For critics like the NAACP, the Tea Party tolerates racism in its ranks, a charge party leaders strongly reject. To condemn the so-called movement for the craziness of some of its more idiotic fans is less than fair. But Tea Party leaders do seem more interested in attacking perceived enemies on the left than in taking on bigoted fringe groups aligned with the party.
Earlier this month, the Federal Reserve released an immense report detailing evidence of the nation’s ongoing economic recovery. The collective net worth of American households and non-profits rose $6.3 trillion since the first quarter of 2009 (generally considered the low point of the Great Recession). And the value of household real-estate grew by well over $800 billion. But we are still billions of dollars down from where we were when the economy collapsed in late 2007. And for many Americans, the recovery has not yet begun—least of all for poor communities of color....
Artur Davis was supposed to be the Deep South’s first elected black governor. He had arrived at Harvard Law School in 1990—months after Barack Obama was elected president of the law review. And many, in Alabama and elsewhere, thought his political gifts rivaled those of the president himself.
Cory Booker was the Obama of American politics before Barack Obama leaped onto the national stage. When Booker first ran for mayor of Newark in 2002, Barack Obama was a relatively unknown Illinois state senator. It would be two more years before Obama’s keynote address at the Democratic National Convention would transform him into an international star. But Booker, a fresh-faced former Rhodes Scholar and graduate of Stanford University and Yale Law School, was already being lauded—in the national press, on Wall Street, and in Hollywood, as well—as the face of a new generation of post-civil-rights, post-baby-boomer (in style, if not exactly in fact) African-American politicians who would march America into a glorious new day.
America's color lines are shifting.