A year ago April 15, I looked out onto a crowd at Dallas City Hall as the tea party movement launched. On this year's Tax Day, I will again MC the proceedings, this time at QuikTrip Park in Grand Prairie.
We will again welcome speakers who will share passions, strategies and yes, probably even some anger - all designed to give voice to the belief that America is headed in a very wrong direction in terms of government overreach.
Some people with some very loud media megaphones believe that I will be conducting the equivalent of a Klan rally. This is a lie, and their slanders - driven by their political bigotry - cannot stand.
I don't particularly care if some idiot on the street misreads the tea party vigor and invents in it a fictional sinister motivation. But when a succession of people who analyze things for a living weave such vast falsehoods, it is simultaneously sad and infuriating.
Frank Rich of The New York Times and Colbert King of The Washington Post are among the columnists willingly checking their honesty - or their brains - at the door to throw political mud. Either these people are too ignorant to know their charges or false, or they don't care and spit their bile anyway.
King wrote last week of looking at "angry faces" at tea party rallies and finding them "eerily familiar," resembling protesters seeking to prevent a black University of Alabama enrollee in 1956.
Rich peppered his column with Third Reich imagery, eventually backing up his claim of racism with comparisons to those who opposed the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
Leaving aside for the moment that much opposition to that measure came from Democrats, it cannot be said plainly enough today: These men and their numerous partners in this smear should be ashamed - if nothing else, for logical flaws beneath a fifth-grader.
Their argument is: (A) This movement is filled with vocal people displeased with the way things are going; (B) I can find examples in history of people whose vocal displeasure was fueled by racism. Hence, (C) these people must be fueled by racism.
OK, boys, let's see how you like it: (A) You are fans of ObamaCare; (B) Castro is a fan of ObamaCare, so, (C) you are communists.
Logic and basic human decency prevent me fro
making that connection seriously. I would like to believe that if these craven critics actually attended one of the tea parties, their testimony would change. But I doubt it. Theirs is a screeching born of panic, the need to demonize a movement rather than debate it.
Is the occasionally tasteless sign, T-shirt or voice found at the occasional rally? Of course. But they are but a tiny fraction of the hateful scope of hate heaped on President George W. Bush after the 2000 election or during the Iraq war.
Don't take my word that the tea party critics are full of it. Come to QuikTrip Park on April 15. You will find people looking for leaders who will reduce spending, reduce taxes and obey the Constitution. And they don't care what color those leaders are. If the crowd is overwhelmingly white, it's not because tea partiers have a problem with people of color. It's because so many people of color have a problem with limited government. Anyone in that crowd will gladly make the case to any skeptic of any color.
I have no problem with anyone who disagrees with the tea party movement's politics. Tell me such limited government is too risky. Tell me ObamaCare is a great idea. Tell me taxes need to be raised. We'll have a lively chat.
But tell me the tea partiers whom I have come to know and admire are racists, and you are a liar.
ByMark Davis, posted here.