Project 21 New Visions

 

Emery McClendon

The Tea Party Is Not Racist!


by Emery McClendon (bio)

In response to efforts by liberal media outlets, the NAACP and progressive politicos to discredit the tea party movement by claiming it is racist, I feel it is imperative that the truth be presented by someone who has been there.

Me.
 
I am a conservative African-American and a veteran.  I have not only attended several tea parties, but I organized one in Fort Wayne, Indiana in April of 2009.  Our keynote speaker was another African-American: former U.N. diplomat and presidential candidate Dr. Alan Keyes.

Despite this evident tea party diversity, I am outraged at the biased media coverage claiming the contrary.  The racist accusations against tea parties are false, and they do not portray the truth about a powerful and effective movement that is waking up Americans to the principles that founded this great nation.

Every day, it seems that a new and ridiculous charge is made against the tea parties, and the major media outlets never seem to allow someone such as me to refute the allegations and defend the tea party movement.
 
Pop culture seems to fill in where the media leaves off. Meghan McCain, the daughter of Obama’s 2008 opponent, spouted misinformed claims on “The View” and even the “Captain America” comic book portrayed tea partiers as sinister.

The media is largely remiss in allowing conservative blacks to make the case for the tea parties and refute the myth that they are monochromatic.

I have attended dozens of tea parties, and have been featured as a speaker at several of them.  I have served on candidate panels and spoken at town hall meetings.  It has been wonderful to meet and to talk to all of the people who attend.

Tea partiers are folks who love their country. They share a deep respect for our Constitution and for those who serve and have served in our nation’s armed forces. It is a movement that unites everyone — regardless of race.

I have never encountered racism at any of the events I have attended throughout Indiana or in other states.  I saw nothing untoward at rallies in our nation’s capital.

I’ve never heard of violence or arrests associated with tea party events.

Because of this, I cannot sit by in good conscience and allow a noble movement such as this to receive such unwarranted negative publicity. 

The tea party movement is bringing truly patriotic Americans back to our founding principles and recreating a love for our Constitution.  It does this across racial and cultural barriers.  The Tea Party movement brings us together to stand up for a common cause of restoring the traditional values that have encompassed all Americans.

Having been there at the tea parties — having experienced the emotions — I think I offer a better view than any mainstream media newsreader.

Take it from me: Go to a tea party. Go with open eyes and an open mind. Get a fair appraisal and don’t believe the hype.

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Emery McClendon, a member of the Project 21 national advisory council, organized the "Enough Already" tea party rally in Fort Wayne, Indiana on April 18, 2009. Comments may be sent to [email protected].

Published by The National Center for Public Policy Research. Reprints permitted provided source is credited. New Visions Commentaries reflect the views of their author, and not necessarily those of Project 21 or the National Center for Public Policy Research.

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