Unfortunately, I was unable to make the recent Tea Party rally in Richmond, Virginia and it looks like I missed one of the most interesting references to Confederate History Month since the governor’s announcement. Karen Cooper is an African American postal worker who lives in Chesterfield, Virginia. Although the video posted below doesn’t include it, apparently she walked toward the podium declaring, “Happy confederate heritage and history month patriots!” [Update: Click here for Cooper’s introduction and opening remarks.]
Ms. Cooper goes on to talk about her decision to vote for President Obama as well as the reasons for her change of position. Along the way she delivers this little comment about the Founding Fathers:
I love my country. I love our Founding Fathers. They were visionaries. They were not a bunch of racist, sexist bigots. They knew that this country was going to abolish slavery one day and they were right.
I should point out that I don’t have any firm beliefs about the racial beliefs of the Tea Party folks. I’ve read my share of news stories as well as the most recent poll, which seems to challenge some of the more outlandish claims made about its members. That said, I am curious as to what Ms. Cooper sensed about what I assume was a predominantly white audience that caused her to make an explicit endorsement of Confederate History Month as well as declare that the Founding Fathers were not racists and that they understood that slavery would one day end. What exactly does that have to do with the agenda of the Tea Party Movement? Could it be that Ms. Cooper and Governor McDonnell had similar goals in their support of the proclamation?