NEW VIDEO: Tea Party Values, the Civil War and Race in Raleigh, NC

By Story of America Team

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.

NOTE: Listen to Annabel Park & Eric Byler talk about this video on Coffee Party Radio

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.”

Diane has blogged that her support for secession from the Union in response to Barack Obama’s election has divided her home. “Even after hours of discussion and debate,” she says of her husband, “he still believes that Lincoln was justified in invading the South. …I guess you can say that we have a House divided at home now.”

There is an epic political battle going on in North Carolina for the future direction of the state. What unfolds in this battleground state in the next year just may shape the story of America for years to come.

Often mentioned during a recent radio show about the video above: Glen Bradley, the organizer of the Honor the Oath rally, and a former State Representative in North Carolina:


Read Nicole Maron’s response to this video.

Stay tuned for more video from the “Honor the Oath” rally, plus footage from “HK on J,” a People’s Assembly at the NC State Capitol led by Rev. Dr. William Barber.