by Eric Byler
Annabel Park recently spoke to Diane Rufino, leader of the Eastern North Carolina Tea Party, at the "Honor the Oath" rally at the State Capitol in Raleigh.
Diane had drawn applause during her speech when she praised North Carolina's role during the Civil War, yet, she said that Rev. Dr. William Barber is wrong to remind us of historic struggles for racial equality in order to counter the TEA Party, and address modern day injustices. "Time to move on," she said.
Diane is eager to change the perception that the TEA Party and Republican party are dominated by white men. In her interview, she explained that catch phrases like "take our country back" do not imply going back to a time before the Civil Rights movement. Instead, she argued, TEA Party members and other conservatives want to go back to a time when there were "parameters."
"When was that?" Annabel asked. Diane's fascinating answer provides a window into the complexity and agony of TEA Party conservatives struggling to respond to changes in America.
After the interview, Annabel remarked that she really appreciated Diane's openness and willingness to engage her in dialogue. "Despite whatever differences we may have, I respect her strength and her spirit of engagement. I think it's critical to open up dialogue like this to heal America's divide." [MORE]