The Washington Post,having fully played their role in amplyfing the left's attempt to smear the Tea Parties as racist, comment today on the degree to which the Tea Party movement is perceived as racist and the attempts of the Tea Party movement to fight the smear. They do so without ever mentioning how this perception of racism came about. It is something like a criminal in a novel commenting on the effect his work for public consumption, playing the role of a neutral observer. It is shameless. This from the Washington Post:
As several states with active "tea party" groups prepare to hold important primary elections this month, the movement is struggling to overcome accusations of racism that are tinting perceptions of this loose network of conservatives. . . .
The challenge is made tougher by one of the defining elements of the tea party movement: No one person controls it. There is no national communications strategy. And incidents of racist slogans (when and where? I haven't seen any such or heard of any such racist slogans - unless they are talking about the now thoroughly discredited incidents involving the Congressional Black Caucus) and derisive depictions of President Obama continue to crop up, providing fuel for critics who say the president's skin color is a powerful reason behind the movement's existence.
In a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, most Americans see the movement as motivated by distrust of government, opposition to the policies of Obama and the Democratic Party, and broad concern about the economy. But nearly three in 10 see racial prejudice as underlying the tea party (how that occurred is apparently a mystery to the Washington Post).
Supporters and opponents alike say the movement draws its strength from opposition to Obama's policies, but they split deeply on the race question, according to the poll: About 61 percent of tea party opponents say racism has a lot to do with the movement, a view held by just 7 percent of tea party supporters.
That indicates that the issue of race and the tea party is largely about differing perceptions, reflected in how people view the well-known illustration of Obama made up like the Joker from the Batman movie "The Dark Knight." Some see the image, with its exaggerated lips, as an offensive reference to minstrelsy. (Given that the "Joker" has nothing at all to do with racism in the context of the movies - and indeed, it is a white actor playing the joker, how is it possible, with any intellectual honesty whatsoever, to claim that portraying Obama as the joker is in any way racist) Obama's critics, however, say President George W. Bush was also portrayed as the Joker, as well as Dracula.
Economic anxiety and a general distrust of government are the motivations most often mentioned by tea party supporters. Opponents, who are largely Democratic and a more diverse group, see resistance to the policies of Obama and the Democrats as the movement's leading motivation, followed by racial bias.
"I think there is an element of fear that 'our white country' is now being run by a black man. There is a sense that 1950s America is gone," said Herb Neumann, a white Democrat from Tulsa. "There's a sense of loss. I grew up in the 1950s, and I don't think that moving on is a bad thing." (Note how WaPo offers up this utterly scurrilous charge without having any sort of direct response. This is par for the course in today's MSM)
The question of racism and the tea party flared on the eve of Congress's divisive vote on the health-care overhaul in March, when black congressmen accused protesters of using racial epithets and spitting on them. Tea party supporters have denied the allegations. . . .
"As long as people who oppose us can frame the debate that way, then they can get people to stop listening to us," Coleman said. "The charge of racism is one that can be thrown out there, and it really doesn't have to be proven. But it has such a negative connotations that it can pretty much halt the debate." (This should have been at the start of the article if WaPo was actually interested in giving a balanced look at this issue. The left is throwing out the race cards with wild abandon in an attempt to end debate. That WaPo puts this at the end of its article and does absolutely nothing to analyze or pursue this line of thought just adds the final element of the surreal to this article.)