A friend of mine sent me an email with a link to this open letter to Morgan Freeman, regarding his racism charges against the Tea Party. Excerpts:
I also understand that your reflexive comments came from experience. You grew up in a different America than the one that I was blessed to be born into. We both grew up in the south, but I never saw ‘White Only’ signs. I’ve been called a name or two in my three decades, but racism has always been the exception in my life, not the rule, as it probably was in your youth. I understand your suspicion of conservative political movements. It is rooted in pain and fear and memory, and though I never saw the horrors of segregation that you did, we share that cultural heritage.
I’ve attended dozens of tea party events. I’ve helped organize them, and I’ve even spoken at a few. The tea party is not what is often depicted in the news. It is people of all colors who are terribly concerned about the direction that America is heading. We don’t trust big government to make decisions for us.
You’ve rekindled the old painful paradigm of Uncle Tom – that any black man who votes Republican is some kind of sellout. It’s not true. I work hard, pay my taxes, love Jesus, and I’m good to my family and community. In effect, your comments have stereotyped an entire group of people.
There’s already plenty of groupthink among American blacks. Over 90% of us vote Democrat with religious regularity… I realized a few years ago that the Democrats’ promises of equality bestowed by government wasn’t working and will never work. I came to believe that redistributionist policies with the goal of social justice was essentially creating a new plantation within the federal government. Scraps might be thrown our way, but dependence on the plantation would be the inevitable result.
Over half a century since we started voting for Democrat policies, blacks in America are worse off than before…Therefore, I have become a Republican.
I’m hoping that you’ll come to a tea party in Tennessee — the place of your birth. Really anywhere in the country that works for you…I’d be delighted to introduce you to good people who will welcome you with open arms, disagree with you, and then feed you some of the best barbeque you’ve ever tasted.
You need to read the whole letter. It’s awesome. This man has stated himself clearly, firmly, but without the hate and malice with which the Tea Party is so often accused.
From the comments:
However, because we humans tend to personally attach the virtues of the character(s) an actor or actress portrays – particularly to someone of his immense screen power, should not mean that someone should allow that to give credence to that persons power of thought, reflection, or opinion.
I thoroughly agree. Being able to speak lines in front of a camera does not make anyone an expert on anything except reading lines in front of a camera. The opinions of the line readers are no more important, expert, or correct than yours or mine, but because of their name recognition, they are granted some special license to speak “the truth” when it is really “their truth”.
And I’m offended that any person of any color would be put down as “less than” because of their political beliefs. The world is defined by the people who are ready to step out of the box and stand upright before the world.