Where’s Chris?

Thursday, July 15, 2010
By Felicia Cravens

UPDATE:  We may have identified “Chris” and will be updating as the story develops…

On Larry King the other day, Ben Jealous, president of the national NAACP, stated the following:

“I had a black tea party member from Texas, who is also an NAACP member, come up to me after my speech, put his arm around me and say “Thank you.  I know there’s space for me here.  I’ve been active in the tea party.  In recent months I’ve begun to feel uncomfortable.  I’m glad somebody like you is speaking out so I can stay active in the tea party and there’ll always be a good space for me.”

In the interview, Jealous continually calls out Dick Armey for his “silence” on the matter, as though Armey were the Commander in Chief of the movement, a movement that actually operates with many leaders rather than one national figure.  It’s easy to understand Jealous’s confusion; it’s difficult to speak intelligently about a subject when one knows little about it.  Has Jealous attended any events, and seen the movement for himself?  We humbly point Jealous to any number of analyses of the problem with that argument, but we also decided to focus on the more pressing issues.

Jealous’s charge that tea parties do not “speak up and speak out” about racist members and state “there’s no space for racism in the tea party” are just absurd.  Here at Houston Tea Party Society, we’ve dealt with our own pet “nutjobs” from Day One.  DAY ONE.  Yes, at our very first tea party event in February of 2009, this piece of work strolled in with his awful sign, attracting the lone media camera and sentencing us to an eternity of disassociation.  We dealt with him on that day, expelling him from the event.  We dealt with him again when he bought up all manner of DBAs to “corner the market” on local names of organizations.  We dealt with him yet again when he started agressively billing himself as the Founder of the Tea Party.  We couldn’t create more “space” between us if we tried, and this has been documented time and time again.

In the interest of tracking down the truth, members of tea parties from around the nation started tracking down the details of the story.  If indeed a member of one of our groups had concerns, we were eager to hear them, and work with them to air the differences and find a solution together.

So some investigation by Texas tea party members elicited from the NAACP national office that the name of this person was Chris, and that he was from Houston, but a call to the Houston NAACP resulted in their obvious confusion, and an admission that they had not heard anything about the issue, nor did they know the individual’s identity.

Calls to some other local groups in the Houston area were met with the same report; none were able to report the existence of an active, or even formerly active, African-American member named Chris in any of their ranks.  To be fair, not every group in the area has had a chance to respond, so the search goes on.

This is getting to be more difficult than Where’s Waldo.  Eventually you DO find Waldo.

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10 Responses to “Where’s Chris?”

  1. Felicia and fellow Tea party members; I doubt that there is a “Chris” but we do not need to be distracted from our effort to have a clean and lawful election. If NAACP does sue the “Tea Party” who are they going to sue? Everyone of us that are associated with any Tea Party Group needs to join in as individuals for a counter suit for the National and the local NAACP chapters for damages. In discovery we need to request for documents. emails and notes of all the speakers at the convention and the details pertaining to Chris. Each of the Tea Party groups need to start a “Legal Defense Fund” (LDF) now!! I will be happy to help set up a Piryx account to accept on line contributions for any group. I would suggest each LDF clearly state that any funds not used for legal defense will be available to the sponsoring group General Fund.

  2. John,
    That’s right John, who are they going to sue?? We could do a class action suit back at the NAAPC. I bet “Chris” was a plant from OFA!

  3. Linda Zoeller

    Taking a discussion based on issues and trying to focus it on race is in itself racist.

    We know that people intended to infiltrate the Teaparty and cause problems. Is it possible that the person who showed up in Houston with all the racial crap might have been part of that crowd.

    If disagreeing with someone who happens to be black makes you racist there is no hope in this country. That seems to be the situation here.

    Funny comparisons of Bush to Hitler were consider a little over the top now they are racist when applied to Obama. Hitler was white; Stalin was white. Yet yesterday a sign comparing him to these tyrants was used to show the racism of the Teaparty.

    When a president can be called out for his policies and failures no matter his race we are actually moving past racism. We are measuring someone based on their actions and beliefs.

    I would argue the Teaparty maybe the one group in this country not revolving around race or gender, but a mixture of people joined together based on issues. The pure example of post racism.

    They can not fight the truth of the Teaparty stances so they start name calling.

  4. Judith

    John –
    Suing would be ineffective and likely wouldn’t resolve the issue. The issue isn’t supposed racism found within the Tea Party movement (since that’s obviously not true), but is instead the ability of the NAACP and the NBPP to have the media cater to their accusations. Beat them at their own game. The Tea Party needs to step it up and get more exposure (I could also say the same thing about your campaign – you gotta get Lee out!!) and they need to call out the NAACP (such as how it is still able to maintain exempt status, their role in the DOJ/NBPP case, etc).

  5. Jan

    We need to begin getting together more on this subject and others and realize that there are those who are TERRIFIED of the Tea Party because we represent FREEDOM and a departure from the status quo.

    I totally agree with the idea of a counter suit, should one become necessary. Count me in.

  6. Felicia, I’m a native Houstonian (4th Generation) now in Austin. I’m new to your Houston Tea Party site and not sure how to post this under events and spread the word. Can you help?

    SATURDAY, JULY 31st – San Antonio Tea Party is sponsoring
    “Back to Basics” Statewide Rally at the Capitol – South Steps
    in Austin, TX from 10AM to 1PM. (14th & Congress).
    General George Washington will speak. Reenactors have been invited. We need Houston to be there to help rally the troops for the November battle! Thank you.

    Story link: http://ramparts360.com/austin-rallies/back-to-basics-rally-july-31-2010/

    Event notice: http://www.teapartypatriots.org/BlogPostView.aspx?id=2c2e2b1a-7b17-4c78-abb4-aedecbe7b035

  7. Southern Tragedy

    Felicia, maybe you should offer a 10K reward for anyone who knows the whereabouts of Chris. Nevermind, if he’s out there, you’ll find him!! :)

  8. Eventually, the TRUTH always comes out and sets us all free from the lies and liars. What’s tough to ignore is that there are constant efforts to suggest that the genuine Tea Party Movement is fractured. But, in keeping with the Truth – the movement cannot be fractured because just like grass roots which grow and form a blanket of coverage over an entire seeded area, the genuine Tea Party Movement (of which Houston TPS is undoubtedly a part!) will never be cut down in that manner. We continue to grow – and the weeds (pun intended) will inevitably die.

  9. Judith

    From Mary Frances Berry on politico.com:

    “Tainting the tea party movement with the charge of racism is proving to be an effective strategy for Democrats. There is no evidence that tea party adherents are any more racist than other Republicans, and indeed many other Americans. But getting them to spend their time purging their ranks and having candidates distance themselves should help Democrats win in November. Having one’s opponent rebut charges of racism is far better than discussing joblessness.”

  10. [...] factions of the movement have had to repeatedly distance themselves from the man.  Robertson was expelled from the event at which he was holding the aforementioned sign on the very same day.  He was formally denounced [...]