Columnist Leonard Pitts champions Rep. Maxine Waters of California for saying the tea party can "go straight to hell" ("Sometimes, you just have to stand up to a bully," Aug. 28).

The tea party is predominantly white, and Representative Waters and Mr. Pitts are black. So we have an elected official telling a group of concerned citizens fighting for a particular point of view to get lost, and a respected journalist cheering her on.

But what if the situation were reversed, and we had a white private citizen telling a group of elected officials such as the Congressional Black Caucus to "go to hell." Would Mr. Pitts praise that opinion as enthusiastically as he praises that of Ms. Waters?

Apparently, the message of tolerance, diversity and acceptance is strictly a one-way street for Mr. Pitts.

Ken Hines, Baltimore