Commentary submission by Project 21
A couple of days ago, MSNBC’s David Shuster called me the n-word.
Later, Chris Matthews called me a “sellout.”
Keith Olbermann then called me a “Little Black Sambo.”
CNN’s Rick Sanchez also called me a “biscuit-and-chicken eatin’ white wannabe.”
I’m just kidding, of course. They never said those things — although Sanchez’s actual contempt for me is obvious.
But if I had really made such claims and meant them, these media celebs would demand that I produce evidence of the alleged incendiary accusations. If I couldn’t, they’d justifiably be on the phone with their lawyers.
On March 20th, during the tea party rallies on Capitol Hill, members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) chose — and I use that word tactically — to walk through the throng of protestors to go vote for the government takeover of health care. Surely, if the tea parties were one generation removed from the Klan, CBC members might’ve either taken a different route or would’ve had an armed escort greater than less than a handful of Capitol Hill cops.
I’m personally amazed that the allegedly objective mainstream media has failed to produce ONE video or audio clip out of the many shot by their crews and countless citizens who were also there with cameras, that backs up the claim of Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) that he was called the n-word by a tea party bomb-thrower. It should have been easy to catch, since Lewis is said to have compared the demeanor of the crowd to when he was beaten in Selma 45 years ago.
Obviously, it’s a given that the media will readily accept the word of a God-like politician such as Lewis. After all, he’s a civil rights icon. John Edwards can also explain how all that works. Making oneself a victim is easier for some than others. It is certainly different when it comes to the anti-tax, pro-small government tea partiers. The media is in almost perfect sync against them, running with the template that the tea parties are populated by a violent and racist horde.
Funny how my son and I — who are black, the last time we checked — went to the two large protests that weekend in Washington, D.C. The only name I was called was my own as I ran into many people who knew me from past activism or my website work. They assaulted me with hugs and demands that I pose for pictures with them. Other blacks and minorities in attendance — who, from watching later media reports of the day, curiously must have hidden from the mainstream media’s cameras — didn’t seem at all concerned for their safety.
In fact, in all the tea parties held nationwide, how many arrests were made for disorderly conduct or property damage? I’m not aware of any. I figure there were none since, knowing the crack media as we do, we’d surely see images of those disturbances right along with the audible racial slurs hurled at CBC members such as John Lewis at an O.J.-like pace if they actually occurred.
Alas, either the media has done a very sloppy job at reporting, or… those events never happened. Why ruin the perfect chance to slime the opposition?
Once again, I would never claim someone such as a media pundit or newsreader used racial slurs against me without irrefutable proof. However, this should not be the one-way street that it is now. Until the media can produce evidence that can link hateful racial comments to an entire group of thus far non-violent, clean-up-after-themselves, civic-minded citizens, any claims are slanderous. To tell the truth, there are times I wish I was a lawyer.
Bob Parks is a member of the national advisory council for the Project 21 black leadership network and operates the website: Black and Right.
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