Two firebrands of the anti-tax movement in Minnesota -- Michele Bachmann and Tom Emmer -- headlined a rally at the Capitol in St. Paul on Saturday, the Star Tribune reported.
But a photograph in the Star Tribune revealed an obviously racist message that muted the message protesters wanted to deliver.
Here's a closer look:
The rally at the Capitol was organized by Jason Lewis of KTLK. To be clear: Most of the signs were merely political in nature. But, at some point, doesn't someone have to say, "Hey, buddy, ditch the sign; you're killing our cause, here"?
Earlier this week, the Washington Post reported that the Tea Party movement, in particular, is battling a perception of racism:
Judson Phillips, the founder of Tea Party Nation, said that at the heart of the effort to counter racism accusations is dissociating from protesters who cross the line. Around the time of the health-care vote, FreedomWorks and Tea Party Nation worked to form a federation of tea party groups to coordinate strategy and do a better job sticking to a similar message, organizers said.
At a protest in Nashville, Phillips said, there were "a couple of signs -- which I'm not convinced weren't plants from the other side -- that were really tasteless and inappropriate." The people who carried them "were told to put their signs down and leave. . . . They were literally thrown out of the event," he said.
Bob Collins writes the News Cut blog for Minnesota Public Radio.