green real soon. He should be overjoyed to pay a higher electric and gas bill so he can be green.

I've decided to stop ragging on the HCR bill and am hoping instead it will help them. I haven't forgotten the corruption and back room deals, but I'll settle that score in November.

"The doom and gloom crowd doesn't realize how interconnected the world is today."

How interconnected is the "help wanted" section of the journal world today? That's what the people you claim to care for are worried about.

Rex Russell 7 years, 7 months ago

The ongoing problem the Tea Partiers, and the GOP as a whole is this. You can't really have it both ways. You can't court, enflame, and turn a blind eye to these people and not be eventually be overcome and defined as them. If you take them at there word that these oddball and coarse people are the exeption and not closer to the rule, (and I don't) you to ask why they are so often in their midst. You have to suspend some logical reasoning to come to the conclusion they aren't part of their fold. This is the double-edged sword. Eventually, irrational hate, the fear mongering, the racist people will come to overcome the sane people with reasonable complaints. And then where are you? The people at the top of these organizations are silent now. In fact, some politician have started to join this lack of civility. You have a good deal of their apologists on this forum also. It will eventually become harder and harder to claim: "They're not part of us."

Mel Briscoe 7 years, 7 months ago

i'll add this for ya, porch: BOO YAH! you're serving it up hot today!

jaywalker 7 years, 7 months ago

"But by the same token, as these “isolated” incidents mount, as the venom and the vitriol increase to the point where even proxy words no longer suffice, it insults intelligence to deny that race is in the mix."

For the love...... Is it so difficult to grasp that these white supremacists are leaping at an opportunity to blend into a large crowd in order to spew their bile with little to no consequence?

Mel Briscoe 7 years, 7 months ago

"I'll tell you that a sawed-off 12 ga. shotgun is the weapon of choice for hikers/outdoors enthusiasts"

oh crap, tom, seriously, when i first read that i thought you were talking about using a sawed-off to SHOOT hikers. lol

beatrice 7 years, 7 months ago

bearded: "Pittsie say anything about the black SEIU thugs actually recorded on video [actually existed] attacking conservative black pastor protesting against Obama in St. Louis?"

Two wrongs make a right now? In every Cal Thomas column that criticizes President Obama must he also criticize the wrong things President Bush did? Why would Pitts discussing that instance change the circumstances of this incident? It wouldn't. The Tea Party group showed there true colors over the weekend for all to see, not just for those who wanted to do the smallest amount of digging. I don't believe Pitts is saying only one group and one group only is capable of hatred and using stupid language. He is saying it is part of the Tea Party, and that is obvious.

I see Tom is getting awfully familiar with "Lenny" Pitts. I believe the name is Leonard. He was also born in 1957. Do you really think he should have been writing against the Black Panthers when he was 12?

I see the right not speaking out against what was said by the Tea Party folks, just defending and deflecting the comments. How sad and telling. Very telling indeed.

Flap Doodle 7 years, 7 months ago

Dear little bea, have you never heard the phrase, "I'll not dignify that with a response"?

georgiahawk 7 years, 7 months ago

There is no racism in America, just excuses and rationalizations. Good job conservatives, social justice for all!

whats_going_on 7 years, 7 months ago

^no, you're not.

I'm not scared for myself, I wouldn't say, unless we have a full blown Civil War II on our hands, but more scared for the future of everyone.

We might as well just carry signs on our backs that say either "Democrat" or "Rebublican." That way, the guessing and drama is just ripped right out and we can start hating and killing each other without a second thought. Ugh.

