Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) is one of the standard-bearers of the progressive cause in the House of Representatives. Being among the minority — for now at least — might make him a little more tenacious and ferocious in his rhetoric, but did a recent email that he sent out to his constituents and donors go too far? If you ask MSNBC’s Martin Bashir, you might be surprised at the answer you get.
Bashir’s politics are as clear as anyone’s on MSBC’s, but recently on his show, he took Grayson to task for embedding an image of a massive burning cross, with two robed klansmen in the background, and the crucifix set alight formed the “T” in “Tea Party,” with a caption that read, “Now You Know What the “T” Stands For.” While agreeing with some of Grayson’s point that the Tea Party has certainly been a hotbed of racially-charged language, specifically directed at President Obama, the MSNBC host asked, “How can you possibly compare racist epithets with racist actions of the KKK, which actually led to racist murders?”
Grayson replied that he felt that the Tea Party is the “home of discrimination and bigotry in our country,” and that while we haven’t seen a sudden spike in public lynchings, “but the analogy holds to that degree.” Bashir’s overall point was that it seemed to give-up any moral high-ground for anyone who criticizes the Tea Party for their hyperbolic rhetoric to then turn around put that kind of imagery in a fundraising email. Bashir asked Grayson, to that point, “Don’t you yourself thereby debase your own party by arguing on their level?”
The Florida Democrat seemed a bit taken aback and answered, “Do you think that racism is the same as calling out racism? Do you think that my effort to end racism in America is somehow analogous to racism itself? That’s ridiculous.” Grayson even went so far as to say that since Bashir was calling out the use of the image, that the broadcaster was somehow siding with the racists in the Tea Party.
Watch the full clip of the interview below: