The notion that Tea Partyers are racists has gotten a lot of play in the liberal media but suffers from a lack of facts. The “We the People Convention” on July 1-2 in Columbus, Ohio, is further evidence that Tea Partyers are making inroads in groups that have historically been staunchly Democratic.

The convention bills itself as a gathering “to recruit, educate, and motivate Ohio citizens at the grass-roots level to perform their constitutionally-defined role in the governance of their townships, municipalities, and counties, as well as in our state and nation, by providing opportunities, knowledge, and training to ensure limited constitutional governance.” What is noteworthy is the prominence of African Americans in this event.

Paul Baker, who heads the break-out sessions for the convention, tells me that the prominence of African American leaders is indicative of the inclusiveness of the movement. African American participants who will conduct sessions, he tells me, include “Brenda Mack and Steve Cheeks of the Ohio Black Republican Association. Anita Moncreif is a former ACORN employee (and whistleblower) who started a Tea Party in Texas.” Herman Cain will give the keynote address.

The Tea Party, many on the left continue to assert, is losing steam or is politically irrelevant or is the private club of white racists. In fact, the viewpoints of the presidential candidates, the Republican House agenda and the ongoing efforts to recruit and expand into communities where Republican have traditionally not done well suggest that the Tea Party remains a critical grass-roots component of the GOP.