There must be some sort of contest among actors to see who can level the most offensive charge against the tea party. Sean Penn tossed his hat in the ring over the weekend, calling the tea party “the ‘Get the N-word out of the White House Party’” during an appearance on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight.” He added that the tea party wants to lynch President Obama.
Penn may have been late to the tea-party-is-racist bandwagon, but his references to “the N-word” and lynching upped the ante significantly. Penn’s fellow actor Morgan Freeman appeared on “Piers Morgan Tonight” three weeks ago and said the tea party was motivated by wanting “to get the black man out of the White House.”
Actor Alan Cumming also appeared on Piers Morgan’s show recently, where he said the tea party was full of “homophobia and racism.” Janeane Garofalo last month told Keith Olbermann (who apparently still has a show on something called Current TV) that tea party members and Republicans like Herman Cain because “it hides the racist elements of the Republican Party.”
What is it about poorly rated cable shows that make celebrities level such baseless accusations? To be fair, though the tea party’s alleged racism is apparently an integral part of pre-show prep for left-wing cable shows, they are not the only venue for hatred-spewing celebs. Samuel L. Jackson recently told New York Magazine the tea party “is not about the government having too much power … It all boils down to pretty much to race.”
Celebrities aren’t the only ones to accuse the tea party of racism, either. The media has been doing it for years. It’s a regular topic of conversation for left-wing pundits like Olbermann and those who remain at MSNBC. Liberal special interest groups like the NAACP have passed resolutions condemning tea party racism. Even President Obama reportedly called race a key component in tea party opposition to his agenda.
The insults and accusations vary from person to person, but they share one thing in common: there is no evidence for any of them. None of the accusers have even attended a tea party demonstration to see for themselves, in spite of numerous invitations. And they won’t accept those invitations, because they know they would have to stop calling the tea party racist after seeing it first-hand and meeting the men and women of all creeds and colors who believe America deserves better than its politicians are giving.
Celebrities, pundits, politicians and the media know we don’t want to take our country back from a black president; we want to take it back from a bad president, and a bad Congress. They know that instead of racists, they’ll find concerned Americans who are passionate about getting our country back on the right track after years of mismanagement and broken promises by politicians of both parties and all races.
Misinformed actors like Sean Penn, Morgan Freeman, Samuel L. Jackson, Alan Cumming, Janeane Garofalo and an ever-growing list of others are content to live in a fairy-tale world where they can dismiss people they disagree with simply by calling them racists. It’s a lot easier than being educated on the issues that matter to “flyover” Americans, many of whom have finally grown frustrated enough at Washington’s failure and waste to show up at a protest rally.
It’s sad that we have to keep fighting this battle, correcting the record and defending our honor every time a celebrity spouts another misinformed accusation. But the fact of the matter is that we’ll keep doing it. We’ll continue fighting, undeterred by the slander, because we know that lower taxes, less government and more freedom will be good for every American, regardless of race.
Matt Kibbe is the president and CEO of FreedomWorks, a nationwide grassroots organization fighting for lower taxes, less government and more freedom; and the co-author of “Give Us Liberty: A Tea Party Manifesto.”