Charles Payne Keynote Speaker at Richmond Tea Party April 15, 2010
I'm so proud and honored to be here today. You have made such a difference in this nation against the forces of the government and the media that have tried to destroy you from the very beginning.
Did any of you see a couple of months ago Marvel Comics put out an issue of Captain America called "Two Americas" in which Captain America and his partner The Falcon a black super hero are observing a Tea Party gathering from a rooftop because they are investigating hate groups?
Captain America says to The Falcon lets go down and infiltrate them and then The Falcon replies: "I don't exactly see a black man from Harlem fitting in with a bunch of angry white folks".
Well, let me tell you something Richmond....this black man from Harlem has never felt a warmer reception.
This black man is here today because he is from Harlem and has witnessed first hand the destructive nature that too much reliance on government has had on an entire group people.
I've seen innate gifts from God smothered from birth through the crumbs of government intervention that says "hey you can't make it without us, but don't fret, we will take care of you".
People that have been duped into this welfare trap should be angry, yet the media likes to portray the Tea Party as just a bunch of angry people.
I see a crowd of people that love their fellow Americans with all their heart.
I see a crowd of people that love their country with all their heart.
If... Captain America was here today, he wouldn't be on a rooftop he would be in the crowd holding his shield high.
Captain America would be in the crowd waving an American flag.
When I look into this crowd I see thousands of individuals that are all Captain Americas in their own right.
I see people that escaped the apathy of the masses.
I've spoken at Tea Parties, and I know what this is all about.
The Tea Party is about basic freedoms to live life the American way.
America is at the crossroads and the Tea Party is also at a crossroads.
There has been a movement in this nation since the late 1800s that has been determined to change America away from capitalism to communism. These anti-capitalists always found their greatest opportunities during times of economic turmoil.
Amazingly these sentiments are being stoked once again as people are being told the nation is in an economic slump only because of the shenanigans of Wall Street.
I think this administration was angling to nationalize banks, but the uproar was too loud so instead the goal is to put into place regulations so Draconian that the White House becomes the de facto ruler of the banking system.
The fact is through forced regulations, establishments of Czars and executive orders the White House plans to control the majority of the economy.
I sincerely believe the goal has not only been a redistribution of wealth but a lower standard of living for all Americans.
Well, congratulations Mr. President and Congress, we are on our way.
When Senator Jim Bunning recently stood alone to say to his colleague lets make sure we pay for extended unemployment benefits before we offer it, he was vilified as a heartless human being.
The irony of course is he was the exact opposite. If we borrow $10.0 billion now, it's going to cost $11.0 billion maybe $15.0 billion down the road.
So the more important question...Is it wise or compassionate to pile up this debt for our children? Is it compassionate to leave a burden for our children and grandchildren to the point where their innate gifts from God are smothered from birth because our nation has become a slave to interest payments that only leave crumbs of opportunities?
In this future our children and grand children will have no choice other than to let government take care of them from the cradle to the grave.
On Easter Sunday, I saw a man walking to church with his two sons. His clothes were clean but cheap but his sons were dressed in suits and they wore nice leather shoes. This man put his family before himself. This is the America I grew up in and the reason I thank God for the Tea Party movement and its stand to preserve this America way of life.
Because when I look out into this crowd, I see Americans that love their children too much to leave them a nation saddled with debt, a feeling of inferiority and indifference about God.
My mother sacrificed everything for me and my brothers. I watched her work any job she could find. My parents divorced when I was 12 or so, and we came to Harlem.
My mother, I and my two brothers arrived penniless and homeless.
At that point of my life I never thought a single moment about money, but I also never thought for a single moment people lived through winters with no heat or kids would have to climb over drug addicts and winos to get out of their building just to go to school.
My mother was a warrior who grew up on a farm in Alabama. She knew hard work and she also understood self-sufficiency.
I never felt poor or sorry for myself. I had a brain and two hands and saw a determination in my mother's eyes driven by her faith.
In other Tea Parties I've spoken at, I've been stopped by people and they asked things like "is there any hope", "is there anyway to fight back"...
Yet even those that voiced the most fear, I could see the passion in their eyes and knew they were ready to fight tooth and nail to save this nation.
You must never lose that passion even under heavy assault.
When Nancy Pelosi and her media elites couldn't sweep you under a rug, they had to find another way to try and destroy the Tea Party.
The process of trying to destroy the Tea Party involves taking its biggest assets and try making them liabilities.
Your passion can be expressed by the media as threatening and hostile.
Your lack of a central leader means you don't have a key person to defame but instead means each person in this crowd must endure character assassination.
Every person in this crowd must be called a racist.
I am here today to set the record straight and to remind the world why the natural instincts of the people in this crowd are in keeping with the natural instincts of our Founding Fathers.
On March 23, 1775, Patrick Henry spoke at the Virginia Convention and among other things, this is what he said:
"It is natural to man to indulge in the illusion of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth –and listen to the song of that siren, till she transforms us into beast. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty?
Are we disposed to be of the number of those, who having eyes, see not and having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish or spirit it might cost, I am willing to know the whole truth, to know the worst, and to provide for it."
In the spirit of Patrick Henry, we can't close our eyes, blame Wall Street for all our trouble and wait for the government to fly in and save us.
This isn't how America became the greatest nation ever to grace the face of the earth.
