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Tea Party Express Sent to a Detour
July 18, 2010 5:07 PM   Subscribe

The National Tea Party Federation has expelled a significant part of its membership, the Tea Party Express. It all started on July 13, when over 2000 NAACP delegates condemned bigoted elements in the Tea Party and asked that they be repudiated. (The bottom of this page has examples of recent racism.) A war of words ensued, with Tea Party spokespeople calling the NAACP racist and irrelevant. Mark Williams, spokesman for the Tea Party Express, was particularly harsh. On July 14, he posted an imaginary letter from "We Coloreds" to "Mr. Lincoln" on his blog. (Scroll down this link for full text and screen shot.) On July 16, the National Tea Party Federation decided to suspend the Tea Party Express, with expulsion to follow unless Williams was removed.

Although Williams did take down his "letter" post, the Tea Party Express did not rebuke or remove him, and the National Tea Party Federation expelled the Tea Party Express, as promised. Today a Tea Party spokesman called for national "tea summits" about racism.

The Tea Party Express has been a significant player in Tea Party politics. It organized a series of nationwide rallies, with more planned for this fall. It has raised money for prominent Tea Party candidates, including Scott Brown, Sharron Angle and Rand Paul. It is also raising funds to unseat Sarah Palin's nemesis, Sen. Lisa Murkowski.
posted by bearwife (320 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell Refuses To Discuss Tea Party Racism: 'I Have Got Better Things To Do'.
posted by ericb at 5:16 PM on July 18, 2010 [5 favorites]


Voting for Barack Obama is voting for the massa. On the plantation!
posted by Uppity Pigeon #2 at 5:16 PM on July 18, 2010


...and Rand Paul.

Paul Rand's belief that prvately owned restaurants and hotels should be able to discriminate based on race.
posted by ericb at 5:18 PM on July 18, 2010 [6 favorites]


*privately*
posted by ericb at 5:19 PM on July 18, 2010


I wonder what they're going to do with Rand Paul, who has said that he would have voted against the Civil Rights Act and the Fair Housing Act because he thinks that companies and people selling or renting housing ought to be able to legally discriminate based on race.
posted by stavrogin at 5:20 PM on July 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


jinx.
posted by stavrogin at 5:20 PM on July 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm convinced that its decision to pander to the racist segment of its base with the "southern strategy" and similar maneuvers was the worst decision the Republican party ever made. It has been effective (and continues to be so), but it puts the party on a direct collision course with the changing demographics of the US.

In other words, if the Tea Party people want to be relevant more than a few years into the future, they need to shed this part of their base and rejoin the modern world.
posted by Forktine at 5:20 PM on July 18, 2010 [12 favorites]


Err ... *Rand Paul*
posted by ericb at 5:21 PM on July 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


Christ, what an asshole express.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:24 PM on July 18, 2010 [33 favorites]


Good for them. I think they're wrong on a lot of other counts, but this sort of culling had to happen or they'd be really, really doomed.
posted by verb at 5:26 PM on July 18, 2010


This is about the tea party movement appearing to be opposed racism. Since the driving issue has been not paying for healthcare and other social programs for that percieved mass of undeserving newcomers and freeloaders, while portraying themselves as simply wamting to restore governance truer to the founding documents, it's important to keep the hate and fear looking like patriotism.
posted by longsleeves at 5:28 PM on July 18, 2010 [27 favorites]


It's easy (and fun! so much fun!) to snark on the Tea Party, but I think this could be a watershed moment. All movements that gain any traction end up with both fringe and more mainstream factions, and these factions have to figure out how to deal with each other. How things go when the mainstream tries to marginalize the fringe is often a pretty good indication of what kind of movement it will be as it "matures."

For instance, the New Left student movement of the 1960s allowed itself to be swallowed whole by the fringe and collapsed in failure. The environmental movement marginalized its fringe pretty well but, in the process, declawed itself.
posted by lunasol at 5:30 PM on July 18, 2010 [9 favorites]


I was just thinking forward a few hundred years, when "tea party" is some grand old fixture of the political landscape, and doesn't immediately make me think of a bunch of fucking weirdos.
posted by wilful at 5:30 PM on July 18, 2010 [3 favorites]


Did someone say "refudiate"?
posted by maudlin at 5:32 PM on July 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


If nothing else, I think we can all agree that "Rand Paul" is pretty much the platonic ideal right-wing-kook-politician's name.
posted by mhoye at 5:33 PM on July 18, 2010 [31 favorites]


Ooh, I love the smell of bigotry and ignorance imploding in the morning.
posted by orange swan at 5:34 PM on July 18, 2010 [3 favorites]


1. There's a central Tea Party organization?

2. You can get expelled from it?
posted by Electrius at 5:36 PM on July 18, 2010 [45 favorites]


I'm calling it Reform Party '10. They'll no doubt claim some sort of victory after the election based on their having given some money to Republicans that would have been elected anyway due to the midterm effect, but things are not looking good for Paul or Angle.
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:39 PM on July 18, 2010


Cranky cranks act cranky. This is my surprised face.

No, just kidding.

This is actually my bubbling-up-with-schadenfreude face.
posted by infinitywaltz at 5:42 PM on July 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


yikes
posted by nathancaswell at 5:43 PM on July 18, 2010


Bill Randall is running for Congress here in North Carolina. As a Tea Party Republican.

By the way, guess what race he is?
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 5:43 PM on July 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


How can one person expel people from a supposedly grass roots, leaderless organization.
posted by nestor_makhno at 5:43 PM on July 18, 2010 [16 favorites]


This is the Judean People's Front vs. the People's Front of Judea all over again. Has the National Tea Party Federation been elected as leadership, or are they just stepping up as de facto leaders? If it is the latter, this is a meaningless power grab. The Tea Party is nearly defined by it's ambiguous goals via their incredibly fractured nature. There's a few figurehead leaders (Palin, Beck) and a general call-to-arms spawning factions of Tea Partiers across the nation, but there's a distinct lack of cohesion. The Tea Party Express can easily spin this "expulsion" as the secession from a group who have lost their way.

wilful: "I was just thinking forward a few hundred years, when "tea party" is some grand old fixture of the political landscape, and doesn't immediately make me think of a bunch of fucking weirdos."

Oh hell no. In a century, they'll have about as much relevance as these guys do today.
posted by griphus at 5:45 PM on July 18, 2010 [4 favorites]


If you eject all the racists from the Tea Party, then you won't really have a tea party left.
posted by empath at 5:51 PM on July 18, 2010 [21 favorites]


The great thing about the comparison to the "Know Nothing" party is that both they and the Teabaggers picked names without realizing those names had an unintended double meaning.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:52 PM on July 18, 2010 [12 favorites]


Waitaminute. I thought the racist element was supposed to be "outside agitators" deliberately trying to make the Tea Party look bad.

Gonna be a fun week on FOX News for sure.
posted by djrock3k at 5:53 PM on July 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


By the way, guess what race he is?

A more pertinent question is, does he cotton to that whole emancipation thing?
posted by fleetmouse at 5:59 PM on July 18, 2010 [5 favorites]


Tea Party Signs You Won't See on TV
posted by homunculus at 6:00 PM on July 18, 2010 [18 favorites]


While I definitely support callouts when they are needed, calling people racist usually isn't productive, because most people don't believe they are racist (even if they are), and it will make them very defensive regardless of what they did. A common reaction to being called racist is calling the accuser racist in return (or "reverse racist"- a nonsense phrase if there ever was one), like the Tea Party did here. We should all listen to Jay Smooth and remember that racism is not who you are, it's what you do, and that presenting it in that way is a lot more palatable.
posted by emilyd22222 at 6:04 PM on July 18, 2010 [11 favorites]


The giant ass of America expelling a turd of vitriol into the toilet bowl of ignominy to be wiped by the TP of reinvention, flushed by the handle of redaction, and reconstituted by the plunger of despair.

