The NAACP's 'tea party' stunt backfires

by Dave Weigel

Huma Khan writes up both sides of the made-for-slow-news-week controversy over the NAACP resolution condemning tea party "racism." One of her more hands-on quoted experts:

Dale Robertson, a Tea Party activist who runs and has himself been at the center of a race-related controversy, said the NAACP is merely pandering to the Democratic party. "I find that the NAACP should be standing against the new Black Panther (sic) and their stance and yet instead of doing the right thing, they're doing the wrong thing by attacking people who feel government should be held accountable," Robertson said.

Errr, what? The "race-related controversy" Robertson was involved with was his decision to hold a sign calling taxpayers "niggars."

Now, at one level Robertson is demonstrating the silliness of the NAACP's move. His boneheaded activism led him to being basically shunned by local tea party groups, who had no interest in teaming up with someone who'd make such a sign. And to imply that stunts like his are such a pressing problem that they will be one of the few selected for action by the NAACP is to concede that there isn't much real racism to worry about. It's the sort of headline-hungry act that shadows the NAACP's other priorities -- one example being Michelle Obama's admonition for African-Americans to "increase intensity," which is now being spun by Limbaugh et al as a call for more racial outrage, instead of what she meant, the call for community-building that basically every black politician issues at this conference.