Tom Tancredo: Were his comments about Obama and election literacy tests at tea party convention racist?
Former Wesword profile subject Tom Tancredo's well known for his ability to stir things up -- even at already controversial events like at the first National Tea Party Convention in Nashville, Tennessee, where his keynote remarks prompted the New York Daily News to publish an article headlined, "Tea Party Convention's Racial Brouhahah: Obama Won Because Jim Crow-era Law Not on Books -- Tancredo."
This assertion is open to interpretation, as is almost everything said by the former Colorado rep and onetime presidential aspirant. According to the Daily News, Tancredo told the crowd that President Barack Obama was elected partly because "we do not have a civics, literacy test before people can vote." He argued that "people who could not even spell the word 'vote' or say it in English put a committed socialist ideologue in the White House."
As the Daily News points out, literacy tests were once used to prevent African-Americans from voting -- although Tancredo's remarks appear to refer to immigrants, illegal or otherwise.
Does that mean Tancredo believes illegal aliens swayed the vote to Obama? And what about the folks who voted for John McCain (who loss in 2008 Tancredo praised)? Were all of them highly educated scholars? Or did his supporters include a percentage of barely functional morons who couldn't pass a literacy test, either?
Whatever the case, the Daily News piece is accompanied by a reader poll asking if Tancredo's remarks were racist. The options: "Yes. It was clearly code language for keeping minorities from voting;" "No. All he was calling for was a more informed electorate;" and "Not sure."
The results at this writing? "Yes" is winning with 68 percent, followed by "No," with 30 percent, and "Not sure" trailing with 2 percent.
Which of these voters do you think could pass a literacy test?
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