Oh, and smashed to bits by the sledgehammer of Peter Gabriel.
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 6:05 PM on July 18, 2010 [10 favorites]


> For instance, the New Left student movement of the 1960s allowed itself to be swallowed whole by the fringe
> and collapsed in failure. The environmental movement marginalized its fringe pretty well but, in the process, declawed itself.
> posted by lunasol at 8:30 PM on July 18 [3 favorites +] [!]

The target area between not doing A and also not doing B is so vanishingly small and slippery it's a lot like breaking off a wet icicle and successfully balancing a marble on the tip. All those puzzled essays and posts about why third parties never succeed in the US comes down to this.
posted by jfuller at 6:05 PM on July 18, 2010


Bill Randall is running for Congress here in North Carolina. As a Tea Party Republican.

By the way, guess what race he is?


Oh cool, question time.

Is that the same Bill Randall who suggested that BP and the federal government worked together to blow up the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig?
posted by SteveInMaine at 6:07 PM on July 18, 2010 [16 favorites]


> A more pertinent question is, does he cotton to that whole emancipation thing?

Ah reckon yo' sayin' "cotton" was calc'lated.
posted by jfuller at 6:08 PM on July 18, 2010


We should all listen to Jay Smooth and remember that racism is not who you are, it's what you do, and that presenting it in that way is a lot more palatable.
What Jay Smooth actually has to say about Rand Paul is characteristically awesome.
posted by craichead at 6:10 PM on July 18, 2010 [13 favorites]


The definition of not being racist means you don't judge someone by their skin color, period. No free passes for skin color, and no hatred and mistreatment for skin color. Either action is racism.

By all means judge real racism. But if Dr. Martin Luther King were alive today, I think a LOT of people would have some 'splainin to do. If you don't know what I am talking about go back and read his iconic speech.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:11 PM on July 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Bill Randall is running for Congress here in North Carolina. As a Tea Party Republican.

By the way, guess what race he is?


And Lando Calrissian got to drive the Millennium Falcon.
posted by Talez at 6:12 PM on July 18, 2010 [5 favorites]


SteveInMaine, I assume you refer to the following:

"Personally, and this is purely speculative on my part and not based on any fact, but personally I feel there is a possibility that there was some sort of collusion," Randall told reporters in North Carolina yesterday. "I don't know how or why, but in that situation, if you have someone from a company violating a safety process and the government signing off on it, excuse me, maybe they wanted it to leak."

He's just saying what a lot of regular people are thinking. And distrust of the people in power has never been limited to the conservative side of the aisle, besides. Whether or not tinfoil is part of the picture.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:14 PM on July 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


I am so looking forward to the names the splitter groups will give themselves.

Tea Party with Extra Lemon
Well Brewed Tea Party
Tea but no milk please it gives me wind Party

posted by litleozy at 6:15 PM on July 18, 2010 [8 favorites]


Ah reckon yo' sayin' "cotton" was calc'lated.

Have you read the Mark Williams letter?

Has Bill Randall?
Dear Mr. Lincoln

We Coloreds have taken a vote and decided that we don’t cotton to that whole emancipation thing. Freedom means having to work for real, think for ourselves, and take consequences along with the rewards. That is just far too much to ask of us Colored People and we demand that it stop!
...and it goes on like that...
posted by fleetmouse at 6:17 PM on July 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


i was really hoping this Tea Party shit would snowball some more before it exploded.
posted by dunkadunc at 6:18 PM on July 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Williams' Tea Party Express is one of the most influential in the conservative movement. It has reportedly raised $2.3 million this year, helped elect Sen. Scott Brown in Massachusetts and organized a rally in Nevada that featured a rare Sarah Palin speech.

Williams stepped down as chairman last month to concentrate on leading the fight against the proposed Lower Manhattan mosque, which he called a monument to the 9/11 attackers to "worship the terrorists' monkey-god."

He called Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, who backs building the mosque, a "Jewish Uncle Tom who would have turned rat on Anne Frank."


I really want to choke to death every single teabagger who acts like the racism charges are out of thin air.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:20 PM on July 18, 2010 [18 favorites]


While I definitely support callouts when they are needed, calling people racist usually isn't productive, because most people don't believe they are racist (even if they are), and it will make them very defensive regardless of what they did. A common reaction to being called racist is calling the accuser racist in return (or "reverse racist"- a nonsense phrase if there ever was one), like the Tea Party did here.

I am not seeing the problem here. This seems like a good result. I'm not remotely interested in getting the Tea Partiers 'on my side'. I want to destroy them, drive them before us and hear the lamentations of their women. Goading them into saying something monumentally offensive and stupid seems like good tactics.
posted by empath at 6:22 PM on July 18, 2010 [17 favorites]


I am not seeing the problem here.

It's a problem because it results in petty name calling, warring, and polarization, rather than any actual improvement. I'd prefer a country with fewer people doing racist things publicly and privately than a country where we've shut up (but not really addressed) only the loudest and most public racism.
posted by emilyd22222 at 6:26 PM on July 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


He's just saying what a lot of regular people are thinking.

The words of politicians and the thoughts of "regular people" being aligned rarely leads to anything good.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 6:35 PM on July 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Holy fuck, they are STILL letting this guy speak his mind on CNN. I hate this fucking country.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:37 PM on July 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Good for them. I think they're wrong on a lot of other counts, but this sort of culling had to happen or they'd be really, really doomed.

I don't understand: what was wrong with them being doomed?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:37 PM on July 18, 2010


Eh, the Teabaggers are just the most virulent and vicious of the anti-Obama groups, they aren't really a political movement. If it lasts ten minutes after Obama leaves office I'll be stunned.

To be a political movement they'd need real political goals, actual objectives and things they can advocate. All they've got is a reflexive opposition to anything and everything Obama proposes, and that won't sustain them in the long run since he'll be out of office sooner or later.

As we can see here the "Tea Party" is, at absolute best, an extremely unstable coalition of right wing and reactionary forces who often despise one another. Absent the unifying force of their irrational (and I'll just say it: racist) hatred of Obama they'll fall apart into a million squabbling factions.

empath I can sympathize, and I often feel that way myself. However, it should be remembered that the rank and file are people who have been successfully bamboozled by Limbaugh, Beck, et al.

They have actual, real, genuine, grievances. Things are getting worse. A medical emergency will bankrupt most people. Real wages are either stagnant or declining. If you're middle or lower class the odds are good that your children will be worse off than you. Good jobs seem to keep vanishing, and what few jobs that appear are generally shitty. Etc.

The problem is that they've been lied to. The comforting voice on right wing hate radio, the voice that sympathizes with them, the voice that agrees with all their petty prejudices, bigotries, and hatreds and tells them those same bigotries, prejudices, hatreds, etc are all good and proper and a sign of being a good person, the voice they trust, has told them that the reason they are getting shafted economically is because of dirty fucking hippies.

Every day they hear hour after hour of that comforting voice and it tells them the reason they have problems is because of feminists, and liberals, and environmentalists, and intellectuals. The voice tells them that complex problems have a single simple solution: vote Republican, hate everyone you already hate, and anything that pisses off liberals will help you. All of those, of course, are vile lies, but they believe them because they don't know any better.

I don't know what to do. I very much loathe the petty hatreds, the bigotry, the smug religious superiority, the small minded parochialism. Frankly I don't like them much as people even leaving politics aside. But, and this is an important but, we should be on the same side with regards to a great many things, especially in the field of economics, taxation, and spending.

