“Dear Mr. Lincoln, We Coloreds have taken a vote…”: A Message from Tea Party Leadership

Not to belabor the Shirley Sherrod point further, but let’s belabor it. The context for all of this is the NAACP’s statement a few weeks back, which said this:

Today, NAACP delegates passed a resolution to condemn extremist elements within the Tea Party, calling on Tea Party leaders to repudiate those in their ranks who use racist language in their signs and speeches.

In response, a guy named Mark Williams, the spokesman for the Tea Party Express (admittedly, I have some difficulty keeping all the various tea factions straight), posted this letter on his website, presumably to disprove the idea that there are any “extremist elements within the Tea Party.”

Dear Mr. Lincoln,

We Coloreds have taken a vote and decided that we don’t cotton to that whole emancipation thing. Freedom means having to work for real, think for ourselves, and take consequences along with the rewards. That is just far too much to ask of us Colored People and we demand that it stop!

In fact we held a big meeting and took a vote in Kansas City this week. We voted to condemn a political revival of that old abolitionist spirit called the ‘tea party movement’.

The tea party position to “end the bailouts” for example is just silly. Bailouts are just big money welfare and isn’t that what we want all Coloreds to strive for? What kind of racist would want to end big money welfare? What they need to do is start handing the bail outs directly to us coloreds! Of course, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is the only responsible party that should be granted the right to disperse the funds.

And the ridiculous idea of “reduce[ing] the size and intrusiveness of government.” What kind of massa would ever not want to control my life? As Coloreds we must have somebody care for us otherwise we would be on our own, have to think for ourselves and make decisions!

The racist tea parties also demand that the government “stop the out of control spending.” Again, they directly target coloreds. That means we Coloreds would have to compete for jobs like everybody else and that is just not right.

Perhaps the most racist point of all in the tea parties is their demand that government “stop raising our taxes.” That is outrageous! How will we coloreds ever get a wide screen TV in every room if non-coloreds get to keep what they earn? Totally racist! The tea party expects coloreds to be productive members of society?

Mr. Lincoln, you were the greatest racist ever. We had a great gig. Three squares, room and board, all our decisions made by the massa in the house. Please repeal the 13th and 14th Amendments and let us get back to where we belong.

Sincerely,

Precious Ben Jealous, Tom’s Nephew NAACP Head Colored Person

[Late ed.: The guy who wrote that finally resigned from this spokesman post on Friday, several weeks after he wrote it.]

By the way, Randy Wilkinson is running as the Tea Party candidate, even though I don’t think such a formal party exists, in the race for Congress. Any statement on that Randy?

Anyway, Andrew Breitbart’ and Fox’s flogging of the three black guys/black panthers on tape not using a billy club two years ago and the Shirley Sherrod affair was meant as a sort of counterweight to the NAACP’s complaint about the Tea Party and Mark Williams, et, al. That’s the context for all of this. Fox covers the “Tea Party Movement” obsessively from what I can gather. So tell me watchers, did they report at all on the content of this note? Did they flog it 43 times for 3 1/2 hours?

I made a decision some time ago never again to refer to someone as racist. It’s a word, for better or worse, now drained of all meaning.

But read that note and ask yourself what you would call it.

Compare it to the NAACP’s very mild statement and think about your reactions to both and what they say about you. Think about the fact that some white man shot Shirley Sherrod’s father in the back over some cows when she was a 17-year-old girl. Think about the fact that an all-white grand jury refused to indict. Think about how often that happened — I’ll give you a hint, a lot — for more than 100 years. And now think about the fact that Shirley Sherrod never gave up on her country, while you guys lose one election to guy with politics like the elder Bush, “Hussein” in his middle name, and a peculiar pigment, and you all whine and moan and talk about losing your country and get off on pornographic Fox videos of black people doing things you fantasize about them doing.

Now think about how J.D. Alexander and other aristocratic “conservatives” use your weakness for racial and cultural pornography to enrich themselves with your money. They’ve been doing it non-stop since 1867. Hope it was worth it.