In my mind, we can't pretend that mounting fiscal deficits and runaway debt will not come crashing down on our heads.
In my mind, we can't see the vilification of oil companies and insurance companies isn't just a first step in the vilification of profits and capitalism and even hard work.
I have eyes and I see where America is being lured into a less competitive country.
I have ears and I don't hear the president thank God or the American people and their resolve as the main reason the nation is climbing out of the whole.
I know we have become a softer nation and prospects of soft landings seem appealing. But an economic crisis that would have eventually corrected itself like every single economic crisis before has been hijack into a means to change this nation.
Now is the time to follow Patrick Henry's words.
Now is the time wise men and women that believe in this nation must engage in a great and arduous struggle to save it.
In my mind such men and women are patriots. I'm standing in front of thousands of such patriots right now.
The media doesn't pull a grandmother out of the crowd to ask her what she truly feels.
Sure, from time to time they'll play a sound bite saying it's about big government and wild spending, but it's deeper than that.
From time to time the media will say its all about things like the right to bear arms or immigration control. But they write about these things in a manner that deliberately tries to make Tea Party members seem heartless and unaware.
And, yet, everyone in this crowd is aware of the depths of the current risks.
You understand instinctively the nation is not only on the wrong path but a dangerously wrong path. The people in this crowd have connected the dots and the future is bankruptcy and despair.
And yet, it's more than just about the mounting debts. You know the title of that Marvel comic book is interesting.
When I was growing up in Harlem I saw two Americas. I saw people that resisted government handouts and those that not only took them but came to believe those benefits were a birth right. I saw many parents get up early in the morning to go to jobs that more often than not paid minimum wage.
While these parents were out there working hard other parents were home watching TV. Those working parents had to scratch their heads and ask themselves why break their backs, because when they looked out the window and saw their kids playing with the kids of the unemployed parents they all had on the same clothes including the expensive sneakers.
Imagine what went through the mind of a single mother that had to pay for a babysitter, work a job that was probably very psychically demanding, and come home and still prepared dinner for her children.
She had nothing left financially after paying the bills including the rent. In the meantime, the government paid her neighbor's rent, food and clothes.
The neighbor had no incentive to work. In this environment more people are going to give up and jump on the dole than are going to try to get off welfare.
Yes, we live in two Americas where 47% of adults don't pay federal income tax.
Right now 40 million Americans are on food stamps up 8 million in the last year- a jump that has never been witnessed before.
Right now 10 million Americans are getting unemployment insurance benefits a number than has never been witnessed before.
It is great to live in a country that can help its fellow man, but is it compassionate to create a permanent underclass of people that will depend on the government instead of their wit, determination and abilities?
This is the direction America is head toward right now. People who create jobs and opportunities are being vilified.
Our government has given up on capitalism.
The great welfare society we are barreling toward isn't cheap.
Nobody drove here in a limo; you are regular hard working God fearing folks that know stealing is wrong even if you cloak it in sweet sound bites. And believe me what this government is doing is stealing. This government will take as much as it can from businesses and the so-called rich but everyone that works will pay to fund the Nanny State. In the process we are stealing opportunities from our children.
America's success is a byproduct of our willingness to work hard and not accept mediocrity. Our hard work is a byproduct of our belief in God and his blessings.
In 1904, a German couple arrived in New York seeking a first hand glimpse of the "spirit of capitalism". After three and a half months of traveling throughout America, Max Weber and his wife returned to Germany where he wrote "The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism" based on his observations in America.
Faith in God laid the groundwork for the evolution of capitalism.
Its time to get back to our basics roots reject reckless government spending, and the creation of a welfare nanny state.
When I was a teenager back in Harlem one night during dinner, I wasn't eating so my mother asked what was wrong. I told her the story about what I saw about an hour earlier.
I was in the neighborhood laundry mat sitting there waiting for the clothes to dry. I was sitting on a bench watching the handyman/janitor wipe down the machines as he was preparing to close up after I left.
I saw when he found an arm to a doll and rushed over to a pile of other parts from this doll that had been ripped apart. He sat down on the bench next to me and began putting the doll together. There was so much joy in his eyes as he told me his daughter would be so happy to get this doll.
I will never forget watching him struggle to push the arms back into the body and brush the hair to hide bald patches.
I began to cry as I retold this story to my mother and brothers. It hurt me so badly that people had to be so poor. But as I look back on it now, it was more than a story of someone being poor. It also spoke of someone that cared for his family and was willing to work hard for them.
It probably also spoke to the fact there was a parent that didn't work for the money that paid for the doll so there wasn't any lost pride or alarm as it was dismembered.
We can't sell our children's future to soften the blow from our own mistakes.
We can't sell our souls for a soft landing.
We can't sell out the sacrifices of our ancestors and forefathers.
All I want to say Richmond is you are fighting amazing odds. You don't churn out three dozen movies a year that denigrate America and you don't own all the media outlets that find your values old fashioned or superstitious.
If you stick to your principles and follow your hearts more people will join you and fight to save this country. Stay focused and don't get distracted. Don't let the powers that be push you aside. Don't let one party take you for granted and another drag you through the mud.
And don't let the elites derail you.
Don't let them use reverse psychology and exploit your strengths.
Richmond, hold your signs high and never stop fighting.
God Bless the Tea Parties, God Bless America
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