I don't know how to get through the brainwashing of right wing hate radio, or if its even possible. But I do know that the trouble that drives them to protest with the Teabaggers is real. They are, as we are, in economic dire straights, and they take to the streets to attack the only target they know to attack.


I don't know if we can ever get through to them, to ever show them that they've been lied to about the money. I do know that we will always be on opposite sides with regards to race, homosexuality, gender relations, religion, etc. I'd like to hope that somehow it may be possible to at least get together on the economic issues.
posted by sotonohito at 6:40 PM on July 18, 2010 [59 favorites]


What If The Tea Party Was Black?
posted by jonp72 at 6:46 PM on July 18, 2010 [16 favorites]


The Tea Party won't become some venerable institution in the years and decades to come. It's nothing but the last gasp of the Southern Strategy. Demography is against them. As we've discussed before around here, there are zero political beliefs behind the Tea Party (which, of course, has roughly 100% overlap with the GOP).

This schism demonstrates the utility of the NAACP's actions. They never said, "the Tea Party is all about racism. Screw those guys!" (I kinda said that, but I'm not in the NAACP). They said that members of the movement have "displayed signs and posters intended to degrade people of color generally and President Barack Obama specifically" and that "the racist elements" within the tea party are "a threat to progress." NAACP head Ben Jealous said, "Expel the bigots and racists in your ranks or take the responsibility for them and their actions. We will no longer allow you to hide like cowards." Expelling overt bigots like Williams is definitely a good thing. Unfortunately for the Tea Party Federation, the Tea Party ceases to exist without cultural resentment.
posted by ibmcginty at 6:51 PM on July 18, 2010 [18 favorites]


They have actual, real, genuine, grievances. Things are getting worse. A medical emergency will bankrupt most people. Real wages are either stagnant or declining. If you're middle or lower class the odds are good that your children will be worse off than you. Good jobs seem to keep vanishing, and what few jobs that appear are generally shitty. Etc.


As a member in good standing of the "Left", I have actual, real, genuine grievances too. And things are getting worse.

But, as far as I'm concerned, the Tea Party is 40 years late and 40 bazillion dollars short. Some of us have been trying to confront and head off the problems we are facing today for decades.

And, now that Tea Partiers have shown up, all they have is the same, tired old answer to everything: "Me, me, me". Self-interest got us to this point and self-interest keeps us here. They are dinosaurs, and all they want to do is lead the rest of us to the peat bog.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 6:55 PM on July 18, 2010 [23 favorites]


What's kind of funny about all this is how the NAACP just said that the Tea Party should disavow its racists and the Tea Party responded by... doing that.

So apparently right-wingers are furious that the country's largest civil rights organization is effective.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:58 PM on July 18, 2010 [35 favorites]


I have a few coworkers who have jumped on the Tea Party bandwagon and I really don't know how to deal with them. They seem to think I'm some sort of "fellow traveler", but I'm not. Just because I don't like the incumbent governor and support the same guy you do in the upcoming gubernatorial race doesn't mean I want to carpool with you to the Tea Party rally in Madison. I've known these guys for years and have always gotten along well with them but one of them has gone pretty far off the deep end to the point where some people avoid him in case he wants to shove a petition in their face or put a sign on their lawn. I'm honestly at a loss as to what to do other than avoiding the subject altogether and suddenly remembering a meeting I have to go to if the subject comes up.
posted by MikeMc at 6:59 PM on July 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


So the National Tea Party Federation's press website has a "Comunicado de Prensa" (PDF) available announcing their opposition to the NAACP's accusations of racism. It's been a while since I took Spanish, but there seem to be numerous errors in it (especially regarding noun/adjective gender agreement). What exactly is the intended audience for this document?
posted by dhens at 7:00 PM on July 18, 2010 [5 favorites]


But, and this is an important but, we should be on the same side with regards to a great many things, especially in the field of economics, taxation, and spending.

I was totally with you until this point. In general, tea partiers oppose taxes of any kind, don't believe in any kind of rational economic policy, and oppose government spending on things like healthcare and job creation. Why should "we" be on the same side as they are on those matters?

I do want to emphasize one thing you said, because it seems like many mefites are in denial about this:
They have actual, real, genuine, grievances. Things are getting worse. A medical emergency will bankrupt most people. Real wages are either stagnant or declining. If you're middle or lower class the odds are good that your children will be worse off than you. Good jobs seem to keep vanishing, and what few jobs that appear are generally shitty. Etc.
The tea-partiers aren't just racist reactionaries against Obama. They are people who notice that they're getting poorer and poorer every year, and that the government and America in general are increasingly only for the rich and for corporations. On these points, I agree with them. The difference is that they've been taken in by Glenn Beck, et al, who blame these problems on government and liberals and so on. We can talk about why they're vulnerable to Glenn Beck's tactics (hint: public education + religion), but I think it's important to recognize that they have valid reasons for being disatisfied.
posted by !Jim at 7:01 PM on July 18, 2010 [14 favorites]


Oh hell no. In a century, they'll have about as much relevance as [the Know Nothings] do today.
posted by griphus at 7:45 PM on July 18 [+] [!]
The nativist ideas of the Know Nothings are still held by a bunch of politicians in the US. Restricting immigration and naturalization, especially from Catholic countries, mandating Bible reading in public schools, restricting alcohol sales, and "English-only?" Straight outta the culture-war conservative platform.
Bill Randall is running for Congress here in North Carolina. As a Tea Party Republican.

By the way, guess what race he is?
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:43 PM on July 18 [+] [!]
There were Jews in the Nazi Party, Nicky Crane was gay (as are enough anti-gay politicians to make it a cliche), anyone's who's been near a big enough university's probably met a few 'limousine communists,' and there's plenty of people on the underside of the wealth curve who vote consistently against their own interests (prev). It takes all kinds.
posted by jtron at 7:01 PM on July 18, 2010 [9 favorites]


We've already seen what the small minded bigots did when the conservatives got into bed with them: they shat the bed(*). Do you really want the liberals to get into bed with them?

(* conservatism was arguably a dutch oven already, but still.)
posted by fleetmouse at 7:03 PM on July 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


The definition of not being racist means you don't judge someone by their skin color, period. No free passes for skin color, and no hatred and mistreatment for skin color. Either action is racism.
-St. Alia, today

Michelle Malkin happens to be Asian American. What was that about her being a racist?
-Whatever the hell she called herself then, 9/18/2008

Sooo.... twenty-one months now, I guess.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:06 PM on July 18, 2010 [13 favorites]


!Jim I meant that they should be with us on economic, taxation, and spending issues. Though looking back I can see I didn't write that very clearly.

They've been duped into thinking that tax cuts for the ultra wealthy are somehow tax cuts for them. They've been duped into thinking that spending on social programs hurts them. They've been duped into thinking that healthcare can, and should, be bought like bananas. They've been duped into believing in the Horatio Alger myth that good people wind up rich.

So they vote for the people to cut taxes for the ultra wealthy, who cut social spending that benefits them, who oppose ending the current horrible situation in which a medical emergency will ruin you financially, and who support shipping their job overseas then telling them to starve in the street.

THey should agree with us on economic issues. But due to the social disagreements, due to the steady diet of hate radio telling them that us dirty fucking hippies are all out to destroy the economy out of sheer hippie viciousness, the Teabaggers support the people who are screwing them over economically and hate with a burning passion us people who don't want to harm them economically.
posted by sotonohito at 7:07 PM on July 18, 2010 [8 favorites]


It's been a while since I took Spanish, but there seem to be numerous errors in it

OMG they just ran it through babelfish or something. It's not just riddled with errors, it's actually a page of errors with the occasional grammatically correct sentence.

