Last week, there were several instances of protesters showing up outside of town hall meetings openly carrying firearms. Anti-gun activists and the media were flabbergasted not only at the audacity of the protesters, but that the carrying of firearms happened to be perfectly legal where it occurred. (Eleven states allow unlicensed open carry, with 13 more requiring a permit.)
MSNBC, not content to simply say, "Golly, guns are scary!" decided that there must be something racist going on. After showing close-cropped video footage of a protester with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle slung over his shoulder, MSNBC host Contessa Brewer went on to say:
"Yes, there are Second Amendment rights, for sure, but also there are questions of whether this has a racial overtone. I mean, here you have a man of color in the presidency, and you have white people showing up with guns strapped to their waist."
The only problem with MSNBC's narrative of simmering racial tension and extremism is that the man with the rifle was, in fact, black.
After getting slammed this morning by just about every conservative blog in existence, an MSNBC spokesman, responding to Politico, issued this weak-kneed, watery response:
"Contessa was speaking generally and not about that specific person with the automatic weapon."
(An AR-15 isn't automatic, by the way, but I wouldn't want to start holding MSNBC to any sort of fact-checking standard.)
So, if I understand correctly, Brewer was claiming the town hall protesters carrying guns were generally racist. That seems like a perfectly reasonable and well-founded assertion. No need, then, to show any evidence to the contrary, except to deliberately crop it out and use the footage to support Brewer's claim.