Willie Brown, who used to “own” the California Assembly and was then San Francisco’s mayor, has weighed the Tea Party and found it racist:
I truly found myself in the minority of minorities last week. I was a black man defending President Obama on national TV.
It appears that there are only two black cats in the country defending him – me and the mayor of Atlanta, Kasim Reed.
I took my stance on Chris Matthews’ “Hardball” show on MSNBC.
Chris listed five really horrible comments that Tea Party types had made about the president. Then he said, “Mr. Mayor, tell me, in your humble and honest opinion, why do you think they are so focused on demeaning this man?”
“Well, Chris,” I said. “I don’t like to play the race card, but I’ve got to start with: He’s black.”
Obviously the White House isn’t interested in having me say things like that. But if we were talking in a bar, that is exactly what I would say. Some folks just don’t want a brother in that spot.
You can always tell when someone is about to say something stupidly racist. They start their sentence with “I don’t like to play the race card.” That’s the same tell as “Let me be perfectly frank,” which is an assurance that someone is about to lie to you.
I would call this story a classic example of Willie Brown being up to his old tricks. At a meeting my father (then a Democrat) attended, back when Reagan was California governor, Brown told a story about Reagan that I, as a child, thought was gospel truth, but now seriously doubt.
According to Brown, when he was one of just a handful of blacks in the California Assembly, he was called to (or arranged to attend) a private meeting with Gov. Reagan. He told, (humorously, of course) how as he went through antechamber after antechamber on his way to the governor’s office, he kept picking up more and more big, white security guards for his little ol’ 5’6″ self. When he finally reached Reagan, Gov. Reagan looked at this well-known black man who was attending a scheduled meeting, and allegedly said “I should know who you are, shouldn’t I?” Hah. Hah. Hah.
Whites were stupid and racist in Brown’s view when he told that joke forty or so years ago, and they’re still stupid and racist now. It doesn’t seem to occur to Brown that people might have issues with Obama, not because he’s black, but because he’s spent taxpayer money faster than any other president in history, with nothing to show for it; because he acts and speaks in a way that shows him to be hostile to traditional American values; because his foreign policy is a chronic embarrassment; because he’s awkward with and hostile to our military; etc., etc.
I’ll close with one more joke, this time a real joke, and one that’s quite apropos:
Two men meet on the street. The first asks the second, “How did your interview for the radio announcer’s job go?”
The second answers, “Th-th-they d-d-didn’t h-h-hire m-me. D-d-damned a-a-anti s-s-semites!”