Here's a tip: if you want to convince Spanish-speakers that your organization isn't actually riddled with racists, maybe take the time to find a competent translator when reaching out to the Spanish-speaking community.
posted by ambrosia at 7:08 PM on July 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


The definition of not being racist means you don't judge someone by their skin color, period. No free passes for skin color, and no hatred and mistreatment for skin color. Either action is racism.

Maybe in some non-existent rainbow-colored utopia this would be true, but it seems that when (white) people define "not being racist" as allowing "no free passes for skin color," what they really mean is "no free passes for non-white skin color." They are perfectly content to continue benefiting from the endless stack of free passes every white person is unofficially gifted with at birth.

It's remarkable how those who were most against the Civil Rights Act now spin it to suit their purposes by acting like it was a giant reset button. Sorry, but the way to address racism is not to pretend like race doesn't exist, or now exists in a history-less vacuum. Reality doesn't work that way.
posted by granted at 7:11 PM on July 18, 2010 [42 favorites]


I thought the "Tea Party Express" was the one founded by Dick Army's PR firm.

Well, fuck it I can't keep these clowns straight.
posted by delmoi at 7:15 PM on July 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's remarkable how those who were most against the Civil Rights Act now spin it to suit their purposes by acting like it was a giant reset button.

Or cite Martin Luther King, Jr. The recent attempts at co-optation of his image and work by the same segments of political society who most wanted him torn down sickens me.
posted by jtron at 7:18 PM on July 18, 2010 [12 favorites]


They are perfectly content to continue benefiting from the endless stack of free passes every white person is unofficially gifted with at birth.


Is that like the endless stack of pancakes at IHOP? Just kidding, I keep my stack of free passes in my invisible knapsack just like everyone else.
posted by MikeMc at 7:19 PM on July 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Here's a tip: if you want to convince Spanish-speakers that your organization isn't actually riddled with racists, maybe take the time to find a competent translator when reaching out to the Spanish-speaking community.

But if the intent is to just have a press release in Spanish to show the English speaking media they're not riddled with racists, then it would be a waste of time and money to hire a translator. I can see Steve Doocey on Fox & Friends saying "They can't be a group of racists! They have a press release in Spanish!" (and he'd say español and make that face he makes).
posted by birdherder at 7:24 PM on July 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


Ahem
posted by The Whelk at 7:25 PM on July 18, 2010 [3 favorites]


Interestingly Dave Wigel and others on the right were saying that the NAACP's move was actually not a good one because it would cause some push back, etc. Missing the point entirely that the NAACP's job isn't to avoid pushback, it's to fight racism.
posted by delmoi at 7:34 PM on July 18, 2010 [12 favorites]


Wow, I'm really surprised to see so many people who want to reach out to the Teabaggers, or who are happy that their little club is not slightly less socially awkward.

Not me. I say to hell with the lot of them. Their whole political platform, if you want to call it that, has a bedrock foundation of institutional racism and classicism all the way down. There is no way to be the Teaparty and not be racist or classist anymore than you can be a cow and not be made out of beef.

Things are getting worse. Things have done nothing but get worse for quite a long time. They've been lied to or mislead to blame the wrong people and accept the wrong solutions. All true. But they still support taking from the poor to give to the rich. They still support racist immigration policies. They still use the name of any non-Christian religion as a codeword for 'evil' 'sneaky' or 'terrorist' (or they come right out and say it.) They still only started bitching about how bad things are (and they are!) when they had a black man to point the finger at.

Fuck them in their fucking ears, the fucks.
posted by paisley henosis at 7:40 PM on July 18, 2010 [30 favorites]



Interestingly Dave Wigel and others on the right were saying that the NAACP's move was actually not a good one because it would cause some push back, etc. Missing the point entirely that the NAACP's job isn't to avoid pushback, it's to fight racism.


It's a foreign concept to a lot of people in political reporting that sometimes principle comes first. I guess the politicians encourage it though.

"Of course it makes sense they wouldn't investigate Bush for torture, that would be terrible politics."
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:44 PM on July 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Nobody really liked the Tea Party Express anyhow.
posted by charred husk at 7:49 PM on July 18, 2010


paisley henosis: Fuck them in their fucking ears, the fucks.

Um, GRARRR, apparently.

ahem
posted by paisley henosis at 7:50 PM on July 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


I thought the "Tea Party Express" was the one founded by Dick Army's PR firm.

Well, fuck it I can't keep these clowns straight.
posted by delmoi at 9:15 PM on July 18 [+] [!]
Tea Party Movement Funding (Sourcewatch)

Tea Party Express
was funded by the eponsyterical FreedomWorks, Dick Armey's company, which (according to the National Tea Party Federation's website) is also an "affiliate" (i.e. funding source) for the NTPF.

Other affiliates include... let's see... lots of tobacco industry fronts... the Family Research Council... anti-healthcare reform groups (including some funded by the tobacco industry, hi guys)... hey, there's some familiar "global warming is a myth" faces... it's like a reunion in here! Which is to say, it's the same far-right jokers like the Koches and the Scaifes funding it, and a lot of the "thinkers" who did SO WELL RUNNING THINGS since they came in with Nixon (and the Goldwater campaign, and the John Birch Society, etc).

Essentially, a head's been cut off but the hydra's still alive and kicking.

(it may be on the Great Orange Satan but there's some good stuff in this link, too: Who and What are the Tea Parties?)
posted by jtron at 7:52 PM on July 18, 2010 [17 favorites]


institutional racism and classicism

So, Carthago delenda est, then?
posted by jtron at 7:53 PM on July 18, 2010 [10 favorites]


It's a problem because it results in petty name calling, warring, and polarization, rather than any actual improvement.

You mean it's a problem that existed long before the Tea Party ever invented itself? If I'm remembering my American political history correctly, the author of namecalling, warring, and polarization was Lee Atwater, that good old GOP South Carolinian, who pretty much invented the modern version of that game way back in 1988.

So the results that you're talking about have been with us for basically a generation. And he's the guy to give credit, or blame, for being the mastermind of it all.
posted by blucevalo at 7:56 PM on July 18, 2010


So, one of the more public faces of the Tea Party expresses the Tea Party's core beliefs, people object, and some other Tea Party leaders go "tut, tut" and shuffle him into the background. Clearly this is a great step forward.
posted by kafziel at 7:59 PM on July 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


jtron: So, Carthago delenda est, then?

Sorry, just to clarify, are you saying that an anti-public school, anti-library, anti-national health-care, anti-welfare ticket isn't inherently classist, or am I misreading your meaning?
posted by paisley henosis at 8:00 PM on July 18, 2010


I was saying that you misspelled "classist" as "classicist."
posted by jtron at 8:04 PM on July 18, 2010


whoops -ism
posted by jtron at 8:05 PM on July 18, 2010


You mean it's a problem that existed long before the Tea Party ever invented itself?

That's not what I mean, but sure, I'll buy that. I just mean that this technique generally, which the NAACP is employing, doesn't eradicate racism, it just moves the racists from public view and makes them more fighty. Not blaming any particular group for this, just saying that it's a commonly used and (IMO) ineffective strategy.
posted by emilyd22222 at 8:06 PM on July 18, 2010


"Wow, that's an incredibly racist statement. Are you a KKK member?"

"No, but I did join the Tea Party Express last night."
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 8:11 PM on July 18, 2010 [15 favorites]


The Tea Party has been (perhaps until now) an effective way for Republicans to present themselves as something new, as something post-George W Bush, specifically, so that they can agitate for Bush's policies without having to defend his record. A key part of the Democrats' strategy has to involve making this case so that independent voters understand the continuity between the TP and the RP.

