Jim Porter, Grand Forks, letter: Stop denying protests’ racist elementsThe letter writer would have me believe that if the next tea party rally features a flaming cross, that would represent only nonracist Americans’ burning desire to stop health care reform.
GRAND FORKS — I disagree with Kim Young’s letter (“Stop claiming racism motivates critics,” Page D3, Sept. 20)
Tea party posters portraying President Barack Obama as a witch doctor or stating “Obama’s Plan: White Slavery,” “American Taxpayers are the Jews for Obama’s Ovens” and “Barack Hussein Obama, the New Face of Hitler” are not just informal consequences of a sincere debate on an energy bill or health care reform.
Instead, these are examples of pure and unadulterated racism, which are based upon an inherent feeling that an African-American should not be president of the U.S.
Since the earliest days of Jim Crow, the loud clear calls of racist elements have been wrapped up in patriotic-religious fervor. And I am not too young to remember that the common refrain among reactionaries denouncing Martin Luther King Jr.’s appeals for civil rights was “race mixing is communism.”
Today, it’s not that Dick Armey’s FreedomWorks political education organization told everyone to bring ugly, racist signs to these tea parties. But Armey and FreedomWorks certainly have done nothing to discourage people from bringing ugly, racist signs.
When racism mixes itself with a group’s agenda, that group’s agenda then becomes racism.
Young would have me believe that if the next tea party rally features a flaming cross, that would represent only nonracist Americans’ burning desire to stop health care reform.