galwaygal 7 years, 7 months ago

Prejudice is prevalent in every segment of our society. Some is blatant and some is so subtle that we try to get away with telling ourselves that we're no racists . Are there some racists in the Tea Party? Sure there are! And there are also some folks who are just plain mad that the country seems to be spending itself deeper into debt. They worry that the shortfall is going to come out of their hard earned money and they don't like it! Who does? Will mockery and name calling solve the problem of racism and bigotry in this country? It hasn't so far. I think racism will begin to change when the white majority finds itself in the minority. It's beginning to happen gradually now. If you're white, you will probably have grandchildren or great grandchildren who will be people of color. When todays majority sees what was done by them beginning to be done to them, then you'll see Tea Party types stop scoffing and start demanding that equality laws be enforced for them, too. Until that day, if you want to see change come any earlier, begin by asking yourself what can I do to help make life more just for everybody right now. Because waiting for things to get better by assuming everybody else needs to change is just silly.

beatrice 7 years, 7 months ago

Yes little snap, I have heard that phrase. I don't see anyone here using it. All I see is see is a bunch of conservatives making excuses for their fellow conservatives.

Oh, and the poll numbers are already turning in favor of the healthcare legislation. Guess taking such a strong stand against it really isn't going to pay off in November for Republicans. Conservatives -- wrong on just about every level.

beatrice 7 years, 7 months ago

barrypenders is a typical conservative.

TheOriginalCA 7 years, 7 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Mel Briscoe 7 years, 7 months ago

"White people fix issues then kudos go out to the black people for doing the work that the white people actually did."

dave chappelle said it best "did you ever hear anything so racist that you can't believe somebody's actually SAYING it??!


TheOriginalCA 7 years, 7 months ago

honeychild ... I am just enumerating exactly what i experienced in Washington, DC as a "non-African American" worker at a USDA Agency where I was employeed as an engineer. My black boss promoted black people into engineering positions that they were not qualified for, then when they could not do their work, I was asked to step in and do it for them. After I did their work my boss would then tell the branch chief that so and so black person fixed it. The branch chief had been giving her grief because of incompetance on her team because she had been putting unqualified people in these positions. For her own self preservation and racism, she would give kudos to the black worker(s) and continue to throw non-black people under the bus. Where I referenced "white people" before would have been more accurate to say "non-African Americans" as I had a Korean coworker, two Eastern Indian, and one hispanic coworkers who all had the same tings happening.. just nothing like this happening to any black coworkers.

Mel Briscoe 7 years, 7 months ago

original ca, but you do realize that washington DC is something like 70% black so it is pretty understandable that most of the work force-- blue or white collar-- will be black. i doubt that it has to do w/ any kind of reverse racism. if it does then that's effed up, but you can't make some inflammatory statements like that and expect not to be fitted for a pointy white hat. seriously, dude.

Mel Briscoe 7 years, 7 months ago

i think 75 actually likes me. don't tell him i said that tho.

Mel Briscoe 7 years, 7 months ago

is the battle of the network stars over with? i don't see tommy or porch anywhere on the field anymore!

TheOriginalCA 7 years, 7 months ago

honeychild ... of course I realize that it is 70% black. In my dapartment in my agency, I was one of only five non-black people. Us five were the nucleus of the engineers in our department but some how we were the ones whose jobs were always in jeopardy.

75x55 ... posting my very real and accurately portrayed experiences on the very short end of a very long racist stick is anything but racist. These agencies are where billions of tax payer dollars are being wasted and it is not just black people wasting these dollars. There is a lot of ineptness to go around and I have too much integrity to be party to it all. I got the hell out.

Liberty275 7 years, 7 months ago

"child molestation, statutory rape and polygamy" That all pales in comparison to killing innocent women and children. You don't like it when we do it accidentally in Iraq, but you defend it when the women and kids are American. You don't defend it because it's right, you defend it to make excuses for Janet Reno.

"for others to take your own child away from you because they don't like the system of government"

His mother died getting him to freedom in America. Her wishes, American law and the boy's constitutional rights were ignored.

I think it's wrong to send any human by force to a country that has well documented human rights violations. If Bush had sent a 16 year old alquaida boy back to Saudi Arabia where he might have been executed, you'd have thrown a fit. We are dealing with that problem now because if we send most of the prisoners at Gitmo back to their home country, they may well be executed. I'd rather see them in prison than sent back to risk being executed.

