Was Rep. Alan Grayson Wrong to Compare the Tea Party to the KKK?

By comparing the Tea Party to the Ku Klux Klan, Democratic Representative Alan Grayson of Florida has incurred the wrath of the former and has generated a firestorm of controversy that even has fellow Democrats and Progressives asking him to retract his insinuation. Should he?


His  is unquestionably a  scathing withering characterization of the Tea Party.   But  Mr. Grayson is not wilting under the fiercely negative blowback he is getting from the Center and  the

Left in  his own party.  Nevertheless,  is what he implies indefensible? Or is there a kernel of truth in it , despite its  hyperbole and  intemperance?

Though not on  the same rhetorical level as a Demosthenes , a Cicero, or a Jeremiah,  Grayson has not hesitated to level inflammatory denunciations at the obstructionism of the Republican Party, the latest example of which being its all-out campaign to besmirch and destroy the Affordable Care Act.  Certainly,  the Republican attacks on President Obama have gone beyond policy. They have been viciously personal, almost without parallel. And the racial component of these savage  attacks is undeniable. Most recently, a Tea Party group outside the White House waved the Confederate flag. And the Internet has been  awash with racial epithets denouncing the president ever since he was first elected.

It is  outrageous and reprehensible, but it is existentially  true that  on the Right,  racial bigotry is rife and palpable.

An analogy does not have to have a perfect one-to-one correspondence.  That would be an identity.  For an analogy to be valid, there needs to  be a strong  similarity in kind.  Racial bigotry is at the core of both the Tea Party and the Klan. The only difference between the two  is in degree.

The gauntlet has been thrown down. If  the Tea Party is insulted by and  fuming over  Grayson's  analogy, then it is time  it  unequivocally condemns the racial hatred and discrimination that has infected its grassroots adherents


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  • Aquinas, with all the extreme positions I read on Chicago Now, I can not believe this thread is not full Tea Party and Progressives screaming for each other's blood. No one took the bait.

    This is actually very optimistic and has put a smile on my face this afternoon. Maybe people are learning that one group gives rise to the other, like a tall tree gives rise to a long shadow.

    But anyway, I for one will give you your props for trying to force this conflict to a head, dragging a tired issue once more into the light, to bring about it's healing.

  • In reply to 4zen:

    Thanks for reading, 4zen. Healing is precisely what we need.

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