Conventional wisdom holds that the Tea Party movement must be racist—after all, as Keith Olbermann has asked, “where are the people of color” at their rallies? Somehow, Sean Hannity managed to find one last night: Erik Rush, the columnist who first broke the story of Barack Obama’s old pal, Rev. Jeremiah Wright:
RUSH: The correspondence and so forth, it’s like, I’m a slime, ‘How can you get on TV with that horrible Hannity guy, um, those tea partiers, why are you supporting those tea partiers, they would just as soon lynch you as look at you,’ and, I mean, I went to tea parties and nobody, y’know [pauses to feel neck] nobody tried to lynch me or anything. I had a great time, met some great people…and, y’know, the emails come in…and most of them are pretty foul, vile, disgusting.
Indeed. And Rush isn’t the only one—last night, Bill O’Reilly interviewed black tea partier Kevin Jackson, who says he’s experienced “zero racial incidents,” despite having attended “dozens” of tea parties (then again, since when do firsthand witnesses matter in journalism?). In January, black conservative group Project 21 took Chris Matthews to task for calling the tea parties “monochromatic.” Columnist Herman Cain is also a tea party supporter Olby & friends evidently missed. I could go on and on and on and on, but we already know that not all black Americans count as “authentic” to the Left. And if you doubt that even the nuttier elements of the tea party movement transcend race, look no further than Alan Keyes.
By contrast, what does the MSM have? Allegations of isolated incidents that, despite the absence of any corroborating evidence, they shift the burden of proof onto others to refute. Indeed, even black tea party attendees caught on tape by the media can expect to have their skin color ignored and their actions used to support the charge of racism!
There will always be a small handful of creeps that latch themselves on to any sizeable group, but the heart of the tea party movement is clearly policy, not race. In pushing the racism lie, leftists have given ordinary Americans a useful litmus test on who not to trust.