April 23, 2010

An American Revolutionary

Diana Reimer, founder of the Philadelphia Tea Party Patriots and national coordinator for TPP, is featured in this article by Holly Otterbein at the Philadelphia City Paper following the group's February 'anti-reconciliation' rally at Rittenhouse Square.

I've had the pleasure of getting to know Diana and her husband Don over the past several weeks. I've seen a remarkable growth in their organization's reach since our initial meeting after their first event, last year's Tax Day Tea Party.  A year ago, they were self-proclaimed political amatuers.  But seeing how much they've accomplished and learned about the political process and coalition-building over the past year, I am in awe.  The energy, determination and passion both Diana and Don bring to the cause consuming their lives is inspiring.
The article is surprisingly fair to the movement.  While most news outlets portray Tea Party activists as racist hate-mongers, Otterbein offers quite a different perspective about Diana and others in attendence:
Robert Allen Mansfield, a broad-shouldered black man in his late 30s, stands up. He is wearing a black suit, tiny, round glasses and a blue tie, and props himself up with a cane. He strays from the topic at hand, talking about what it was like to be a sergeant for eight months in Iraq. He then orders everyone who has served in the military to rise for applause; more than half the men in the room jump to their feet.

It's a poignant moment. Mansfield's face crumples, as if about to cry. But suddenly he perks up. He's got something to say. "I wasn't going to do this, but," he says, pausing. "I'm running for governor."

The mostly white Tea Party members furiously clap and cheer and squeeze his shoulders.
Although Holly seems to be surprised by this public show of affection towards a black man, at least her mind is open to seeing the truth about these new-age radicals. 

They are peaceful, caring, American Revolutionaries.

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