The Tea Party agenda is no different from the Republican agenda. They want low taxes for the wealthy, high spending on the military, low or no regulation of business and industry, and a macho foreign policy.

Oh, and mythologizing the American past to the point where Disneyfication would actually be an improvement. The Tea Party is re-branding of the same old crap. Nothing more. The success of this rebranding is utterly mind-blowing to me, but that's America for you.
posted by Philemon at 8:12 PM on July 18, 2010 [13 favorites]


By all means judge real racism. But if Dr. Martin Luther King were alive today, I think a LOT of people would have some 'splainin to do. If you don't know what I am talking about go back and read his iconic speech.

Since you're advising people to re-read that speech, you may want to do the same. MLK spoke about people who continually ask the "devotees of civil rights, 'When will you be satisfied?' " That question has never gone away, and it's 47 years later. In fact, the question's getting louder all the time. That Tea Party asshole's "letter" is full of nothing but that question.
posted by blucevalo at 8:30 PM on July 18, 2010 [11 favorites]


I just mean that this technique generally, which the NAACP is employing, doesn't eradicate racism, it just moves the racists from public view and makes them more fighty. Not blaming any particular group for this, just saying that it's a commonly used and (IMO) ineffective strategy.
I think you're missing the point a little bit. The point here isn't to teach Tea Party members to be less racist. It's to show the rest of the country that the Tea Party members are racist, so people won't vote for them and allow them to enact their racist agenda. The Tea Party people in question are not my concern: if they reform, that's great, but I'm not exactly waiting with baited breath. What I'd like to do is ensure that ordinary, if possibly a bit clueless, voters are clear about exactly how toxic they are. And calling them racists, when they are racist, does exactly that.
posted by craichead at 8:36 PM on July 18, 2010 [6 favorites]


I just mean that this technique generally, which the NAACP is employing, doesn't eradicate racism, it just moves the racists from public view and makes them more fighty.

So (assuming what you say is true) what better technique would you recommend that the NAACP employ to remove racism from political discourse?
posted by blucevalo at 8:41 PM on July 18, 2010


So, basically, the Tea Party re-established the necessity and legitimacy of the NAACP in modern times.

Good job, guys!
posted by schmod at 8:55 PM on July 18, 2010 [12 favorites]


If you eject all the racists from the Tea Party, then you won't really have a tea party left.

No, you've still got all the gross old men who want to fuck Sarah Palin because she's hot.
posted by dunkadunc at 8:57 PM on July 18, 2010 [11 favorites]


Fuck these fucking fuckers. They are bad for the country, the world, and the human species. In conclusion, fuck these fucks.
posted by Ratio at 9:23 PM on July 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


That Spanish language press release is truly something out of The Simpsons.

"Sobre la Federación Nacional de Tea Party: La Federación es una amplia coalición de locales y regionales para preparar té grupos del partido ha comprometido a mejorar las comunicaciones entre el té y las organizaciones de ideas afines."

Well, then. That explains SO many things about US politics to my baffled foreigner brain. I shall begin to treat tea suspiciously from now on.
posted by Iosephus at 9:23 PM on July 18, 2010 [4 favorites]


jtron: I was saying that you misspelled "classist" as "classicist."

Ha, that's great! Firefox spellchecker has no idea what classism is, and apparently I wasn't paying attention.
posted by paisley henosis at 9:54 PM on July 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


The tea party isn't a movement. It's a bunch of loud Republicans. Of course, the media wants their narrative, so they keep looking for the teabagger angle in everything. I'll be glad when the media gets tired of them.
posted by azpenguin at 9:55 PM on July 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


The definition of not being racist means you don't judge someone by their skin color, period. No free passes for skin color, and no hatred and mistreatment for skin color. Either action is racism.

Somewhere in between your use of the world "judge" and "free pass," there's something....not very nice. What THE HELL is a free pass? And are you seriously advocating that reaching out to be more inclusive and accommodating of a place for racial minorities at the table is somehow racism?

I don't even know what you mean with your quip about MLK, but if you think that his primary cause wasn't civil rights for African-Americans, I don't know what to tell you.
posted by desuetude at 10:23 PM on July 18, 2010 [6 favorites]


By the way, guess what race he is?

Capitalist?
posted by joe lisboa at 10:26 PM on July 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sorry, St. Alia Konolia, but you are part of the problem. For someone who is so vocal about their so-called Christianity, you are the Pharisee, here. Actually, at least the Pharisees knew their fucking Scripture. And history. I am sure your one token black friend will be cited soon enough to justify your knee-jerk backing of your implied support of the Tea Party but the fact that you cite the socialist (LOOK IT THE FUCK UP ALREADY) MLK. Jr. to support your pathetic talking points is sad enough.

JESUS WEPT. and MLK Jr. is not your fucking puppet.
posted by joe lisboa at 10:38 PM on July 18, 2010 [13 favorites]


I don't even know what you mean with your quip about MLK, but if you think that his primary cause wasn't civil rights for African-Americans, I don't know what to tell you.
A surprising number of conservatives seem to be familiar with the phrase "one day my four little children will live in a nation where they will be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character" but unfamiliar with every single other thing MLK ever said or did.
posted by craichead at 10:39 PM on July 18, 2010 [14 favorites]


Mr. Williams seems to have learned the wrong lesson from this escapade:
I am also very happy to learn that we all agree that the term “Colored People” is offensive, so now would perhaps be a good time to let the National Association of Colored People know so that they may chose a more appropriate moniker.
Boggles the mind.
posted by scalefree at 10:40 PM on July 18, 2010


Look, here is your own wacko-rightist asshole Lew Rockwell spelling this shit out for you: http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig/epstein9.html. This shit is not that hard. Your anthropomorphic daddy-deity gave you a brain, fucking use it already.
posted by joe lisboa at 10:44 PM on July 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


When people quote MLK as an argument against calling out white supremacy, as some sort of "MLK sez be nicer to white people when they're acting racist", I wonder how much selective reading they've been doing:

We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct-action campaign that was "well timed" in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word "Wait!" It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This "Wait" has almost always meant 'Never." We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that "justice too long delayed is justice denied."

....

First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season."


Non-action, silence, or complacency in the face of injustice is the direct antithesis of his philosophy in writing and in deed.
posted by yeloson at 10:52 PM on July 18, 2010 [36 favorites]


So (assuming what you say is true) what better technique would you recommend that the NAACP employ to remove racism from political discourse?

This is a good response to a commenter above. While it would be ideal to have a grown-up, national conversation on race that, when it ends, many racists renounce their ideology and join the Civil Rights Express, but I don't think that's going to happen, even if we have a great collective conversation about our history and racism. The most important way to address racism is, and probably has always been, to keep it from getting traction in mainstream political policy making. This is how you defeat racists, you call them out, you make them look ill-informed and archaic, you ensure that they don't get to hold elected office. I chance it to say that most of America is not racist, and when they find out that someone they support is, they are likely to cast their ballot for someone else. Racism will never go away. But by engaging in marketplace of ideas we can make sure that racists never get to set policy. This is an ongoing battle, still today. But I'm up for fighting the good fight, even if it means calling racists names, most notably, "fucking racist asshole."
posted by IvoShandor at 10:53 PM on July 18, 2010


You can’t talk about solving the economic problem of the Negro without talking about billions of dollars. You can’t talk about ending the slums without first saying profit must be taken out of slums. You’re really tampering and getting on dangerous ground because you are messing with folk then. You are messing with captains of industry… Now this means that we are treading in difficult water, because it really means that we are saying that something is wrong…with capitalism… There must be a better distribution of wealth and maybe America must move toward a Democratic Socialism.

