During Project 21 chairman Mychal Massie’s “empty chair debate” against civil rights establishment leaders Al Sharpton, Marc Morial and Walter Fauntroy, Mychal took on Fauntroy — a former congressional delegate — for his comparisons of the tea party movement to the Ku Klux Klan.
At a press conference last year, Fauntroy said: “We are going to take on the barbarism of war, the decadence of racism and the scourge of poverty, that the Ku Klux — I meant to say the tea party… You all forgive me, but I — you have to use them interchangeably.”
Mychal questions Fauntroy’s empty seat as to which incarnation of the KKK Fauntroy meant by his comment: the racist, nativist or terroristic version. In doing so, Mychal questions Fauntroy’s flippant use of the Klan to demean advocates of smaller government and less taxes and spending.
Responding to an assertion by Fauntroy that the tea party movement has declared war on civil rights, Mychal discusses the political diversity of tea party activists and suggests Fauntroy was “intentionally disingenuous, intentionally dishonest or if indeed he is ignorant of the facts.” Mychal further suggests that Fauntroy, a founding member of the race-exclusive Congressional Black Caucus, may have “lost sight that people can agree on a common cause… irrespective of the color of their skin.”
Mychal’s debate was held at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on February 28.