Back on the 19th of February I wrote a post pondering the idea of having a Mad Hatter wing of the Tea Party movement for those who are more centrist than right. After reading a recent Leonard Pitts column I'm thinking it might really be a good idea.
I read Mr. Pitts with some regularity because he is in our paper on Mondays and there is little else other than retreads of old news picked up from the AP. Mr. Pitts often gives interesting insight into what it's like to be black in today's America. Of late he seems to also think that everything that's wrong with America is because we have a black President and we're not happy about it; especially the Tea Partiers.
There is much in his column I would like to refute. First he quotes from one of MSNBC's Keith Olbermann's diatribes in which Mr. Olbermann suggests the tea party movement is the "outcry of people who haven't yet made peace with the fact that their President is black." There was a time Mr. Olbermann's commentaries had some substance about the abuses of power while Bush was in office, now they are little more than shilling for the President who he will never let us forget is black. That is racism. Nuanced perhaps, but racist never-the-less.
Mr. Pitts goes on to suggest people voted for Obama because they liked his policies, eloquence and intelligence. The last two perhaps, certainly not his policies for he had none other than hope and change. We've found out what voting for eloquence alone can do and it has nothing to do with race. It is not a reflection on the President but rather on us!
He then asks if Republican Condoleeza Rice were President if that first pot of tea would have been brewed. I contend that it would have had we been as dissatisfied with her policies as we are with Obama's. It has nothing to do with race. And actually by using Rice as an example is he not contradicting himself? He took race right out of it!
I am not a Tea Party member so I can not speak for all of them. Mr. Olbermann and Mr. Pitts seem to be doing a good job without me. I do know we have such a movement locally, in redder than red right down to the neck Idaho. I do not believe it's driven by racism. It's driven by differences over policy.
Mr. Pitts seems to be a very angry man these days. I, as an independent voter, am too. When I look and listen to the President the last thing I'm thinking about is his race. It's about which ever policy he's talking about. I would like to think there are many more people like me than those Mr. Olbermann and Mr. Pitts dwell on.
There is no good purpose in constantly emphasizing the President's race. It resolves nothing. It irritates those like me who are not happy with either side. I thoroughly resent the idea that anyone would accuse me of being racist just because I don't like the President's policies.
The ones keeping the issue alive are those who dwell on it and keep speaking of it. Perhaps they should take a look through Alice's mirror and see if they can tell who the racists really are. Forget about the one in the funny hat higher than a kite from inhaling mercury vapors. That would be me. Looking for people to come to my party. No racists allowed.