- MLK, Jr.
This is your faux ally, St. Alia. Please stop being disingenuous and/or willfully ignorant.
posted by joe lisboa at 10:55 PM on July 18, 2010 [16 favorites]


I was about to ask if St. Alia had read or heard anything Dr. King had said beyond that one speech, but others seemed to have beat me to it.

Specifically, I wonder if she's familiar with Operation Breadbasket.

Two quotes from Dr. King:

"Whenever the issue of compensatory treatment for the Negro is raised, some of our friends recoil in horror. The Negro should be granted equality, they agree; but he should ask nothing more. On the surface, this appears reasonable, but it is not realistic."

"A society that has done something special against the Negro for hundreds of years must now do something special for the Negro."

Perhaps St. Alia is familiar with this quotes and merely forgot them. I would hate to presume that somebody was making assumptions about Dr. King's ideas and legacy, and ideas that support their own worldview but contradict Dr. King, without having actually researched the subject.

As to the Tea Party: this isn't an elimination, or even reaction to, racism in the movement. This is a political pissing contest between opposing factions. The Tea Party Express has long been seen as a Republican front group trying to hijack the Tea Party message, whatever that is. There is no actual concern for racism here -- just internecine political position jostling. And, if anything, this pushes out the Tea Partiers who were unhappy Republicans, who didn't represent the fringe of the movement, and leaves behind the birthers and the tenthers and the tax protesters and the militiamen. This was not a good move for the Tea Party, if I'm reading the tea leaves right. They just shifted hard right.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:19 PM on July 18, 2010 [11 favorites]


This accomplishes two things: It sanitizes the Teabag Party in the minds of moderate voters. On the outside, everyone can pretend the Teabag Party isn't made up of racists because they put up a pretty, public veneer. Meanwhile, looking at the ugly, rotten innards, the racist element at the core of the party can keep rolling along with its political activities and connections more or less intact. This is timed perfectly for the Fall elections.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:19 PM on July 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Another thing - the idea that anti-discrimination laws, or even affirmative action, are equivalent to giving minorities a "free pass" is ridiculous.

There's a question on (of all things) the OKCupid Politics Test that I think is very astute. It asks how strongly you agree with the statement "Being poor and black is an advantage in getting in to college."

I think how a person answers that question says a lot about their critical thinking skills.
posted by granted at 11:22 PM on July 18, 2010 [4 favorites]


St. Alia of the Bunnies: "The definition of not being racist means you don't judge someone by their skin color, period. No free passes for skin color, and no hatred and mistreatment for skin color. Either action is racism.

By all means judge real racism. But if Dr. Martin Luther King were alive today, I think a LOT of people would have some 'splainin to do. If you don't know what I am talking about go back and read his iconic speech.
"

I know what those words you typed mean separately, but they don't make any sense put together.
posted by ShawnStruck at 11:38 PM on July 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


I like sugar and I like tea, but I don't like niggers, no siree!
posted by telstar at 11:49 PM on July 18, 2010


Hey all... can we PLEASE stop making this thread all about St. Alia? I know how hungry you all are, and I know how yummy the bait looks, but I'm telling you, IT'S A TRAP.

I'm serious. Parts of this conversation were interesting. Can we get back to that, please?
posted by Afroblanco at 12:13 AM on July 19, 2010 [11 favorites]


We have met the enemy and, surprisingly, he isn't us.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:23 AM on July 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Follow the Money ^ What a surprise to find these upstanding citizens involved.
posted by adamvasco at 2:36 AM on July 19, 2010


By all means judge real racism. But if Dr. Martin Luther King were alive today, I think a LOT of people would have some 'splainin to do. If you don't know what I am talking about go back and read his iconic speech.

Yes. A lot would. In particular those who take the tritest things he ever said, try to pretend that the rest of what he said never happened, and then use this to claim they have his support simply because the man is long dead and therefore can't prevent or even argue against people twisting his entire message.
posted by Francis at 3:13 AM on July 19, 2010 [4 favorites]


National Association for the Advancement of Communist Policies
posted by telstar at 3:39 AM on July 19, 2010


"Tea Party with Extra Lemon
Well Brewed Tea Party
Tea but no milk please it gives me wind Party
posted by litleozy at 6:15 PM"

Tea without milk would be black tea. White Tea Only shurely?
posted by marienbad at 3:44 AM on July 19, 2010


Let me explain what I meant.

The tea party is up in arms because they don't like the direction the country is going. Many of you think this is racist because the President is black/biracial.

In my mind THAT is racist. It wouldn't matter to the tea party if it were Joe Biden in the office doing the same things. Because the point is what the Democrat party is doing, not the race of the guy in the oval office.

I cannot make it any plainer than that.

Are there racists in the tea party? Sure. And they should be dealt with. Just like the racists in every other political party.

I think the African Americans I know who are not happy with Obama would like their voices to count too, and that people would quit trying to marginalize them.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 4:02 AM on July 19, 2010


The tea party is up in arms because they don't like the direction the country is going. Many of you think this is racist because the President is black/biracial.

No. We think the Tea Party is racist because of stuff like the "colored people" letter. And we think they're racist because the complaints that the have, which were as true, or more true, under Bush, didn't materialize until there was a black guy in office, and materialized under the Jungian shadow puppet show of "he's not from America/he's Muslim/he's alien/he's an outside/we must take back America."
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:14 AM on July 19, 2010 [39 favorites]


please visit This thread before replying to the above comment. Jessamyn needs a rest ;)
posted by marienbad at 4:17 AM on July 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


ok, i meant st alia's comment, obv. not AZ.
posted by marienbad at 4:17 AM on July 19, 2010


St. Alia of the Bunnies: " Because the point is what the Democrat party is doing, not the race of the guy in the oval office."

As another MeFite once said:
"It's the Democratic party, and you sound like an asshole".
posted by ShawnStruck at 4:24 AM on July 19, 2010 [14 favorites]


I'd like to add my name to the list of people asking that, however tempting it may be, people not turn this thread into a big argument with St. Alia. She has a tendency to drop into tea-bag threads in order to "defend" the party, largely by launching provocative attacks at anyone to her left - in this instance, implying that Martin Luther King would have agreed with her, that people only oppose the tea party because they are, in some perverse and round-about way, racists themselves etc. etc.

These counter-attacks are silly and actually a bit of a shame - as someone with more connections to the Tea Party than most of us, she could probably make a more valuable contribution to the discussion if she wanted to.

I would be far more interested in seeing an informed discussion of this latest development than another bun-fight (so to speak).

For example, is this the Tea Party getting rid of it's more obviously offensive members as a PR stunt to make itself more palatable to middle America? If so, will that work?
posted by lucien_reeve at 4:43 AM on July 19, 2010 [5 favorites]


No. We think the Tea Party is racist because of stuff like the "colored people" letter. And we think they're racist because the complaints that the have, which were as true, or more true, under Bush, didn't materialize until there was a black guy in office

[Devil's advocate, here, and obviously I'm outside the US looking in]: But the Tea Party Express, got kicked out of the Tea Party movement for not removing the guy who wrote the 'colored people' letter.

And, while I agree 100% that the complaints were valid under Bush, and didn't emerge until Obama took office, couldn't the reason be that Obama is a Democrat, instead of being that Obama is black? (I doubt the Tea Party would support healthcare reform if Hillary Clinton was enacting it).

