On Monday, thousands of tea party and grass roots activists marched on Capitol Hill to protest against the Senate amnesty bill. The event was co-sponsored by the Black Leadership Alliance and featured a number of minority speakers. That, of course, didn’t stop the usual suspects from accusing the rally of being “overtly racist,” as The Huffington Post headlined.
At issue were remarks by Ken Crow, a local Tea Party activist. HuffPo and the Nation magazine focused on the following excerpt of his remarks:
From those incredible blood lines of Thomas Jefferson and George Washington and John Smith. And all these great Americans, Martin Luther King. These great Americans who built this country. You came from them. And the unique thing about being from that part of the world, when you learn about breeding, you learn that you cannot breed Secretariat to a donkey and expect to win the Kentucky Derby. You guys have incredible DNA and don’t forget it.
Granted, the breeding analogy is a little odd. It is a little difficult to believe, however, that someone who was “overtly racist” would include Martin Luther King, Jr. in the pantheon of great American heroes. The Nation noted that about one-third of the crowd was black and were presumably part of the group having “incredible DNA.”
The DailyKos reported on the remarks and utilized the subtle trick of excerpting Mein Kampf passages about “bloodlines,” noting that the Nazi’s didn’t know about DNA at the time.
As Crow puts it, it’s in you “incredible DNA.” Hitler says it’s “race” and “blood:”
You know who else likes to talk about the innate greatness of American DNA? President Barack Obama. Speaking at the White House Science Fair earlier this year, Obama observed:
America has always been about discovery, invention, engineering, science and evidence. That’s who we are. That’s in our DNA. That’s how this country became the greatest economic power in the history of the world
Back in 2009, early in his first term he made a similar point in remarks at MIT:
it’s the legacy of daring men and women who put their talents and their efforts into the pursuit of discovery. And it’s the legacy of a nation that supported those intrepid few willing to take risks on an idea that might fail — but might also change the world…So the truth is, we have always been about innovation, we have always been about discovery. That’s in our DNA.
So, it is only racist to mention DNA if you are a Tea Party activist?