Drew Zahn is a WND news editor who cut his journalist teeth as a member of the award-winning staff of Leadership, Christianity Today's professional journal for church leaders. A former pastor, he is the editor of seven books, including Movie-Based Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching, which sparked his ongoing love affair with film and his weekly WND column, "Popcorn and a (world)view."More ↓Less ↑
Internet journalist Andrew Breitbart unleashed a tirade on talk radio yesterday, blasting the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People for its condemnation of tea partiers as “racist,” instead charging the NAACP itself with racism and telling its president where he can “go.”
“Let me say something a tad newsworthy to the president of the NAACP: You can go to hell,” Breitbart said. “I have tapes, a tape, of racism, and it’s an NAACP dinner. You want to play with fire? I have evidence of racism, and it’s coming from the NAACP.”
Breitbart made the explosive comments on the air with Scott Hennen, who hosts a morning talk show on WZFG 1100 AM in Fargo, N.D.
According to a report from KMBC television in Kansas City, NAACP President Benjamin Jealous told his organization’s members tea parties must “expel the bigots and racists in your ranks or take the responsibility for them and their actions.”
“We will no longer allow you to hide like cowards and hide behind signs that say ‘lynch our president’ or anyone else,” Jealous said.
Specific charges within the NAACP resolution, reports the Kansas City Star, include allegations that tea-party supporters have engaged in “explicitly racist behavior,” have “displayed signs and posters intended to degrade people of color generally and President Barack Obama specifically” and have used racial epithets in verbally abusing members of Congress.
Breitbart, however, contends that the tea-party movement is about the president’s policies, not his race, and that many of the charges of racist behavior at tea-party rallies are exaggerated. Breitbart has also offered a $100,000 reward for any tangible proof of the epithets that were reportedly launched at black U.S. representatives during a tea-party rally protesting Congress’ health-care reform efforts – a bounty no one has yet been able to claim.
“You are manufacturing this in a summer in which the economy is the No. 1 issue affecting blacks and whites in this country,” Breitbart said of the NAACP. “This country can ill-afford the schism of race to be exploited the way you are, based upon the false premise of the tea party being racist. … This is absolutely manufactured for political gain.”
When Hennen brought up a Washington Times story linking the NAACP to the New Black Panther Party, whose Minister King Samir Shabazz not only escaped federal prosecution for voter intimidation amid much controversy but also called for the killing of “some crackers” and “some of their babies” to gain black freedom from white oppression, Breitbart continued his criticism of the NAACP convention.
“Where is the resolution to condemn the racism coming from the [Black Panthers] and killing cracker babies?” Breitbart asked. “Why is the mainstream media ignoring that story while playing up the nonexistent story of the n-word being hurled at congressmen?”
Breitbart joins many voices objecting to the NAACP’s denouncement of racism within the tea-party movement.
“For the NAACP to accuse the tea parties of racism is insulting to the great patriots who have participated in this movement and sadly shows just how out of touch that group is with the American people,” Tea Party Express spokesman Levi Russell told Politico. “Some of the most compelling leaders of this movement are of many different races – men and women such as William and Selena Owens, Lloyd Marcus, Kevin Jackson and others.
“The racism accusation by the likes of the NAACP has been proved false time and again. Earlier this year, Democrats smeared tea-party activists by claiming members of the Black Caucus were spit on and called the n-word as they paraded through a crowd of tea partiers,” he told the publication. “Their blatant lie was proved false by overwhelming evidence from multiple video cameras that recorded the event.”
In a blog posted the day before interviewing Breitbart, Hennen expressed similar sentiments.
“In spite of a coordinated bias by the mainstream media, patriotic Americans continue to assemble throughout the nation in protest of big-government policies threatening to undermine our basic liberties,” Hennen writes.
“Maybe you’re one of the thousands of participants who showed up at one of the tea parties this summer. Take a look in the mirror; what do you see? A racist? Or do you see an average, hard-working American, concerned about the future of this republic?” he asked. “I’ve met enough of you at these events to virtually guarantee that it’s the latter.”