Jenni White (Letters, "Just following orders," Aug. 4, Gazette) contends that having non-white friends associated with the Tea Party and children in her family from Africa somehow absolves the Tea Party of its racist elements. While John R. Junger III (Letters, "Social discourse," July 28, Gazette) wanted to "put aside the racism that is obvious from not only the 'fringe participants' but the leaders of your movement" and discuss the base level of social discourse, she chose otherwise in her response.
Fine. Let's address White's argument. We're not delving into your heart to divine anything; we're looking at the blatantly racist placards being displayed, the ugly stickers being sold and the offensive words being said at various events. The people whose faces are in these Tea Party rally pictures will forever be iconically linked to the placards behind them; like the faces at the Woolworth's lunch counter, the Little Rock high school onlookers, those gawking at the Bull Connor fire hoses, etc. Nobody is delving into each of their hearts, either.
Belatedly, some Tea Party leaders (strainers?) are taking admirable steps to disassociate from the racist elements that have been present at events. Shockingly, these bigoted, irrational and anti-American views were not recognized immediately and told to go away.