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Monday, September 5, 2011

Is The Tea Party Racist?

There are a vast number of politicians and people in the media that are saying that the Tea Party is racist.  You’d have to be absolutely out of touch not to have heard this being said.  And yet with these claims there has yet to be anyone that I’ve heard that has used basic logic and honesty to determine if these claims are true.  Everyone seems to be so tied to their political agenda that they refuse to think logically.

Let me first say that I am not a member of the Tea Party.  In fact, I’m not a member of any group or party that has political connections or a political agenda.  I abandoned both political parties many years ago when they proved to both be so terribly out of touch with what is best for the country and in touch only with their own power.  They have both proven to be headed in the same direction, I just think that one of them is headed there faster than the other.  You can take a jet or a train, but if they’re both headed to the same destination then you’ll end up in the same place and only arrive at different times. 

With a desire for limited government, controlled spending, and accountability to voters the Tea Party has grown and taken hold across the nation among average citizens from both sides of the political spectrum.  The media and many politicians have had virtual heart failure over the fact that average Americans might actually think they know what’s best for their own lives.  Anyone who is outside the mindset of New York, Washington, D.C., or California is considered out of touch with what is best for the country.  But Americans from coast to coast have had it.  They’ve realized that they’ve allowed the inmates to run the asylum and now there is a price being paid because of allowing this to happen.  And they’ve decided that it’s time to stop it and take control back from the inmates.

In the wake of this activity the mainstream media and the politicians that are locked in to their old ways and ties to power in Washington have fought back by vilifying average American citizens that are primarily in the Tea Party.

The claim we constantly hear is that the Tea Party is racist and when asked for examples they either don’t have any, make things up that they never seem to be able to prove, or just badger the questioner until the subject can be changed. I’ve seen pictures of signs at Tea Party events that were making strong statements of disagreement with the government and elected officials.  But I have never seen a picture of a sign calling for a lynching because of race or anything else that falls into the category of outright racism.  Now I’m not claiming that I’ve seen every picture out there, but it seems that if these were so numerous that the mainstream media, who have over and over again attacked the Tea Party as racist, would be publishing and broadcasting these pictures over and over again to show what they had found. 

There was also a claim of an incident when a group of Democrat Congressional Representatives were walking across a street in Washington, D. C. and one of them claimed that a Tea Party member spit on them.  Ironically in this case there were many people with cameras present and yet not one person caught the incident with their camera.  A reward was even offered for anyone who could produce proof and no one ever could.

So, does this mean that these incidents really didn’t happen?  No.  They might have, but without evidence it is hard to know who is telling the truth.  People do lie.  If you don’t admit that then you are lying.  It’s a sad thing, but people lie and often do so to further their own agenda.  But more importantly, even if these incidents are true it raises two questions.  First, just because something MIGHT have happened when Tea Partiers were present does not mean that it was a Tea Party member that did the terrible deed.  And second, even if we go so far as to accept the claim that it was a Tea Party member, how many Tea Party members have to be involved in these incidents to make the Tea Party as a group become guilty of what that individual is guilty of?  And remember that we’ve never had reports of Tea Party leadership performing racist acts.

There are no real solid numbers as to the membership in the Tea Party.  However, most estimates figure there are at least a few million people who’ve joined their ranks.  One rally alone had estimates of 2 million people showing up. But let’s be even more conservative and say there are only 1 million people in the Tea Party.  How many of those people would have to perform racist acts for the entire group to be legitimately called racist? 

Time and time again conservatives have asked for proof of racism on the part of the Tea Party.  No real proof has ever been offered that I’ve seen or heard of.  However, let’s assume that some proof was produced.  Based on the claims that have been made against the Tea Party on this issue there have only been a few incidents that are cited.  A very small number.  To put that number in perspective you have to realize that if they could produce proof of 10,000 acts of racism on the part of the Tea Party that that would only be one tenth of one percent (1/10 of 1%) of one million people.  It’s one twentieth of one percent (1/20 of 1%) of two million people. 

Using the very low estimate of one million Tea Party members, IF there were proof of 10,000 (that’s TEN THOUSAND) examples of racism it would still only be one person out of every 1000 Tea Party members that was acting as racist.  Is it logical or even reasonable to call an entire group racist if only one person out of 1000 acts in that fashion?  If a college had 2000 students and 2 cheated on an exam would that mean that all 2000 students were cheaters?  If an army battalion has 1000 soldiers and one soldier deserts his post does that make the entire battalion of 1000 soldiers deserters?  So how can any reasonable measurement come up with calling the entire Tea Party racist when no one can come up with even one Tea Party member out of every 1000 as having performed a racist act?  It would be ludicrous to assume such a thing.  Yet no one questions the faulty logic of the media and politicians who continually make these claims.

By any logical measure it would take 100% of the people in a group to do the same thing for us to be able to identify the group by that action.  If a group of 1000 people are together and some own homes we cannot say it is a group of homeowners.  If a group of 1000 people are together and some are dressed wearing blue shirts we cannot say they are a group of blue shirt wearers.  It would take all of them doing the same thing for us to legitimately identify them by that characteristic.  That said, obviously if a reasonably large percentage of the Tea Party were performing racist acts then it would be reasonable to question the motives of the Tea Party.  And that reasonably large percentage may be as low as 5 or 10 percent because racism is such a heinous thing.  However, we cannot even get 1/10 of 1 percent to be shown to be racist.  It seems that there really is no legitimate argument for identifying them as such a terrible thing.

So what is the reason someone would use such awful terminology for the Tea Party?  Maybe we all need to wake up (the media included) and realize that when someone doesn’t have a legitimate argument against something they only really have two choices left.  They can either give in and admit their position can’t stand up or they revert to personal attacks based on lies and innuendo hoping to destroy the credibility of their opponent and thereby influence the opinion of other people. 

Many people would call that immoral, which it is.  I think we should also call it something else that it is, which is childish.  It’s time to grow up and face the problems our nation faces and fix them.  There is no more time for irrational arguments.  It’s time for solutions and hard decisions.