So there's a game Rush Limbaugh likes to play, where he'll express a sentiment he actually holds in the form of a joke, and when called out on it he'll remind everyone that it was intended as "satire." He calls it "illustrating absurdity by being absurd." Often the idea is that you're accusing liberals of holding the abhorrent belief in question. In practice both Limbaugh and his audience understand that this is actually a way for him to express something offensive without taking responsibility for it. More than one conservative hasn't gotten the implicit "don't try this at home if you're not a multimillionaire talk show host" message and has tried to pull the same thing, only to have it blow up in their face. They don't get that Limbaugh isn't actually fooling anyone, and that he's really just someone who makes too much money for too many people to ever actually be fired.
This is what happened to Tea Party Express Chairman Mark Williams , who wrote a nasty piece of "satire" last week basically reinforcing every negative stereotype about black people you could imagine, and was then forced out of a Tea Party umbrella organization, the Tea Party Federation, sometime over the last few days.
"We, in the last 24 hours, have expelled Tea Party Express and Mark Williams from the National Tea Party Federation because of the letter that he wrote," Webb said of the blog post by Williams that satirized a fictional letter from what he called "Colored People" to President Abraham Lincoln.
[David] Webb called the blog post "clearly offensive."
So Ben Jealous and the NAACP, while explicitly stating they did not think the movement as a whole was racist, asked the Tea Party movement to repudiate racism, and one Tea Party leader responded with an outrageously offensive blog post, basically proving the NAACP's point that there were racist elements in the movement. That particular activist and his group were then expelled from the Tea Party Federation. In the process, they've implicitly conceded that the NAACP's initial criticism, which they reacted to defensively, was accurate. This has to be one of the more high-profile political wins the NAACP has
racked up in a long time.
In any case, I share Jealous' assessment -- the Tea Party is not racist as a movement; they are your average conservative folks whom people motivated by racial animus are drawn to because they really do think of the idea of a black president is tyranny by definition. I find the "Real Americans" thing somewhat implicitly racial and reductive, but if Hillary Clinton were in office, these people would still be here saying pretty much the same thing.
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