You are a hypocrite.

"Liberty275, are you supposed to "open up" on Federal Agents as they are serving warrants?"

I'm not legally obligated to open my doors for anyone. Period. I'm not excusing what koresh and his followers did, they should have gotten the death penalty for killing federal agents if they had been convicted. OTOH, Reno and the ATF botched the raid and killed women and children. THE GOVERNMENT killed AMERICAN women and children when they could have easily avoided it.

"What I find incongruous is that you say it's ok for a fringe jerk in Idaho to keep his son in a location where there's going to be a firefight but have a father live in Cuba and suddenly that father should have his son taken away from him."

I'm saying there should have been no fire fight in Ruby Ridge and we should never send any human by force to Cuba.

"My ideals are fairly pedestrian."

No, your ideals don't exist. What you call ideals are just morphing excuses.

"I believe that polygamy is a bastardization of marriage."

I believe state sponsored marriage should be one man and one woman. However, any number of people, regardless of gender, of consensual age should be able to marry in the religious sense. What consenting people do in the confines of their property is no business of anyone else as long as nobody's rights are abridged.

"I believe that if you shoot at police, the police don't have to arrest, charge and convict you to fire back in defense."

If anyone endangers anyone, then they have the right to protect themselves. You may grant god status to the feds so they are beyond question, but I don't. The 14 year old boy was shot in the back. Did the federal agents need to shoot a 14 year old boy in the back to protect themselves?

"An open letter to conservatives."

an open response from a libertarian: ignored.

"Sharpshooter 30-35" <--- Thats where I was. But I was using a leftover vietnam M16.

beatrice 7 years, 7 months ago

vertigo: "I'm sure the people who did these deeds were not representative of the who tea party, but rather the lunatic fringe of the lunatic fringe of the conservative party."

I wish you were correct, but I'm not convinced you are. What examples do we have to show us that these are just the fringe dangling from the fringe? If you look at their "convention," and the anti-immigration rhetoric being spouted there, it becomes clear that these people don't like other people.

I ask you this, if you were in a group of people who starting chanting and yelling what this group was chanting and yelling, would you just stand there and be considered part of this group, or would you react and tell people around you to shut the hell up? If you don't condemn such nonsense, by default you condone it. Thus, these lunatics aren't the fringe, they are the heart and soul of this "party."

Finally, the discussion here of using shotguns and such -- more of the "fringe" tactics?

person184 7 years, 7 months ago

Like Bill Maher said, the Tea Party is "racism, all grown up" Aren't ya proud? Not surprisng that Barry and Tom cannot restrain themselves on this one.

Liberty275 7 years, 7 months ago

"Who shot Vernon Howell? Wasn't the ATF, was it?"

Irrelevant. In my America, law enforcement doesn't shoot teenage boys in the back. In fact, in my America law enforcement never ever uses lethal force unless their is immanent danger to themselves or innocent bystanders. We are talking about law enforcement officers and American civilians, not American soldiers and enemy combatants. The boy posed no imminent danger because he was running away. A US Marshall made the decision that the boy with his back turned was guilty and executed him.

"Who told the "innocent women and children" to not leave? Wasn't the ATF, was it? Who started the fire? Wasn't the ATF, was it? Who fathered children by children? Wasn't the ATF, was it? "

Still irrelevant. It doesn't matter why they stayed, they should not have been killed by the US government. They were not an imminent danger to anyone.

"You can't get it around your head that Koresh was just your garden variety religious nutcase, can you?"

What sort of nutcase he was is irrelevant. It doesn't matter if he was satan himself. They could have waited out the nutcases and took them into custody. Instead, they disregarded the rights of unconvicted people and killed them. At best you can argue the ATF and Reno were incompetent, but I would add that Reno was maliciously incompetent for approving the rules of engagement that recklessly endangered and killed innocent American citizens and citizens that posed no imminent danger. Had Bush operated in a similar fashion against terror cells in America, you would be up in arms. You are a hypocrite.