I suspect it's probably both: there are surely racists in the Tea Party, but I suspect that they'd be attacking anything that any Democratic president enacted, not just Obama.
posted by Infinite Jest at 4:46 AM on July 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


But the Tea Party Express, got kicked out of the Tea Party movement for not removing the guy who wrote the 'colored people' letter.

As I mentioned before, there has been a longstanding competition between the Tea Party and the Tea Party Express. It's possible they ousted it because of the racism, but I find it hard to believe they suddenly became reasonable because a bunch of black people complained. I find it easier to believe they're using this as a pretext for eliminating what they see as a Republican front group.

couldn't the reason be that Obama is a Democrat, instead of being that Obama is black?

For some, yes. But there have been an awful lot of racist signs at the Tea Party rallies, and the whole thing about him being Kenyan (he isn't) and Muslim (he isn't) is pretty hard to read as anything other than coded racism for "he is black and therefore somehow the other."
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:50 AM on July 19, 2010 [10 favorites]


Exactly, Infinite Jest. You got it.

I don't expect anyone at metafilter to sympathize with the aims of the Tea Party. That's political. I understand it. Most of the folks here are liberals and most of the folks here agree with the Democratic agenda. That's fine, to be expected, etc. etc.

I would prefer to see this place debate facts and policies instead of throw around accusations of racism. This very thread is headed by a link where people who did racist things were KICKED OUT OF A GROUP.

Now forgive me if I leave this thread alone, as it is frustrating me a bit too much/I have to go to work.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 4:51 AM on July 19, 2010


I would prefer to see this place debate facts and policies instead of throw around accusations of racism.

Racism in the Tea Party has been repeatedly documented, and the case has been made -- repeatedly, forthrightly, and clearly -- that there is an unmistakable coding of racism into some basic Tea Party rhetoric. It can't just be wished away, but if you'd like to refute it, by all means, do so.

I'd love to see somebody actually refute the party's long history of overt and coded racism. That would be fascinating to watch.

Instead, you're just asking us to shut up because you don't like this particular charge. Well, we've made our case, and don't need to make it again. Refute the charges.
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:59 AM on July 19, 2010 [16 favorites]


Was racism the only issue?

Tea Party cofounder Webb: "I denounce any acts that I see many leaders do," said Webb, but suggested that for Jealous to say such acts were representative of millions of Tea Party members is "blatantly false."

Webb said the NACCP is "simply playing the race card."


Mark Williams: "That careless individual tea partier who assumed the mantel of ‘leadership’ did so long enough to turn a critical and serious movement and delicate peace with skeptical groups into a World Wrestling style personality conflict with me at the center," Williams said. "There are internal political dramas amongst the various self-anointed tea party ‘leaders,’ and some of the minor players on the fringes see the Tea Party Express and Mark Williams as tickets to a booking on "Fact [sic] the Nation.’ "

From City Pages: Tea Party Express has come in for some heavy criticism from other groups in the movement, like the Tea Party Patriots, who say its close ties to Republican operatives sell out the movement's anti-establishment message.
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:12 AM on July 19, 2010


I suspect that they'd be attacking anything that any Democratic president enacted, not just Obama.

No, they wouldn't. The Republican Party has made it its mission to block anything that Obama does, good or not, worthwhile or not, because they are implacably opposed to him and everything he stands for; the Republican Party has made it its mission to question Obama's citizenship at every turn and call him a foreigner and a Manchurian candidate; the Republican Party has made it its mission to ensure that Obama fails, on every level, and they are gnashing their teeth because he hasn't done that.

If that entails making common cause with the Tea Party, which requires a loud siren blaring at ear-shattering volume from the sky to realize that it has within its midst a man in a significant position of power who's so pathological that he thinks that all the Tea Party is doing is "expect[ing] coloreds to be productive members of society," so be it.

The GOP and the Tea Party would not be doing any of these things with any other president than Obama. There is no doubt about it. They have made it clear themselves. Repeatedly.

As Astro Zombie says, people who support the Tea Party need to refute the charges. The Tea Party has spent the past 18 months making every coded and uncoded racist attack against Obama in the book, and then they've invented their own playbook when the old one doled out to them by Haley Barbour and Lee Atwater and Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie ran out of good stuff to use.
posted by blucevalo at 5:14 AM on July 19, 2010 [5 favorites]


In Canada, the last 20 years or so saw the formation of the Reform Party -- our hard-right wingnut party, replete with racists and crazy-talkin' folks.

When the Reform Party became sullied to the point that they were synonymous with "crazy racist assholes," they changed their name and became the Canadian Alliance. The Alliance was a renaming that allowed the Reform Party to wash off some of the crazy racists asshole stench, while still dog-whistling to the crazy racist assholes via issues like "immigration reform" and gay marriage.

As the Progressive Conservative Party foundered, unsure of its direction and trying to be the "decent" rightwing party, the crazy racist asshole contingent jumped on the Canadian Alliance bus, decimating (literally) the traditional Progressive Conservative user base. With at least 10% of its traditional supporters fleeing for the extreme party, the Progressive Conservatives flinched, and agreed to a "merger" with the Canadian Alliance.

Currently in the Great White North, there's a single right-wing party, one centrist party, one left-wing party, and the Bloc Québecois (and the Greens splitting that segment even further). The right-wing party has kept a bloody-fingertip grasp on power for years now based on a consolidation of all the right-wing voices, ranging from generally intelligent fiscal conservatives to crazy racist assholes, while 60% of the country watches in frustration because we can't get a pool of voters behind either the centrist or the lefty party.

That -- and forgive the length -- is why it's very easy for me to imagine a slightly sanitized, maybe-renamed, version of the Tea Party eating the Republicans in a few years. "Fiscal Conservatives" will put up with crazy racist assholes if it will make them richer; crazy racist assholes will gladly accept financial inequality as long as it means they can keep being crazy racist assholes. This makes it very easy for the right wing to unify in politics, as it has up here.

I'd say Canada presents a cautionary tale, but the fact is that it's only this split among the center-to-left that's allowed the right into power. You folks keep giving the right the power anyway, so I can't imagine what your political system will be like if the Tea Party eats the Republican Party and crazifies it even further.
posted by Shepherd at 5:37 AM on July 19, 2010 [9 favorites]


Well, imagine Mark Williams as president and as the controlling voice in both houses of Congress. That'll give you an idea of what it'll be like.
posted by blucevalo at 5:43 AM on July 19, 2010


Astro Zombie, blucevalo: fair enough, I'm more than happy to take your word for it. Like I say, I'm looking as an outsider.
posted by Infinite Jest at 5:57 AM on July 19, 2010


I would prefer to see this place debate facts and policies instead of throw around accusations of racism.

For the benefit of others, surveys have established quite firmly that the tea party movement is disproportionately attractive to whites with racist attitudes. This isn't a matter for meaningful debate; the empirics here are settled.

Unless you have some really odd theories of psychology, white racist attitudes --> support for the tea party movement.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:59 AM on July 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


And, while I agree 100% that the complaints were valid under Bush, and didn't emerge until Obama took office, couldn't the reason be that Obama is a Democrat, instead of being that Obama is black?

Of course it is. A recent survey said that something like 95% of people who described themselves as "participants in the Tea Party movement" were either registered Republicans or planned to vote Republican in the next election. We have this same argument every cycle about the majority of the so-called big-L Libertarian Party. Republicanism is a tainted brand and people who want to support its policies are far more likely than Democrats on the left to search for clever ways to avoid calling themselves part of that.

But the association of racism and opposition to President Obama are not mutually exclusive identities. And the idea that some of their actions would occur were the president not black is ludicrous. The same network that provides free advertising to the Tea Party has run countless hours of race-baiting nonsense about a non-story with a race-scare angle to it.

