As usual, Ta-nehisi takes on tea party spokesman Mark Williams’ galling, disgustingly racist letter better than anyone else:
Williams has since taken the original down and posted a half-hearted justification. Mark Williams is the same man who has denounced Barack Obama as “Indonesian Muslim” and a “welfare thug.” If Mark Williams is not a racist, then there are no racists in American society–a position which many, some liberals among them, no doubt find plausible.
It’s been asked in comments, a few times, what good has come of the NAACP’s resolution. I would not endeavor to speak for anyone but myself when I say that I owe the NAACP a debt of gratitude. I have, in my writing, a tendency to become theoretically cute, and overly enamored with my own fair-mindedness. Such vanity has lately been manifested in the form of phrases like “it’s worth saying” and “it strikes me that…” or “respectfully…”
When engaging your adversaries, that approach has its place. But it’s worth saying that there are other approaches and other places. Among them–respectfully administering the occasional reminder as to the precise nature of the motherfuckers you are dealing with. It strikes me that this is a most appropriate role for the nation’s oldest civil rights organization.