"Again, all of this could have been avoided if Randy Weaver"

Again, nothing justifies federal law enforcement officials shooting a 14 year old boy in the back or killing innocent women and children under the control of an idiot wannabe messiah. Nothing. Ever. No way, no how. The FBI has rules of engagement involving deadly force forbidding what happened at Ruby Ridge, and they were overruled by Reno. Federal law enforcement officials lied about using incendiary devices at Waco.

"Like Bill Maher said"

By "said", I take it you mean "puked".

Don Whiteley 7 years, 7 months ago

We are all racists: Blacks, Whites, Browns, Yellows, Republicans, Democrats, Liberals, Conservatives, Europeans, Middle Easterners, Africans, Far Easterners, Christian, Jew, Muslim, Budhist, and Hindu. Having distrust of others not like us is just part of being human. The sooner we learn that the fault is within us and start pointing the fingers at ourselves instead of others, the sooner we'll face the truth of the problem and began to resolve it.

Scott Drummond 7 years, 7 months ago

"For the love...... Is it so difficult to grasp that these white supremacists are leaping at an opportunity to blend into a large crowd in order to spew their bile with little to no consequence?"

"Yes we can."

"Hell no, you can't" - John Boehner

“If we’re able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo. It will break him.” Sen. Tom Demint - South Carolina

Or the republican leadership is issuing their dog whistle signals to the lunatic fringe. I guarantee you plenty of Southerners heard the "break him" part of that quote rather than the "Waterloo" part that everyone else focused on. Speaking of "breaking" blacks who have the audacity not to mind their position still resonates in too many parts of our country and to too many on the right.

Boehner's choice of words for the most unhinged moment of his anti health care reform vote speech hardly seems accidental.

They are playing a very dangerous game.

jaywalker 7 years, 7 months ago

"Boehner's choice of words for the most unhinged moment of his anti health care reform vote speech hardly seems accidental."

Scott, my brother, you've officially gone 'round the bend. That's it. Seals it. "We must break him"???? What? Ivan Drago is inciting all white folk now? That's what you got? We can break him? That's supposed to be inciting the lunatic, racist fringe?

Get out, buddy, I'm beggin' ya. I love L Town, but for some it's too much. You're obviously part of 'some'.

And to others like bea, who seem to prefer to believe that the muleholes that perpetrate these vile acts are part of the majority.........what happened to your rationalism? What happened to your sensible, deductive thought processes? Are you people really sitting back on your couch and figuring that most of these people aren't really concerned that this administration has just - - printed 4 trillion dollars out of thin air, in one year mind you - demolished numerous small businesses with legislation the constituents they're supposed to represent are strongly opposed to - paved the path toward complete government control of an enormous chunk of our economy


So, none of that could be what most of these people are angry about? It's because the President is black? That's it?
The only thing guaranteed through all of this is that stupidity doesn't depend on political affiliation.

Oh, and bea, I thought and still believe what Denis Rader perpetrated in Wichita for decades was as evil as evil gets. Never felt the need to denounce him or his deeds. Despicable acts don't need to be "denounced", that sentiment is a given. At least for the majority of us. One or two of the people on this board like to stir the racial pot; whether it's to simply incite or they believe the bile they spew... I don't know. But just because someone doesn't come right out and state the obvious because they know in their heart it goes without saying doesn't make them complicit. Don't be barry.

Cooky_the_Cook 7 years, 7 months ago

Ann Coulter is hilarious. She deserves some credit for her performance art. She may have blonde hair, but she is smart and can push people's buttons with the best of them. There are much better B-words to describe her than "bimbo."


Thanks for slapping down that "Constitution goood, government baaaaad" moron.

independant1 7 years, 7 months ago


There is no more independence in politics than there is in jail. (Will Rogers)

Scott Drummond 7 years, 7 months ago

"Leave it to a PAD to use a violent derogative comment about someone for using a statement refering to horse training.

