Tea Party members are not racists, Andrew Breitbart told a crowd of nearly 400 people who packed the University of Redlands’ Orton Center on Thursday night.
But they are played up as such by liberals in an attempt to silence the Tea Party movement, he said.
The radio talk show host and Tea Party supporter brought his message to the Inland Empire thanks to Redlands Tea Party Patriots, NewsTalk 590 KTIE and the University of Redlands Campus Diversity and Inclusion, Chaplain's Office and College Republicans.
The conservative has been a key figure in several high profile controversies, including the one that led to the eventual dissolution of Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN.
Breitbart spent a good part of his address discussing racism, sexism and diversity, topics he’s well known for.
The tactics being used by what Breibart called the Democratic Media Complex, or the mainstream media and liberal interests groups, are intended to scare minorities away from the Tea Party movement and their attempts to move the country back toward fiscal responsibility and its founding principals, he said.
“I watched as they created a campaign to malign you,” Breitbart told the crowd. “And the number one line of defense, and I speak this in the name of diversity, was to scare the living crap out of the minorities that you’re a bunch of racist bigots.”
He mocked liberal political commentator James Carville for allegedly saying that Tea Partiers were racist because a majority of African American voters did not vote for conservative candidates.
“The Democratic party should all be in jail for what they’ve done to the black community,” he said to loud applause.
There were a lot of nodding heads in the mostly friendly room. Dissenting opinions came out during the question and answer segment.
When one young woman, a sophomore at the university, mistakenly thought Briebart was calling African Americans Uncle Toms, he corrected her, telling her that what he actually said is that those on the left called blacks with conservative views Uncle Toms.
“What was your reading comprehension score?” Briebart asked her during her statement.
“No offense, you are the definition of the indoctrination (of the young) and you don’t even know it,” he told her as the crowd applauded thunderously. “God help us,” he added.
The event was attended by dignitaries including Mike Morrell (R-Rancho Cucamonga), Loma Linda Mayor Rhodes Rigsby and Mayor Pro Tem Ovidiu Popescu.
“I thought Andrew said some controversial things,” Morrell said. “And some very straight forward things.”
Breitbart mentioned class warfare. Morrell said class division and religious arguments have been used in some cases to guilt people into vote for bills or legislation.
“I thought he was highly intelligent and very entertaining person who can actually educate people about very sensitive subjects,” Popescu said.
“And the Tea Party is not racist,” said Mayor Rigsby. They are fiscal conservatives, he said.
"The main thing to know is there is nobody in the Tea Party movement that is interested in creating division among the races," Rigsby said. “That’s a character placed on the Tea Party.”
To cast them as right-wing radicals is also wrong, he said.
“I think an even stronger point is that this isn’t about the constitution or fiscal conservatism but actually protecting and saving America,” Popescu said. “(They) believe that America as a country will be on the verge of collapse if we continue to push the agenda of spending and calling anyone who disagrees a racist.”