Dear Mr. Lincoln
We Coloreds have taken a vote and decided that we don’t cotton to that whole emancipation thing. Freedom means having to work for real, think for ourselves, and take consequences along with the rewards. That is just far too much to ask of us Colored People and we demand that it stop!
In fact we held a big meeting and took a vote in Kansas City this week. We voted to condemn a political revival of that old abolitionist spirit called the ‘tea party movement’.
The tea party position to “end the bailouts” for example is just silly. Bailouts are just big money welfare and isn’t that what we want all Coloreds to strive for? What kind of racist would want to end big money welfare? What they need to do is start handing the bail outs directly to us coloreds! Of course, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is the only responsible party that should be granted the right to disperse the funds.
And the ridiculous idea of “reduce[ing] the size and intrusiveness of government.” What kind ofmassa would ever not want to control my life? As Coloreds we must have somebody care for us otherwise we would be on our own, have to think for ourselves and make decisions!
The racist tea parties also demand that the government “stop the out of control spending.” Again, they directly target coloreds. That means we Coloreds would have to compete for jobs like everybody else and that is just not right.
Perhaps the most racist point of all in the tea parties is their demand that government “stop raising our taxes.” That is outrageous! How will we coloreds ever get a wide screen TV in every room if non-coloreds get to keep what they earn? Totally racist! The tea party expects coloreds to be productive members of society?
Mr. Lincoln, you were the greatest racist ever. We had a great gig. Three squares, room and board, all our decisions made by the massa in the house. Please repeal the 13th and 14th Amendments and let us get back to where we belong.
Precious Ben Jealous, Tom’s Nephew
NAACP Head Colored Person
Now, if you click the “penned” link above, you won’t find it. Mark Williams has taken it down, claiming that “I have removed the parody letter you came here to read and urge you to fight those who seek to divide us by race, no matter the color of the racist.” Right. And for creating and spreading this incredibly racist and ignorant screed, he was roundly condemned, right? Well, CNN rewarded him with yet another television appearance. Justin Elliot asks:
The obvious larger issue here is why CNN keeps inviting Williams, who has called Allah a “monkey God” and said he believes President Obama is Muslim (that last one was on CNN) — and basically admitted that he says wacky, racist things so he “goes viral” — back on and treating him as a reasonable pundit.
This is the level of American social and political discourse these days. Why would anyone treat this man as a reasonable part of our ongoing public conversation? Fairness? Usually these claims of “fairness” are an irresponsible and mindless excuse that our media uses for giving a platform to incendiary and viewer-drawing idiocy. But, as Ta-Nehisi Coates says, it can be genuine:
I have, in my writing, a tendency to become theoretically cute, and overly enamored with my own fair-mindedness. Such vanity has lately been manifested in the form of phrases like “it’s worth saying” and “it strikes me that…” or “respectfully…”
When engaging your adversaries, that approach has its place.
Not here. And not with people like Mark Williams. Ta-Nehisi goes on:
But it’s worth saying that there are other approaches and other places. Among them–respectfully administering the occasional reminder as to the precise nature of the motherfuckers you are dealing with. It strikes me that this is a most appropriate role for the nation’s oldest civil rights organization.
The NAACP was right.