Letter: Tea Party invites hate speech by not marginalizing it
The NAACP recently announced that there were racist elements in the Tea Party. The Tea Party spokesman (I don’t think they use the term leader) stated that the NAACP was a racist organization, not just elements of it. When does free speech become dangerous speech? You and I know, if we are honest, that bigotry and racism exist in all organizations no matter of the color of the members’ skin for fear, hate and ignorance exist in mankind.
What worries me is that the Tea Party invites hate speech by not marginalizing it. When a wingnut (my word) questioned candidate Obama’s birthplace and patriotism, candidate McCain shut it down by saying that type of divisive rhetoric had no place in American politics. He was right.
Tea Party rallies frequently (I know this by watching the news) have wingnuts (nicest word I could think of) carrying signs demanding "Go back to Kenya" while Obama is from Illinois, monkey puppets or white-face drawings among other race-only oriented posters. We get it … you don’t like folks who don’t look like you.
Party attendees are never seen asking the wingnuts to take the vitriol somewhere else, thereby supporting their message. There is a long history in American politics of dirty tricks, harsh assessment of your opponent and character assassination by implication, but we as a nation have hit a new low if we can’t disagree with a multi-racial president without resorting to letting the wingnuts’ message be the one the Tea Party may well be remembered for.