The crowd of more than 1,000 that turned out for a Tax Day Tea Party in New York had the last laugh on the smattering of left-wing counterprotesters accusing them of racism.
"We're supposed to be a bunch of racists. The guy in charge is an African American," said KT McFarland, a Nixon, Ford, and Reagan administration official who ran for Senate in New York as a Republican in 2006. She was referring to the Tea Party's organizer, David Webb.
In case the audience missed the point when Ms. McFarland made it, Mr. Webb, a radio host, reiterated it later during the rally, which lasted from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and took place on 8th Avenue just south of the Farley Post Office where taxpayers were filing their returns. "There are black Republicans and I am one of them," Mr. Webb announced.
The event did convey other themes besides "we're not racists."
Ms. McFarland called the risk that "we spend ourselves into oblivion" the biggest national security threat facing America.
"Throw the bums out, throw all the bums out," she advised.
Another radio host, Andrew Wilkow, spoke about the concept of "the zero liability voter." When voters who don't pay any taxes become the majority, "you can say goodbye to your freedom," he warned, predicting that "51% will always vote themselves a raise on the back of 49%."
The rally ended on a populist note.
First, the writer and director of the movie Generation Zero, Stephen Bannon, accused the government of providing "socialism for the very poor and the very wealthy and a brutal form of capitalism for everybody else."
"Our financial elites and the political class have taken care of themselves and led our country to the brink of bankruptcy," he said. "Leverage is a drug and debt, particularly public debt is like heroin…provided by the pushers on Wall Street and the mules on Capitol Hill."
Finally, millionaire protectionist and anti-immigration activist Lou Dobbs got up to speak on behalf on "the middle class of this country" and "the working men and women of this country."
"We are coming together out of love and not hate," he said. "There is one race in America and it is the American citizen."
Otherwise, he did not speak about either trade or immigration, and just to mark the point, immediately after he stopped speaking, the event organizer, Mr. Webb, said, "To those who want to be American citizens around the world, we want you here, we welcome you."
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Those interested in tea parties may also want to read my biography of Samuel Adams, who gave the order to start the original Boston Tea Party.