Blacks Defend Tea Party Against Racist Claims

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African Americans across the country are rising up to defend the Tea Party movement, which has faced charges their ranks were riddled with racists since rising to prominence.

Now many minorities are standing up for the Tea Party, saying there's no proof.

Actress and activist Janeane Garofalo threw down the liberal gauntlet while blasting Tea Party motives on MSNBC in 2009

"It's about hating a black man in the White House. That is racism straight up. This is nothing but a bunch of teabagging rednecks," she said.

A YouTube video titled "Tea Party Racism" shows signs seen at past Tea Party events. They include:

  • Obama as a witch doctor 
  • A monkey face next to the words, "Obamanomics: Monkey See, Monkey Spend"
  • Obama's Plan: White Slavery
  • The Zoo has an African Lion
  • The White House has a Lyin' African

Former President Jimmy Carter claimed to NBC "Nightly News" that "an overwhelming portion" of the animosity aimed at President Obama is because Obama's black. 

However, author Ron Miller doesn't buy it. He's written the book "Sellout," which is a label often tossed at him because he's a black Republican who speaks at Tea Party events.

He points out that two of the Tea Partiers favorite politicians are a black congressman and a black presidential candidate.

"If the Tea Party movement, fragmented as it is, had an opportunity to select the one man that they'd want as president of the United States right now, it would be Allen West and followed closely by Herman Cain," he said.

"I simply say two things. First of all, the accusation of racism within the Tea Party movement is ridiculous. Why? Number two -- the black guy keeps winning the straw polls. So how could they be racists?" Cain asked.

"Would a racist organization take that much interest and be that passionate about two men who are obviously black?" Miller asked.

Fox News commentator Juan Williams can often be a little suspicious about the Tea Party embrace of West and Cain.

"Maybe sensing that they are very vulnerable on this racial issue, they're taking to people like West or like Herman Cain because they're seeking to defend themselves against those charges," he said.

But Williams said he wished people wouldn't always be dragging out the race card.

"And I just find it abhorrent to American ideals that you would try to defeat your opponent with some blanket charge of racism or bigotry when in fact there's something else on the table, and it's a very legitimate difference of opinion," he said.

"It's not about race. It's about policies, it's about issues," Miller told CBN News.

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Paul  Strand

Paul Strand

CBN News Washington Sr. Correspondent

As senior correspondent in CBN's Washington, D.C., bureau, Paul Strand has covered a variety of political and social issues, with an emphasis on defense, justice, and Congress.  Follow Paul on Twitter @PaulStrandCBN and "like" him at Facebook.com/PaulStrandCBN.