Thursday, June 16, 2011


             In the June 9th edition of The Carolinian Newspaper in part 2 of a story about RWCA members challenging the leadership of their president, Danny Coleman, we reported the following: 

          For instance, despite his strong backing of President Barack Obama, Coleman turned many a head in the African-American community on April 15, 2010 when he spoke at a right-wing anti-Obama Tea Party rally in Raleigh, and said that Americans should, “pay [for] your own healthcare,” a clear stab at the president’s health care policy.

         That reporting was based on a YouTube video (which apparently has since been removed) of Coleman's remarks - what he actually said - at that Raleigh Tea Party rally.

          Well last night, Coleman sent out the following missive to RWCA members:

          RWCA Members and Friends,

          I was stopped this evening by a friend asking me why I would speak to the Tea Party members at their rally in 2010 putting down President Obama’s Health Plan.  He was citing the implication derived from a recent front page article with the picture of President Obama and myself.  You know I don’t speak off the cuff so I shared with that individual and now each of you again the content of that speech just so I can set the record straight.  By the way I was wearing my Obama hat, and even though I was warned that the hat was problematic I did not receive any threats.  Even now I think it was a very good speech and the kudos received on behalf of the RWCA were from many in this community who you hold in the highest of esteem.

         I don’t mind being the target of those that do not agree with me, it comes with leadership.  You know where my office is and I am no stranger, no shrinking violet if you want to discuss anything, pro or con about what I think is important or about what you think is important.  We have to work together if we are to successfully navigate the rough economic seas we are currently sailing through.

        Dan Coleman

         Now to buttress his case, Coleman attached a copy of the speech he purportedly delivered. I'm pasting it here for you to see, but I'll also highlight the healthcare passage:

           Good afternoon to everyone present.  My name is Dan Coleman, President of the Raleigh Wake Citizens Association. 

         Please bear with me.  I am getting over a chest cold and I might have to stop speaking if congestion overwhelms me.

           I am not here today to denigrate our President or Congress.  I think they have huge tasks before them.  I pray that God will give them the wisdom to know what those tasks are and the courage to address them in meaningful ways.

         I am here today to tell you that I have failed.  And this is how I have failed.  I sat back and watched on Lou Dobbs how we were marching jobs out of the country daily.  Every night Lou would give a list of the companies and the jobs that were being “outsourced”.  Those daily reports lasted for years if my memory serves me well and I did not do anything.  I was intoxicated with the ambrosia of home equity lines of credit, flipping houses, classifying some jobs as jobs American can not do.  I was inebriated on the apparent trappings of the good life.  I became a consumer forgoing my responsibility of being a producer.

     Now I have the advantage of 20/20 hindsight and know that the jobs I was watching being “outsourced” on Lou Dobbs daily have crept up the food chain to the degree that my job is now threatened.  My job is now considered a job Americans can not do.  With that threat I am now looking around to blame any and everyone, forgetting that I sat back and did not do a thing.

        Ladies and gentlemen I do not know what you were doing while we “outsourced” our middle class.  I can not imagine you sat back and did what I did.  Could it be that the ambrosia that intoxicated me, that anesthesized me to the degree that I could not see that I was cannibalizing our great consumer economy, foregoing any notion that you reap what you sow and substituting it with the good life that my home equity line of credit was providing me.

         The Raleigh Wake Citizens Association has taken as its signature issue during this Great Recession a renewed commitment for full employment for every citizen of this great county of Wake we all call home.  We feel strongly that  “…Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort. The joy and moral stimulation of work no longer must be forgotten in the mad chase of evanescent profits”1

       Going forward I am going to hold myself accountable for marching the jobs back into the country as ceremoniously as they were marched out.   I am going to do my utmost to have those companies that are “in-sourcing” jobs to be held in the highest esteem.  Every day I am going to help redefine the jobs that Americans can not do.  Doing these and other things will allow this country and especially this wonderful county to reap what it needs to keep our children educated, to keep law and order, to provide decent, safe and affordable transit options, to keep our drinking water clean, bountiful and affordable. 
     The intended consequences will be to have my fellow citizens’ flush with the necessary income to pay for their health care, to add to their retirement plans, to take their families on vacations, to keep food on the table and gas in the tanks of their cars.

