Yesterday Florida Congressman Alan Grayson came under an amazing amount of heat for a picture he included on a fundraising letter sent out to his constituents and contributors. He was lambasted on the right, the very far right, for using an image of a burning cross and associating it with the Tea Party.
I personally enjoy the unbridled behavior and unfiltered comments that the representative has become known for. Unfortunately, he may have stepped over the line with this one. I said, "May."
"[T]here is overwhelming evidence that the Tea Party is the home of bigotry and discrimination in America today, just as the KKK was for an earlier generation," he said in a statement provided to HuffPost. "If the hood fits, wear it."
Without a doubt, the right wing extremists have made some amazingly over the top, out of bounds statements about the President as well. As the commander in chief, he's fair game -- when the criticisms are based on his actions, not his race or his religion. We've heard the Tea Party mouth that roared, Larry Klayman as he made religiously malicious statements about the President being on his knees, bowing to Allah and needing to put his Quran down and come out with his hands out (up).
I didn't see anyone on the right or in the tea party saying THAT crossed the line.
Then there was Congressman Doug Lamborn who said this:
So Obama's called out as a "Tar baby" and I didn't see anyone from the right or the Tea Party saying that crossed the line.
But Alan Grayson equates the intolerance of the Klan with the Tea Party and he's now to be shunned, reprimanded and made a pariah?
Perhaps. It's a thin line he's traversed. There is certainly vociferous public outcries against Obama and all Blacks for that matter from geographic regions where the Klan publicly and openly still reside. And government voting records show those areas did NOT vote for Obama. But does that allow us to paint those specific regions with a broad brush of racial intolerance?
Reality says, yes. Propriety and respect for differences of opinion say no.
I wish Rep. Grayson hadn't used such an inflammatory image, whether or not I agree with his "copy" that accompanied the picture. But if I condemn or chastise his questionable taste, shouldn't the Tea Party also be up in arms (maybe they prefer lighting a cross) over the racially charged, intentional slurs their party's spokespeople have heaped upon the duly elected President of the United States?
Oh, that's right, the Tea Party still denies his election was legal. Something about where he was born. They can have that argument, but then they must apply it equally to Canadian-born Rafael Cruz, their poster boy. Wouldn't that be the only fair thing to do? That's the American way. That's the Constitution.
Fairness isn't something the Right exercises very often. Aside from the right to bear arms, they have a squishy record on the other pieces of the Bill of Rights and the entire Constitution with its amendments.
So I'll go on record that the line of taste and propriety was dinged, if not outright crossed by Grayson, but not until someone on the Right or the Tea Party (generally the same people) comes out and condemns Klayman and Congressman Lamborn for their egregious, shameful remarks.