From ABC News:
A civil rights activist and former congressman equated the Tea Party with the Ku Klux Klan today as he blasted a conservative rally planned in Washington, D.C., this weekend.
The Rev. Walter Fauntroy, the non-voting delegate who represented the District of Columbia from 1971 to 1991, called on African-Americans to organize a "new coalition of conscience" to rebut the rally scheduled for Saturday at the Lincoln Memorial featuring Fox News pundit Glenn Beck and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
"We are going to take on the barbarism of war, the decadence of racism, and the scourge of poverty, that the Ku Klux -- I meant to say the Tea Party," Fauntroy told a news conference today at the National Press Club. "You all forgive me, but I -- you have to use them interchangeably."
Fauntroy attempted to explain the comparison to white supremacists by saying that organizers behind the "Restoring Honor" rally are the same people who cut audio cables from a sound system the night before the historic March on Washington and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial.
"The same people who cut the cables on the night before the march, that we paid $66,000 for a sound system, they cut it," Fauntroy said. "Now from Fox News and elsewhere, they are seeking to turn the world back."
Fauntroy, who is credited as one of the chief organizers of the March on Washington, remembers Aug. 28, 1963, as the "most important date of the 20th century."
The "Restoring Honor" rally, organized by the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, coincides with the anniversary of the historic March on Washington and the "I Have a Dream" speech. Organizers have said the conflicting date was a coincidence and not a deliberate display of disrespect.
Fauntroy said right-wing conservatives have "declared war on the civil rights movement of the 1960s" that brought together a Coalition of Conscience for a march on jobs and freedom in 1963. He called for a new Coalition of Conscience rally on the Mall in August 2012.
"I don't want you to think I'm angry," Fauntroy said. "[But] when this right-wing conservative exclusionary group comes to highjack our movement, we have got to respond. And I'm looking forward to that Coalition of Conscience, in defense of jobs and freedom for women."
I wonder if the black man who was selling Gadsden Flag buttons at a outside a town hall meeting and was badly beaten by Obama's SEIU freikorps would agree that the Tea Party are the "same people" who opposed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
I wonder if all the black people attending Tea Parties would agree.
I wonder if all the dynamic women who have emerged as leaders in the conservative movement, like Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann and Nikki Haley would agree that the Tea Party is somehow hostile to women's rights.
I notice that Mr. Fauntroy is still obsessed with the dollar value of the sound system that was vandalized. Of course the vandalism was criminal and morally wrong. To attempt to silence a voice of dissent by such means is cowardly and has no place in our republic.
However the cause that Dr. King and Mr. Fauntroy were there to promote that day WON. The civil rights legislation that King supported was enacted into law. And more importantly the society has changed to the point that the "N"-word is as socially unacceptable as the "F"-word. The default cultural expression of the United States is now (for better or worse) black.
That Mr. Fauntroy cannot, even after so many years, see beyond the dollar value of the equipment sabotaged on the eve of Dr. King's historic speech is very revealing. Just as Yasser Arafat was offered 90% of what he had asked for from the US and Israel, but chose to walk away from it because in his heart he had never been anything but a terrorist and never wanted to be anything but a terrorist Mr. Fauntroy cannot see the scope of the victory that his movement has won because he cannot move away from a petty tabulation of grievances. In his heart it will always be 1960, or 50 or 40 or whichever year in the past that his mental ledger book tells him that he was most put upon by whitey.
This is understandable. Many aging people have a strong desire to reconnect with their youth and Mr. Fauntroy's youth was consumed by the civil rights movement. To remain emotionally embedded in the "Struggle" must make Mr. Fauntroy feel as comfortable as listening to Moody Blues, Yes and Gerry Rafferty makes aging Boomers (like me) feel.
However just because something is understandable does not make it forgivable. The worst side effect of Boomers unwillingness to give up the music of their youth is the spectacle of Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger continuing to tour into their '70s.
The social effect of people like Mr. Fauntroy's unwillingness to grasp the fact that the Civil Rights Movement's great struggle to win recognition of black American's legal right to equal status before the law has been won has been devastatingly harmful. And the lion's share of that harm falls upon the black community.
The urge to continue to see themselves as leaders on the vanguard of an epic struggle has led black "leaders" like Mr. Fauntroy to continually raise the bar. They have transformed the goal of the movement from the righteous and morally defensible demand for equal opportunity to the unrighteous and indefensible demand for equality of outcome. While simultaneously shielding the black community from legitimate and necessary criticism.
When it is pointed out that the high rate of illegitimacy in the black community is a major contributor to poverty the response of the black leadership is increased welfare spending which only encourages the problem to grow larger.
When it is pointed out that the inability to speak standard English will keep young blacks from the inner city from ever being able to get the kind of well paying jobs that will allow them to rise out of poverty the response from black leaders is to attempt to elevate "Ebonics" to the status of a legitimate language which should be taught in schools. The next step would be, of course, to make refusal to hire an Ebonics speaker a punishable act of discrimination under civil rights law.
When the high crime rate in the black community is noticed (if crimes committed by blacks and Latinos are omitted from the statistics the US has a lower crime rate than Canada) the black leadership blames the availability of firearms (as though an inanimate object has the power to alter the moral choice made by a rational human being) and seeks to curtail the constitutionally recognized liberties of the entire nation.
Black "leaders" like Mr. Fauntroy continue to support the political party which inflicts such suffering upon their own people in order to maintain their comfortable and well compensated positions within the "movement". So that they can hold on to their lost youth by pretending that every day is a new battle against fire hoses and police dogs.
I think that it is past time that the average black man and woman in the US wakes up and faces the fact that they are very badly served by their "leadership". I think that it is past time that they join their brothers and sisters who have already fled the Democrat plantation and sought freedom in the GOP and the Tea Party.
Otherwise the only thing they have to look forward to is less of the same as the money to fund the social welfare system vanishes among the profligate spending of our historic young president.