In short, grow the hell up and observe the world as it is. Stop screaming for government to get out of your Medicare. Stop griping about government when you’re about to retire on its pension. Stop whining about how the world was better before the New Deal and Civil Rights, when large numbers of people had no recourse of legal protection for their bodies and their property. That’s the basis of constitutional conservatism, and you want to go back to a time when it didn’t exist–in the name of “conservatism.”

One of our commenters on the other Shirley Sherrod piece suggested that I’m a bully. I thought addressing that point was fundamental reason for writing the piece in the first place. But let me reiterate, and clarify, and state without qualification: I am a bully. Full stop.

But I don’t bully the bullied – or those on the business end of mobs, real or virtual. If you’re sitting around watching 43 reports totaling 3 and 1/2 hours of Fox pornography about three black guys in Philly, you’re part of a mob. It’s a much less powerful, scary, and murderous one than those our ancestors dealt with. That makes my bullying a lot less significant, and certainly there’s nothing especially brave about it. But it is what it is. You’re certainly welcome not to read or reflect on anything I say. But don’t look to me to tell you that you’re not doing what you’re doing.

And ask yourself if you’ve ever complained about bullying from somebody like, say, O’Reilly. I’d take a bet on the answer.

12 thoughts on ““Dear Mr. Lincoln, We Coloreds have taken a vote…”: A Message from Tea Party Leadership

  1. Billy, Billy, Billy, relax it’s going to be OK. What’s your take on Amendment 4 ?

  2. Billy, Billy, Billy, relax it’s going to be OK. What’s your take on Amendment 4 ?

  3. “relax it’s going to be OK.”
    Easy for “good ol’ boys” to say , particularly in this corrupt county.

    *Lakeland City Hall , springboard to bigger corruption*
    **Polk County , Florida , stronghold of corruption**
    ***Florida , state of political corruption***

  4. “relax it’s going to be OK.”
    Easy for “good ol’ boys” to say , particularly in this corrupt county.

    *Lakeland City Hall , springboard to bigger corruption*
    **Polk County , Florida , stronghold of corruption**
    ***Florida , state of political corruption***

  5. Well, I must be doing something right to pull Big Sam out of the woodwork. I figured you would have sworn me off. Putting aside the fact that it’s cold comfort to hear “it’s going to be OK” from you, I’m kinda touched. :)

    On amendment 4, as I think you know, I’m a small-r republican at heart. I mistrust the amendment process generally. And specifically, this amendment is a bad solution to a bad problem. It reminds me of some of those ill-advised taxpayer abominations that have strangled Colorado and California’s public spaces.

    But there is a part of me that would like to see it pass just to blow everything up and force people to reckon seriously with how we make development decisions. Of course, there’s no guarantee it would happen that way. I probably will not vote for it. I could probably support a plan that democratized development at a certain size threshold. It would have to pretty big, though.

    But every time J.D. and company gut development regs, or cheat on deals like the CSX DRI, or make people feel like they have no power over what happens to development in their communities, you make one of these things more likely.

  6. Well, I must be doing something right to pull Big Sam out of the woodwork. I figured you would have sworn me off. Putting aside the fact that it’s cold comfort to hear “it’s going to be OK” from you, I’m kinda touched. :)

    On amendment 4, as I think you know, I’m a small-r republican at heart. I mistrust the amendment process generally. And specifically, this amendment is a bad solution to a bad problem. It reminds me of some of those ill-advised taxpayer abominations that have strangled Colorado and California’s public spaces.

    But there is a part of me that would like to see it pass just to blow everything up and force people to reckon seriously with how we make development decisions. Of course, there’s no guarantee it would happen that way. I probably will not vote for it. I could probably support a plan that democratized development at a certain size threshold. It would have to pretty big, though.

    But every time J.D. and company gut development regs, or cheat on deals like the CSX DRI, or make people feel like they have no power over what happens to development in their communities, you make one of these things more likely.