         So in conclusion I am asking each and everyone of you here today to help me and by extension the Raleigh Wake Citizens Association to undo what we let transpire earlier in the 21st century.  I know now I am no longer inebriated with the trappings of my equity line of credit. The ambrosia that intoxicated me earlier is long gone.

        I pray for myself with your concurrence that
       God grant me the serenity
       to accept the things I cannot change;
       courage to change the things I can;
       and wisdom to know the difference.

       Living one day at a time;
       Enjoying one moment at a time;
       Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
       Taking, as He did, this sinful world
       as it is, not as I would have it;
       Trusting that He will make all things right
       if I surrender to His Will;
       That I may be reasonably happy in this life
       and supremely happy with Him
       Forever in the next.

      Thank you, my name is Dan Coleman and I am here today representing the Raleigh Wake Citizens Association

        Now even though the YouTube video of Coleman's remarks has apparently been taken down (if you find it, let me know), if you click this link, you can download the audio that I saved (I save everything for situations like this) so you can "read along with Danny" as he delivers his speech. 

        And if you listen carefully, you'll hear that not once or twice, but several times throughout that speech, Danny either changes or leaves stuff out, primarily because he knows he's talking to a Tea party crowd.


       That then leads us to FACT #2 - while it's true that Coleman never attacked President Obama (and said he wouldn't), and never attacked Obamacare by name, he did, in the remarks that he delivered, not the ones that he wrote, strongly inferred to that Raleigh Tea Party crowd that he agreed with them in their opposition to the federal government having anything to do with paying for health care when he said, "...other intended consequences will be to have you, my brothers and sisters, flushed with the necessary pay your own health care..."

         I don't know about you, but normally, when I do public speaking, I don't call folks "brothers and sisters" unless I really want to connect. Indeed, I don't personalize my message unless I want to assure the folks I'm talking to that I agree with them.

        Notice the rousing applause, the biggest of the one or two Danny got at all during his over four minute speech, from this anti-Obama/anti-Obamacare Raleigh Tea Party crowd. Either he told them what they wanted to hear, or they mistook what what he said
         Many of you may opt for the latter, that is until you consider that Coleman was at that Tea Party Tax Day rally at the state capitol WITH conservative Wake School Board member (and Tea Party favorite) John Tedesco, and Coleman has been openly supportive the board's Republican majority since they got on in 2009.

           In a September 2010 Carolinian article I wrote titled, "RWCA Head Joins Tedesco, Wants Sutton Out," please note this passage:

           It has been an open secret for years in Raleigh’s Democratic liberal political circles that Coleman marches to a different drummer, and admittedly so. Even on the RWCA website, Coleman calls his personal page, “Right of Center Blog: from the mind of RWCA President Danny Coleman.”

           That RWCA website, which Coleman personally maintained, no longer exists.

          The man even admitted to agreeing with the rabidly right-wing Lou Dobbs, who now works for Fox News Business Channel.

         Dobbs, as many of you already know, is vehemently opposed to Obamacare!

         It also strikes me that if what Coleman said was so innocuous and innocent at that Tea Party rally, then why not just say so, instead of sending out a written speech 14 months after the fact, that only serves to prove he had something to hide once audio of his actual remarks are revealed.

         The man has outsmarted himself AGAIN!

          So Coleman may still like and admire President Obama, but that doesn't mean he's fully supportive of the president's policies. The fact that Coleman would show up at all at an ultra-right-wing Tea Party rally KNOWING how they feel about the president, and publicly do so on behalf of the RWCA, even though it's a certainly that most of the membership, if they knew what he was doing, would not have approved, is telling in itself.

          So, in closing, the mp3 file of Coleman's remarks doesn't lie. Forget what he wrote, because all that does is misrepresent the record. 
          The recording of his remarks is what the truth is.

         Too bad Danny Coleman doesn't believe in standing by that!

         'Nuff said!

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