Just One Black Man's Tweets

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Some blacks back Tea Party, despite movement's racist reputation

Blackman Says:
Well this is interesting. I wonder if these black Tea Party folks will call out the racist in the bunch.
ad-hoc conservative protests against an expanded government role that started shortly after President Obama was inaugurated last year is growing into a "Taxed Enough Already" movement that is backing candidates for political office and influencing public policies. Among these movement conservatives are a small but increasing number of black conservatives and libertarians who - attracted to the tea party movement's call for smaller government, lower taxes, and less government spending - are getting involved in the protest movement.

Kevin Jackson, a former ACORN and union organizer who currently works as an advocate for the homeless in Charleston, S.C., began attending tea party events "because I saw the Left under Obama seeking to destroy the freedoms that we as Americans have fought so hard to have, and the Left's determination to take socialize, to over the state", he said.

Although he has been active in Republican Party politics, Ron Miller, an information technology consultant in Huntingtown, Md. who is running for the Maryland State Senate, said that the tea party rallies were his first foray into protest movement activities. "The movement embodied my beliefs in limited government, low taxes, individual liberty and free enterprise", he said. Miller organized and emceed the first tea party in Maryland last year, and has been a featured speaker at four tea party rallies. He has attended many other tea party events, including the large 9/12 March On Washington event last autumn.

As the tea party movement increasingly presses for changes in American politics, some observers have wondered if the movement is relevant to black America's aspirations, issues, and challenges. Jackson questions whether black America is organized around specific goals, contending that galvanizing around the interests of 40 million African-Americans is unrealistic.

However, Lenny McAllister, a political commentator and author based in Charlotte, N.C., who has spoken at various tea party rallies, sees a linkage between the tea party movement and black America's goals. "The vast majority of tea party activists focus on smaller government and on politics. I feel that it's my responsibility as an African American activist to talk about things that are bigger than that," he said. "I think a lot of tea party activists and also black conservatives seemingly miss that point: political activism must be coupled with community activism if smaller government is going to work 50 years post-[Lyndon B.] Johnson Great Society."

McAllister added that he believes that the focus shouldn't be on whether there are more black people in the tea party movement, but on a "smaller government, bigger people" approach. He argues that the tea party movement has focused a lot on the first half of the equation and not enough on the latter part, in articulating how smaller government remedies issues like black student achievement, single-parent households, crime, and entrepreneurship. "The issue is taking the message and crafting it to people who grew up in urban conditions and who deal with government", McAllister said. "And if you don't have a way to take the tea party movement and make it tangible to Charlotte, to Chicago, and other places, then that's a problem. You have to be able to cross that bridge."

A controversy has erupted over whether former Congressman and presidential candidate Tom Tancredo burned that potential bridge during his convention speech at the recent National Tea Party Convention in Nashville, Tenn. Tancredo drew accusations of racism when he stated that Obama was elected partly because "we do not have a civics, literacy test before people can vote....People who could not even spell the word 'vote' or say it in English put a committed socialist ideologue in the White House."

Jackson asserts that Tancredo's comments merely described much of the American electorate, and he supports such a voter litmus test. "Most of the people who vote are white, so he wasn't talking about black people. But if he were, I think it's a good thing that all voters have a basic literacy standard."

However, McAllister takes issue with Tancredo's comments. "Who determines the level of literacy, if you're a citizen? That's your right as an American", he said. "Somebody died for you to have that right, should you choose to exercise it. Sometimes it's that one issue that pushes you to vote. Putting in a civics standard and say we can't vote is wrong. Any African-American who believes so needs to take a look at history."

In response to critics who charge that Tancredo's comments demonstrate that the Tea Party movement has racist motives, Miller stated, "A truly racist movement would not have embraced me and other black Tea Party activists so enthusiastically. Yes, there are fringe elements that are probably racist, but they aren't the entire Tea Party movement - not even close", he said. "People come up to me at these rallies and thank me for my courage, because they know I'm going to catch hell from the black community for not falling in line. From where I sit, the liberals are the ones who keep bringing up race, not the tea party movement. We emphasize what brings us all together, not what separates us."

McAllister said that the media tends to show the more colorful and racially charged characters, but the average activist is a regular American. "People see and hear the extreme views of harsh constitutionalists, the 'Don't Tread Of Me' flags, and few black people. The media focuses on the fringes", he said. "In the middle are veterans, and people who are the grandparents of black children. I've seen it personally. For every instance of racism that I've seen and addressed personally, there are many more people who want to include African-Americans and have more dialogue." He added that a next step is "if the Tea Party movement is able to exemplify that more, then it can be even more effective than it's been today."

Jackson believes that the Tea Party movement's next steps should be to continue organizing to get conservatives on the ballot for this year's mid-term elections and "vetting to make sure they are real conservatives like Scott Brown".

McAllister envisions a long-term goal for the movement: sustainability. He contends that Tea Party activists must ensure "a platform of solutions that touches the communities where its policies will, one, most impact America to allow the viability of goals to be met; and, two, allow the tea party movement to be sustained and not just be a trend."

