Remember that cabbie I was talking about on the eve of the Glenn Beck rally who was complaining that the organization was advising attendees to stay away from certain parts of the city? This black man was incensed that such a message was being emitted by the Beck organization and the Tea Partyists. This had pretty much convinced him that we are racists and this was further complicated by the MSM meme that conservatives are trying to hijack the civil rights movement to their advantage, as espoused by Mr. Sharpton and others.
This message resulted in the Glenn Beck event being severely underserved by the cabbies and other independent motor transport companies who had been hearing this accusation from various news sources throughout the DC area the day before, including ALL NEWS radio, WTOP, the source of traffic and other pertinent information for local cab drivers and limousine services.
I suspected foul play, but I stayed passive with the cab driver. I expressed empathy, as I didn’t wish to get on the bad side of this black man who was obviously distressed and angry, and the news was completely out of the blue to me.
As it turns out there WAS foul play.
My copassenger, Eric, points out that this message was put out under Tea Party auspices by a…wait for it…BIG DEMOCRAT DONOR. Bruce Majors, advised people to stay away from Metro’s Yellow and Green lines.
According to OpenSecrets.org, he’s donated about $15,000 to Democrats since 2000, including a $10,000 donation to the DNC in 2000, a $500 donation to Howard Dean in 2003, and a $1,000 donation to John Kerry in 2004. His only recent contribution to a Republican candidate was $250 in 2002 to retired Rep. Jim Kolbe, then the lone openly gay Republican in Congress.
The lessons from all of this is important.
- One should always submit to skeptics (like my cabbie) that there are lots of people who are looking to undermine the conservative movement and outrageous statements like this by people claiming to be from one group or another should be viewed with a large amount of suspicion. It is not a message that is consistent with the movement and nothing that conservatives condone or support.
- In this situation I should have advised him to suspend his preconceptions and to attend the rally in order for him to judge for himself. He would have come away with a completely different perspective, I’m sure. Opportunity lost.
- We, as grass roots people who happen to find ourselves in a new movement, are political novices for the most part. We should be better prepared to counter such accusations, not with timidity, but as an opportunity to educate and convince. We’re pretty new to having to act as representatives, as spokespersons and as ambassadors for common sense principles.
- The long knives have come out and we should expect increasing ambushes, defamations and false accusations over the next two months. I’m not sure how you drill for this, but we’d better figure it out. Quickly. We’re up against organized operatives who are beginning to act like cornered animals.