PI Original Josh Kalven Monday June 14th, 2010, 11:18am

Pollak Cites Gun-Toter As Example Of Tea Party Diversity (VIDEO)

When challenged about the tea party's image as predominantly "white and middle-class," 9th Congressional District GOP candidate Joel Pollak chose a questionable example of diversity.

On WFLD's Fox Chicago Sunday this past weekend, GOP candidate Joel Pollack discussed why he is challenging Rep. Jan Schakowsky in the 9th Congressional District.  One notable moment came when co-host Dane Placko asked him about the apparent lack of diversity among the so-called "tea partiers."  In response, Pollak argued that the left-wing media has attempted to "mask the diversity of the tea party" and gave an interesting example.  Watch it (full video available here):

POLLACK: It depends which channels you're watching. MSNBC, for example, did a thing a while ago where they said there was someone at the tea party who brought a gun.  And then they panned the camera up only neck-high.  And then they said this is a racist white person who is bringing a gun.  And it happened to be an African-American man who is bringing a gun.  There's an attempt, I think, to mask some of the diversity of the tea party, because if you can argue that people come from one part of the population and not another, then you can ignore what they're saying.  And I think it's very important to understand what they're saying.

Pollak is referring to an incident from August 2009 in which a man named Chris Broughton brought both an assault rifle and a pistol to a protest outside a town hall being held by President Obama in Phoenix, Arizona.  Subsequently, an MSNBC anchor expressed concern about "white people showing up [at Obama events] with guns strapped to their waist."  Conservative bloggers cried foul because the accompanying video failed to show that Broughton was African-American.

So there you have Pollak's evidence of the media attempting "to mask" the tea partiers' diversity. 

But let's not forget that the Republican candidate also urged us to "understand" what the tea party followers are "saying." In Broughton's case, this is particularly revealing:

Chris Broughton, the man who brought an AR-15 rifle and a handgun to an Arizona Obama rally earlier this month, says he "concurs" with his fundamentalist pastor's prayer for President Obama "to die and go to hell." [...]

In an interview with ABC 15 outside the storefront Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Broughton said of [pastor Steven] Anderson's controversial August 16 "Why I Hate Barack Obama" sermon: "I concur, I think we'd be better off if God would send [Obama] where he's going now instead of later. [Obama] is destroying our country."

And when a reporter followed up with, "you're not advocating violence against the president?" Broughton, who has previously said his weapons are for defense, says "I'm not going to answer that question directly."

"I don't care how God does it, I'm not going into further detail than that," Broughton says. "It would be better now than later."

Pollak apparently wanted to remind us all that it's not just white tea partiers who want to see Barack Obama struck down by God for "destroying our country" -- there are African-Americans who feel the same way!

Point taken, I guess?


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