Angela McGlowan, a tea party circuit speaker who earlier this week left a position as a FOX News political commentator to formally announce that she's running for Congress in Mississippi's 1st Congressional District, has black Tea Party activists hopeful that it will lead to more visibility of black conservatives. Miller, who personally knows McGlowan, is excited about her bid for political office. "A new generation of black leaders from the center-right is coming onto the scene, and it's refreshing to see them unafraid to take a public stand for their beliefs

Monday, February 8, 2010

Friday, February 5, 2010

President Obama at GOP retreat part 1

President Obama hands the GOP their behinds.

President Obama at GOP retreat Part 2

Controversial Tea Party convention aims to boost the movement

(CNN) - What's being billed as the first national Tea Party convention opens its doors Thursday night amid widespread interest and some controversy.

Organizers hope the three-day event will help strengthen the year-old anti-big-government movement. On its Web site, organizer Tea Party Nation says the event is "aimed at bringing the Tea Party Movement leaders together from around the nation for the purpose of networking and supporting the movement's multiple organizations' principal goals."

But there has been pushback against the convention and its organizers from both outsiders and some in the movement because of Tea Party Nation's for-profit status and because the price of entry attendees have paid for access to the workshops and seminars being held through Saturday.

Red State blogger Erick Erickson wrote that while he has good things to say about some groups within the Tea Party, "this national tea party convention smells scammy."

Mark Meckler said he and Jenny Beth Martin, co-founders of the Tea Party Patriots, aren't participating in the convention because "it wasn't the kind of grass-roots organization that we are, so we declined to participate."

Organizers say some 600 people have paid $549 each to attend the convention and that the event is sold out. But they add that tickets costing $349 are still available for Saturday night's banquet, where former Alaska governor and 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin will give the convention's keynote address.

Sherry Phillips, who along with her husband, Nashville attorney Judson Phillips, founded Tea Party Nation, said earlier this week in a message to supporters that "we fully expect to break even at this event. We may even make a few thousand dollars to cover local operating costs of TPN."

Phillips also fired back at her critics, saying, "We never did this to make us rich or famous. Quite the contrary, we are patriots who love our country, our members and the people who are coming to Nashville to attend this great event."

As for Palin, neither the convention organizers nor a spokeswoman for the former governor would confirm reports that the former governor is getting paid around $100,000 for her keynote appearance.

"I will not benefit financially from speaking at this event," Palin said in a statement this week. "Any compensation for my appearance will go right back to the cause."

As controversy surrounds the convention, tensions have been rising among Tea Party activists. Rival factions are battling over who will carry the Tea Party banner, and others worry that powerful groups are "Astroturfing" what they think should remain a grass-roots group.

Last week two major speakers scheduled for the convention dropped out of the lineup. Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee and Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota announced that they would not attend the convention, which is being held at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center in Nashville.

Blackburn was scheduled to serve as a featured speaker and introduce Palin. Bachman was scheduled to serve as one of the convention's kickoff speakers. Both are strong supporters of the Tea Party movement.

Both said the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct advised them not to participate because of the convention's for-profit status. And both said the canceling of their speeches is not a sign that their commitment to the Tea Party movement is fading.

But speeches from top conservative politicians are not the focus of the convention. Panels, sessions and workshops appear to be the bread and butter of this event. Among the sessions scheduled for Friday are ones on how to conduct voter registration drives and where to find conservative votes, women in politics, how to organize a Tea Party group, how to involve youth in the conservative movement, grass-roots "on the ground," how to unite state Tea Party groups, technology in the Tea Party movement, and why Christians must engage.

"This convention is a way to galvanize the conservative movement in a way that the general rallies do not," said Mark Skoda, who's serving as spokesman for the convention and who will be leading the panel on technology in the movement.

–CNN's Kristi Keck contributed to this report

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Anti-Obama Protesters in Tampa

I know this is old news by now. I'm very late, but the Black Man has been busy.

Last week The President and Vice President came here to Tampa to hold a town hall meeting. Just so happened I had to drive by the University of Tampa that day, which meant I got to see all the anti-Obama protesters. What struck me the most was all the old white guys I saw protesting. Many were carrying signs with the usual right-wing slogans. You know the ones calling the President a Socialist or Marxist. I'm willing to bet my next paycheck that none of them would know a REAL socialist if one were to hit them up side the head with one their silly signs.

So here we have a bunch of retirees living off social security, medicare and their pensions (because they were able to stay at one job long enough to actually have one, and they retired before corporations started cutting back or eliminating pensions and replacing them with 401K's)in the streets protesting against a President and policies that he's trying to put in to place in order to ensure younger generations of Americans can enjoy the same security that they enjoy now.

Real good guys....Real good.

I don't agree with Obama 100% of time, and I am concerned about some of the spending I see going on in Washington. However I think it's just plain hypocritical to protest against "Big Government" while you're living off it at the same time. I guess they figure they got theirs......