If you ever leaned even a little towards the Tea Party, U.S. Representative The Mr. The Honorable Andre Carson -- my Rep in the House -- thinks you'd like to see him swing from a tree, on the sole basis of the pigmentation of his integument. He's never met you, but he's certain of it. And he's not the least bit ashamed of his prejudice, either.
Me, I'm hardly a true-red-white-and-blue Tea Partier (it's the social conservatism that puts me off, mainly), but I know plenty and they're not the lynchin' sort; vast majority of 'em would spit at anyone who suggested skin color was a good criteria for judging a person's worth.
Now, sadly, some few do think that's a fine, fine yardstick -- but then, so does the Honorable the Mister Andre Carson. Neither one excuses the other.
And I've got no use for either. Grow up, dammit, and start judging people on the content of their character, much as I have you on yours, at least as demonstrated to date.
(Perhaps the saddest part of this mess is that Andre Carson is an immensely likeable man when he's not waving a bloody shirt; if he'd abjure race-baiting and concentrate on reality-based issues, he'd have much to commend him, even for a Democrat. But don't hold your breath waiting for that to happen).
You wanna quote from a great orator? Try this one: "A man's rights rest in three boxes. The ballot box, jury box and the cartridge box. Let no man be kept from the ballot box because of his color. Let no woman be kept from the ballot box because of her sex." I'm not sure if that's the first use of the "boxes" formulation but it's one of the earliest. Who said it? Fredrick Douglass. Some darned big shoes there, for any speaker who follows him.
1. This comment led to a nice little Roseholme argument, with Tam pointing out that "the" Tea party is really a plural and that the movement was, at least originally, single-issue: TEA, Taxed Enough Already. She's right, though I maintain that many "Tea" organizations now find themselves flying the banner of social-conservative chat-show hosts. No matter which of us has the most accurate model of the current state of things, one fact remains: they're not a frikkin' mob of cross-burners, no matter how much the CBC would like for them to be.
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