Media owe the Tea Party an explanation.
Imagine a Jewish Congress member accusing the members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) of wanting to see Jews gassed. How would any decent American — on the right or left — describe such a statement? Loathsome? Morally reprehensible? An obvious lie?
All three descriptions would be entirely accurate.
Next question: How much media exposure would that slander be given?
Would it make the front page of The New York Times and The Washington Post? Would we read ferocious editorials from coast to coast? Would the story lead on TV newscasts?
Correct on all three, again.
Final question: Would said congressman be allowed to stay in office?
We all know the answer to that one, too.
So here's a real question: If a black congressman charged that members of Congress who support the tea party "would love to see you and me (blacks) hanging from a tree," what's the difference between that libel and the made-up libel about the CBC wanting to see Jews gassed?
The answer, of course, is that there is no difference.
But because the left thinks in terms of race, gender and class rather than in traditional moral terms of right and wrong, and because the left dominates the media, only one of these two libels would be given the national attention and opprobrium they would both deserve.
Last week, Indiana Congressman Andre Carson told a CBC gathering in Florida that members of Congress who are members of the tea party want to see blacks "hanging from trees." Because he is both a Democrat and a black congressman, the liberal news media, which means essentially all of our news media, has barely reported what is an almost uniquely vicious libel in American political history.
Given this uniqueness, it demands an explanation.
First, it is meant to create racial tension. Without racial tension — specifically, black Americans resenting white Americans, especially conservatives — the Democratic Party fears that it cannot survive as a national force. And it is right.
The day the majority of black Americans adopt the attitude that Washington Post correspondent Keith Richburg has written of in "Out of America: A Black Man Confronts Africa," the Democratic Party will be rendered irrelevant. As a black American, Richberg considers himself a member of the most fortunate group of blacks living anywhere in the world.
No Democrat can win a presidential election without more than 90 percent of the black vote. And the only way to ensure that vote is to label whites in general and conservatives in particular as racists.
Second, the CBC is happy to race-bait for the Democrats. The CBC's power emanates from its party's power, so its leaders need to tell fellow blacks regularly how despicable the American majority is — and therefore how only Democrats and the left can save them from everything ... even lynching.
Third, it is the CBC — not the tea party — that should be described as racist. While race plays no role in tea party membership, race is the only criterion for membership in the CBC. One must be black. Nothing else matters.
A black member of Congress whose district is largely non-black can be a member of the CBC, but a non-black Congressman whose district is largely black cannot be a member. Democratic Congressman Steven Cohen, whose Tennessee district is largely black, applied for membership in the CBC and was turned down for one reason: He is white.
What we have here is a racist group hurling false accusations of racism at a group that is on no way racist. But since it is an axiom of the left that blacks cannot be racist — because whites are the authors of racism and because racism is only possible when practiced by the racial group in power — few call the CBC what it is.
Fourth, when you are used to getting away with taking immoral positions, you feel free to continue doing so.
In 2009, seven members of the CBC visited Fidel Castro. Not only were they full of praise for the tyrant — in that regard, they were hardly alone on the left — but they also refused to meet with any democratic dissidents, including Cuba's leading black dissenter.
As a Washington Post editorial noted at the time, "In five days on the island, the (CBC) Congress members found no time for dialogue with Afro-Cuban dissident Jorge Luis Garcia Perez ... Mr. Garcia, better known as 'Antunez,' is a renowned advocate of human rights who has often been singled out for harsh treatment because of his color. "'The authorities in my country,' he has said, 'have never tolerated that a black person (could dare to) oppose the regime.'
"His wife, Iris, is a founder of the Rosa Parks Women's Civil Rights Movement, named after an American hero whom Afro-Cubans try to emulate."
As the snub of Cuba's leading black freedom fighters demonstrated, in a conflict between helping the left and helping blacks, the CBC chooses the left.
On its website, the CBC calls itself "the conscience of the Congress since 1971." Its members probably believe it. But it has about as much truth as Congressman's Carson's accusation.