Good one scott"

Well, Barry, my comment makes a whole lot more sense than to make believe he was innocently referring to horse training. Indeed, the follow up to the whole Waterloo analogy would seem to require a word such as "defeat," or "fail" or some variation of describing one's own "victory." Interesting turn of a phrase is my point. And there can be little doubt that the racist kooks were listening. At the very least an older white South Carolinian should have had better sense than to utter that phrase when referring to this President.
Although, I suppose, on some level in his mind he may have considered his comments to be about training an animal.

ferrislives 7 years, 7 months ago

Spitting on someone isn't freedom of speech, it's called battery. Cleaver could have pressed charges, but chose not to. Will you defend that as well?

jackpot 7 years, 7 months ago

liberty275: "She sent him back to his Dad"

It doesn't matter where his dad was. He was sent, contrary to US law, to a country that is constantly in violation of human rights. The law is the law, and Reno broke it. I think that this was rehashed with the man from NJ getting his son back from South America. The same "laws" Reno "broke" were the same "laws" applied to the NJ man's case. I think they were international child rights agreed to by some 50+ nations.

Mel Briscoe 7 years, 7 months ago

LOL @ porch!! wow-- i just now noticed that! you have to give him credit for being somewhat creative.

Mel Briscoe 7 years, 7 months ago

oh okay. yeh, i've never been a boy. that's like i thought that this song called "if you see kay" was kind of clever because it spells the naughty F word, so to speak. but my mom said that's an old joke from way back-- she remembers it back when she was in school.

Ricky_Vaughn 7 years, 7 months ago

Wow, this article really hit a nerve with barry, Tom, and others...

honeychild (Mel Briscoe) says… .... walks like a duck, quacks like a duck.... ====================== Indeed.

beatrice 7 years, 7 months ago

jay, if you are part of a demonstration and the people around you start chanting racist and bigoted statements and you just stand there and don't tell them to shut up, then yes, you are complicit, in my opinion.

And don't call me barry.

DarkJader 7 years, 7 months ago

I LOVE and appreciate vocal and demonstrative racists! I can't hide the fact that I'm black, so why should they be able to hide their bigotry?

itwasthedukes 7 years, 7 months ago

Why is it assumed that these are all tea party people? There are many groups of people who are angry. Some how they have not produced one recorded incident that can be traced to a tea party. Let's all just assume and defame like the media does because we are enlightened. You are the same people who dismiss acorn when there is actual recorded evidence that they are scumbags. But don't let facts get in the way.

gravitykills 7 years, 7 months ago

Nobody from the tea party yelled racial slurs. It's all a democratic ploy to strike down the tea party movement and put them on the defensive. Even Andrew Breitbart is offering a $10,000 check to John Lewis (United Negro College Fund) if he can provide a video or pass a lie detector test of any such occurrences.

Enough with the race crap... it’s old!

independant1 7 years, 7 months ago

The liberals can understand everything but people who don't understand them. (Lenny Bruce)

Liberty275 7 years, 7 months ago


Porchee, calling a woman a bimbo twice in a row doesn't make it any more true. It seems like once should suffice for an open minded human such as yourself.

While you are thinking of it, what's your honest take on Coulter being threatened in canada because she holds contrary opinions and say's things some people don't like? Is it OK to threaten her for not thinking like a liberal saying words liberals don't like?

Keep in mind she has been physically attacked while standing behind a lectern in the past.

Also, we should all be thankful we live in country unlike canada where you can freeely speak your mind without worrying about being jailed for nothing more than espousing an opinion.

Oh, and prochee, the age of consent in canada is 14. Shouldn't you be calling them child molesters?

Liberty275 7 years, 7 months ago

"I can't hide the fact that I'm black"

Obviously you've never seen the Wayans Brothers classic, "White Chicks".

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 7 months ago

Fact: Barack Hussein Obama, a black man, is your president. The democrats control the country. Suck on that binky, right wing cry-babies.

Or is it time for a revolution against America? (rolls eyes).

