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When black conservatives held a press conference this week to denounce the notion that there are racists within the tea party movement they came out swinging. Members of the Tea Party Express, which organized the meeting at the National Press Club in Washington, vehemently denied that their supporters are brandishing signs calling President Barack Obama the n-word or comparing him to Adolf Hitler.
“The purpose for this gathering is to express that there are no racial motivations or content within the tea party,” said one of the speakers. This meeting is to “emphatically state that the tea party movement does not endorse racism, it has not, and it will not.” The conservatives said that the signs and hate language are the work of infiltrators who are trying to discredit them to build support for Obama and his policies.
The event Wednesday was in large part a response to the NAACP’s resolution three weeks ago calling on the group to condemn extremist elements within its ranks.
“Personally, I’ve yet to meet anybody racist at a tea party [event],” said author and blogger Kevin Jackson, who counts Adam Breitbart, the conservative blogger who creatively edited the Shirley Sherrod speech, among his friends. Signs and slogans at rallies with racist overtones, he added, “don’t exist; they’re a figment of the left’s imagination because the tea party movement is making a stand.”
Niger Innis, spokesman for the Congress of Racial Equality , said that left-leaning individuals and groups have made “purposeful attempts” to paint the movement as racist because it disagrees with Obama’s policies.
“When you say the first president, who happens to be African American, is beyond reproach, and if you criticize him you’re a racist, what you’re really saying is that he can’t handle the job,” Innis said. “I think the president should know it’s actually an insult to him.”
The group also said that the both the Congressional Black Caucus and the NAACP have lost their relevancy by refusing to speak out against policies that are harmful to the black community or accepting payoffs to remain silent.
“These organizations are about themselves,” said Jackson.
When asked why they refuse to accept the word of Rep. John Lewis and other black lawmakers who said that spit and racial epithets were hurled at them during a tea party protest over healthcare reform, Jackson said, “Why wasn’t George Bush’s word good enough? … At least Monica Lewinsky kept her skirt. Where’s the spittle?” he said in reference to former President Bill Clinton’s relationship with his former intern.
Other speakers included Alan Keyes, chairman of Conservative Majority PAC; Lloyd Marcus, author of “Confessions of a Black Conservative;” radio talk show host Herman Cain; and Mychal S. Massie, chairman of Project 21 the National Leadership Network of Black Conservatives.