The following is a reader-submitted orphaned opinion.


JOHN CHRISTIAN HOPKINS: I’ve been thinking about racism and the Tea Party …
Stop me, if you think you’ve heard all this before.
I think some of the Tea Baggers are steeped in racism, and I abhor the fact that many prominent Republicans, conservatives or whatever cloak they wrap themselves in, stay mum when hatred, prejudice and intolerance are used to season the American melting pot.
When U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul says government should keep out of it and let businesses decide which customers they want to serve, you either agree with him in opposition to basic Civil Rights or you recognize the slippery slope he would lead us down.
If Sarah Palin wants to be an American leader, then she needs to speak up – for all Americans. Silence infers consent when Tea Party members yell racial slurs at sitting black congressmen or tote signs with the President of the United States dressed as an African witch doctor.
Actually, I would give Palin a pass on the issue, because only the truly delusional think she’s a national leader. She is an American capitalist, no more and no less. She’s got both hands on the teats of fame and is milking that baby for every cent she can. And you know what? Good for her. I have no problem with the principle of capitalism, though I think it is best applied when tempered with conscience.
It bothers me when powerful conservatives – like the Presidents Bush, Sen. Mitch McConnell, Beck or Limbaugh – either try to defend the blatant racism or offer tacit approval through thunderous silence.
But maybe we are in for a new cup of tea.
David Webb, a spokesman for the National Tea Party Federation, has announced that radio personality Mark Williams has been booted from the federation after his sickening racial “satire,” where “colored people” begged to go back to slavery.
Kudos, good sir! The Tea Party needs more David Webbs and fewer tangled webs of race baiting and fear-mongering. I could support no leader whose platform was built on division or exclusion.
And, if racism is wrong, it’s wrong no matter whose mouth spews the vile venom.
That’s why I have no respect for Malik Zulu Shabazz, the head of the New American Black Panther Party, who recently said “A black man really – or a black leader – cannot be a racist.”
No human is immune from racism, or justified in practicing the abomination. You can’t wet your finger and hold it up to see which way the wind is blowing on some issues. It is either wrong every time, or not at all.
If we don’t speak up when someone crosses the line, than we can expect a future America lined with burning crosses.
If this nation is to endure for generations yet unborn, then we must coalesce behind leaders that would bring us together, rather than despots that would rip us apart.
Now, as we seem poised on the precipice of our darkest hour, let us summon the courage to stand together once again to protect the ideals that anchor America; the unbroken promises of justice, liberty and freedom. Let us be one nation, under God.
With malice toward none.

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