Suck on it, RWRs.

camper 7 years, 7 months ago

I don't know, my best advice is to avoid these angry Republicans. Walk past them if you must, don't look away from them, but don't look them in the eye.

As in a dream, or nightmare, I can tell I recall all of the ugliness of civil rights, and little children having to confront angry mobs while being escorted to schools. The Civil War and "States Rights". The rhetoric from the Republicans is much the same as the darker side of our Nation's past. Cries of Socialisim, placing death threats on leaders who voted for health care reform.

Forget em I say. Just go about your business. Enjoy life, family and work. Enjoy your past-times when you have the time (Baseball is coming up), go to a movie. If you don't like the way things are going, say so in the voting booth. But by all means avoid this anger. I think the Republicans are flipping out and cannot be trusted.

Nowadays the typical Republican reminds me of Dr. Smith from "Lost in Space". Anyone remember that fearful coward?

camper 7 years, 7 months ago

Nope Barry, I ain't usin no tool of choice, and I am not demanding nothing. I'm living free and easy....enjoying hot water and electricity that not too too long ago were characterized as big bad government intrusion. I was born from a wolf in the mountains, I had a stong coat, but found out that one parent was human. I lacked the complete instinct of survival of the fittest and actually realized that I needed to join a tribal community because I was not much good at creating a bowl from which I could eat from, or a utensil from which I could seperate my food, or even set a bone in my arm when it was broke. When I decided I could not do everything myself, I became what I thought was a Socialist. Now as I get older, I realize it is better to be amongst people. I'm learning the language and realize the sum is sometimes better than the individual parts. In fact, since the beginning of time, wolves and people have banded together. My sibling wolves would sometimes share food, while I see my sibling humans sharing taxes. There is no diference, we must all help another because we cannot possibly do everything ourselves. And if we must help the weak (me amongst them), this should be a source of pride. It shows one's strength. Only a coward would think only of his self while neglecting others.

atavism 7 years, 7 months ago

That Tom Shewmon guy writes at the bottom of a different article:

'Obama feels to his marrow that anyone in the hoi polli who has too much money laying around needs to be handing it over to him. He wants to take it, stamp us all out into mindless, penniless androids so him and his radical progressive bunch can fulfill their Marxist dream of total governmental control with no questions asked. Since whites have most of the money, is this retribution?'

At the same time, at the bottom of this article, he denies that he is indeed racist. I wonder which is true; he's either a racist or a moron. Which is it?

Sunny Parker 7 years, 7 months ago

Racist is forcing tanning salons to pay another 10% tax.

Black people don't tan, Obomba knows this.

Most of the poor are black. Obomba wants white people to take care of all the black people!

Muslims won't have to follow the obombacare health insurance plan. It's against their religion.

Obomba is racist!

Stuart Evans 7 years, 7 months ago

"nation must see racist acts for what they are" .....a natural part of human nature, so we should all get the hell over ourselves, and quit getting upset when someone says something mean to us.

Stuart Evans 7 years, 7 months ago

I've got to meet Porch Person some day. seems like the happiest person in the world. always with the laughter... we should all start our own parenthesis mood bubble


912Photos 7 years, 6 months ago

I photographed the 3/20/10 DC Tea Party as a freelance photographer and can say that racism did NOT characterize that rally, the people, or the day's entire events — and certainly does not characterize the movement. Any such incidents that may occur at the Tea Parties are isolated, although you wouldn't know that if you weren't there or had to rely on the mainstream media to report accurately about the Tea Parties.

I posted three blog posts, including photos and an audio slideshow, regarding the 3/20/10 DC Tea Party addressing the Tea Party people, the health-care reform bill and the charges of racism. My latest blog post is titled: "Are Tea Party Conservatives Racists?" and can be found at:


A full photo gallery of the 3/20/10 DC Tea Party is coming up in the next post. The photos reveal spirited citizen dissent — not racism or bigotry.

jaywalker 7 years, 6 months ago


How is it you know people didn't do just that?

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