  7. Twwo subjects –two comments.

    Sam,

    It ain’t gonna be all right — at least not for a while yet! We have so many people feeling totally disenfranchised across the country that our whole political system is at risk. Flames being fanned by the zealots of talk radio, fair and balanced FOX, and the internet are likely to lead to a 2010 or 2012 election ccycle that will make the 1968 riots look like a kndergarten party. You may disagree with what all these folks are thinking –but you ignore them at our collective peril!

    Billy,

    Amendment 4 grows out of the same frustration mentioned above. It will not solve all our problems and certainly is not the best way to do business. But several generations of feckless (dare I say corrupt?) public officials who have ignored the public interests and public concerns have brought this on. If it passes, it will not be the disaster that’s predicited and it will cause changes in the way we do land development planning, etc. in this state (only about 100 years overdue). I supsect that we’ll change it back after government proves it can handle the responsibility — but that may take awhile.

    Meanwhile, every time the Ledger carries two full pages of proposed LDC changes (obviously crafted to get in ahead of Amendment 4), the developers and the politicians make the case for the Amendment stronger. Every time the BOCC does dumb things like suspend impact fees and raise the public cost of development, Amendment 4 gets more supporters.

  8. Twwo subjects –two comments.

    Sam,

    It ain’t gonna be all right — at least not for a while yet! We have so many people feeling totally disenfranchised across the country that our whole political system is at risk. Flames being fanned by the zealots of talk radio, fair and balanced FOX, and the internet are likely to lead to a 2010 or 2012 election ccycle that will make the 1968 riots look like a kndergarten party. You may disagree with what all these folks are thinking –but you ignore them at our collective peril!

    Billy,

    Amendment 4 grows out of the same frustration mentioned above. It will not solve all our problems and certainly is not the best way to do business. But several generations of feckless (dare I say corrupt?) public officials who have ignored the public interests and public concerns have brought this on. If it passes, it will not be the disaster that’s predicited and it will cause changes in the way we do land development planning, etc. in this state (only about 100 years overdue). I supsect that we’ll change it back after government proves it can handle the responsibility — but that may take awhile.

    Meanwhile, every time the Ledger carries two full pages of proposed LDC changes (obviously crafted to get in ahead of Amendment 4), the developers and the politicians make the case for the Amendment stronger. Every time the BOCC does dumb things like suspend impact fees and raise the public cost of development, Amendment 4 gets more supporters.

  9. I will vote for amendment 4.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good_ol%27_boy_network
    Good ol’ boy network, or “Good old boys”, describes a system of social networking alleged to exist among communities and social strata in the United States. These networks are assumed to be located throughout the U.S. and the rest of the Western world. It is sometimes taken to refer to informal legal, judicial, social, religious, business, and political associations among males, (“good ol’ boys”); however, in modern times can be composed of members of either sex.
    Some negative effects of the good ol’ boy network are its exclusion of others, leading to leaders of a community possibly limiting business transactions to other elites, or to friends or acquaintances from within the network, to give friends better deals, and generally to reinforce traditional power structures over any other elements in the society.

  10. I will vote for amendment 4.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good_ol%27_boy_network
    Good ol’ boy network, or “Good old boys”, describes a system of social networking alleged to exist among communities and social strata in the United States. These networks are assumed to be located throughout the U.S. and the rest of the Western world. It is sometimes taken to refer to informal legal, judicial, social, religious, business, and political associations among males, (“good ol’ boys”); however, in modern times can be composed of members of either sex.
    Some negative effects of the good ol’ boy network are its exclusion of others, leading to leaders of a community possibly limiting business transactions to other elites, or to friends or acquaintances from within the network, to give friends better deals, and generally to reinforce traditional power structures over any other elements in the society.

  11. Hence 3/5 of the commissioners don’t see any need for ethics rules! Yep! Got it. Thanks!

  12. Hence 3/5 of the commissioners don’t see any need for ethics rules! Yep! Got it. Thanks!

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