Keeping that grim history in mind makes some of the rhetoric currently flying around all the more repulsive:
A Tea Party rally in Greenville, South Carolina over the weekend took some of the Tea Party's violent rhetoric to new levels, with speakers attacking everything from President Obama's citizenship to Sen. Lindsey Graham's sexuality.
The event took place at the Bi-Lo Center in Greenville, and featured former Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) as its keynote speaker. Tancredo, who ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008, said that Americans are "going to have to pray that we can hold on to this country." He added, referring to President Obama: "If his wife says Kenya is his homeland, why don't we just send him back?"
Pastor Stan Craig, of the Choice Hills Baptist Church, was particularly angry about the state of Washington, saying he "was trained to defend the liberties of this nation." He declared that he was prepared to "suit up, get my gun, go to Washington, and do what they trained me to do."
Before anyone dismisses this as wild rhetoric espoused by fringe idiots, I'd like to point out that numerous prominent Republicans have appeared at these rallies and egged on the crowds. While most have managed to avoid being overtly racist like the odious snake Tancredo, neither is their any effort on the GOP's part to distance itself from the incendiary speech and bellicose stance of the Tea Partiers.
This is a disturbing moment in American history.
Update: That being said, inflammatory and misleading headlines at Huffington Post about "Militias Descending on DC" aren't helpful, either.