This isn't hard. The one major demographic that maintained solid Republican support in 2008 were older, white voters. It's at best simple denial and at worse deliberate lying to insist that a major campaign is not in place to create a huge turnout of that demographic based on racial fears.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:00 AM on July 19, 2010 [8 favorites]


It's bad to make a comment and then run to the dentist, I guess, but here it is: Politically, I'm awfully far from St Alia. But I think she's right about the racism of the TP'ers.

Folks, Bill Clinton was a white man, and he got the same relentless personal hate. They couldn't call him a Muslim or a Kenyan, no, but they surely would have loved to. They did constantly harp on decades old real estate deals with the same intensity that they now scream about birth certificates. They talked about aides being murdered and made to look like suicide. They impeached the guy.

The Republican strategy is to end all civil discourse about anything they disagree on. Anyone who disagrees is a Communist or a terrorist or a baby-killer or whatever insult they can use to make it into a screaming match and not a rational discussion, because they're the party of anti-reason. The race of the person has nothing to do with that. The hate for Bill and Hilary and Al Gore was just the same.

They do have to put up with crap like that racist-joke "emancipation" letter coming from their ranks, even if they'd rather not. But that's always going to be the case. They're stuck with the problem that while not all extreme right-wingers are racist, and most TP'er are not, all US racists are pretty much going to be TP'ers. But that doesn't define the movement.
posted by tyllwin at 6:07 AM on July 19, 2010 [4 favorites]


You're telling me that Bill Clinton faced the same relentless drumbeat of hatred that Barack Obama has faced while in office? It's not even close. It's not even close to being close.
posted by blucevalo at 6:14 AM on July 19, 2010 [5 favorites]


They couldn't call him a Muslim or a Kenyan, no, but they surely would have loved to.

You basically just said "They would have been racist to Bill Clinton, but they couldn't, because he wasn't black."

That doesn't show a lack of racism here and now.
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:26 AM on July 19, 2010 [13 favorites]


The tea party is up in arms because they don't like the direction the country is going. Many of you think this is racist because the President is black/biracial.

In my mind THAT is racist.


From the mouths of Tea Party followers, I hear the racist "jokes," and the racist tirades lifted from sundry radio personalities. These are frequently directed at President, his wife, and his children.

That's why I associate them with racism. Because of the direct relationship between "Tea Partiers" and "saying racist shit."
posted by desuetude at 6:54 AM on July 19, 2010 [5 favorites]


The tea party is up in arms because they don't like the direction the country is going. Many of you think this is racist because the President is black/biracial.

When President Clinton left office there was an all-time record $128 billion surplus. President Bush turned that into an all-time record $482 billion deficit. The current Tea Party movement started in January/February 2009, after a black/biracial president took office.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:57 AM on July 19, 2010 [24 favorites]


tyllwin: Folks, Bill Clinton was a white man, and he got the same relentless personal hate. They couldn't call him a Muslim or a Kenyan, no, but they surely would have loved to. They did constantly harp on decades old real estate deals with the same intensity that they now scream about birth certificates. They talked about aides being murdered and made to look like suicide. They impeached the guy.

Don't you see that on one side of that comparison we have "corrupt, slippery person" and on the other side we have "person who is not an American"? It's really a huge chasm in between; no one ever accused Bill Clinton of not being a Christian because even though they didn't like him, they had no desire to define him so explicitly as The Other.

All the slime they pulled against Clinton was to try and stop his momentum. All the slime they piled on Obama was to define him as Not One Of Us and, frankly, de-humanize him.
posted by paisley henosis at 7:07 AM on July 19, 2010 [4 favorites]


no one ever accused Bill Clinton of not being a Christian because even though they didn't like him, they had no desire to define him so explicitly as The Other.

Um, maybe you were spending time talking to different conservative Christians than I was, but Clinton was very explicitly called a fake Christian, and possibly the antichrist, and Gore was called a pantheist, and possibly the antichrist.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:14 AM on July 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Clinton was slimed. He was slimed repeatedly. They came at him from every angle. If they could have said racist shit about him, they would have.

They get to say that stuff about Obama, and they are.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:17 AM on July 19, 2010 [5 favorites]


paisley henosis: "no one ever accused Bill Clinton of not being a Christian because even though they didn't like him, they had no desire to define him so explicitly as The Other."

Well, actually they did if you were reading various right-wing newsletters. He was a murderer, rapist, atheist and potential anti-Christ. Until the The difference between then and now is that all that crap is out in the open. Before, just that hardcore group of people who got the newsletters saw this. Now, this sort of stuff is passed around like common knowledge and is picked up by the AM talk shows who had only hinted at it before. I think part of it is due to wider use of the internet that allows for more distribution of the crazy. Another important part is the ramping up of "us vs. them" rhetoric since 9/11.

There is a lot of racism in the U.S. political right, but I believe it is surfacing now because that is what is there for them to latch on to. (Racists are gonna be racist.) But I honestly think if he hadn't been black they would have found something else and harped on it just as badly.
posted by charred husk at 7:28 AM on July 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


You're telling me that Bill Clinton faced the same relentless drumbeat of hatred that Barack Obama has faced while in office? It's not even close. It's not even close to being close.

I'm going to have to disagree with that. The hate for Billy Jeff and Hillary was so thick you could cut it with a knife. All you had to do was turn on AM radio or pick up a copy of The American Spectator or one of the many anti-Clinton books. At least nobody has has accused the Obamas of murder yet unlike the Clintons who apparently killed Vince Foster , Ron Brown and who knows how many others...
posted by MikeMc at 7:31 AM on July 19, 2010


no one ever accused Bill Clinton of not being a Christian because even though they didn't like him, they had no desire to define him so explicitly as The Other.
As others have noted, there's not really any factual basis in that claim. Bill Clinton was called a murdering, lying, Anti-American drug dealer. I sat in a room with fellow Christians and watched everyone yell at the television when Clinton appeared like some low-budget five minutes of hate.

I listened to serious conversations between Christians debating the theology of placing spiritual curses on a man if he was evil -- would that be wrong? Wouldn't cursing Satan be okay?

Later, I was the webmaster for the largest church in the midwest when the pastor decided to interview Bill Clinton for one of the church's events. I got all of the email that everyone in the country decided to send us about it, and had the fun of grouping it. "Angry," "Super-angry," "Obscene," and "Schizophrenic" were the well-populated folders.

I am not exaggerating when I say that watching the North American Church's response to Bill Clinton started me on the path to atheism.

posted by verb at 7:34 AM on July 19, 2010 [6 favorites]


Crap, screwed up the blockquote tags on that.
posted by verb at 7:34 AM on July 19, 2010


All the slime they piled on Obama was to define him as Not One Of Us and, frankly, de-humanize him.

Well, what else do they have? Clinton gave the right bandoleers full of ammunition to be used against him, Obama, not so much.
posted by MikeMc at 7:36 AM on July 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Um, maybe you were spending time talking to different conservative Christians than I was, but Clinton was very explicitly called a fake Christian, and possibly the antichrist, and Gore was called a pantheist, and possibly the antichrist.

Bill Clinton was never accused of not being an American citizen. Lawsuits were never filed against Bill Clinton to force him to make his birth certificate publicly available. Bill Clinton may have been accused of having an agenda to destroy the country, but that claim was not given the kind of credence that it is now when it is made against Obama.

Yes, Bill Clinton was vilified, attacked, hounded, and pounded every day he was in office. That's not the point. Presidents have been called the antichrist by opponents probably all the way back to Thomas Jefferson.

Bill Clinton was the right wing's training ground for what it is now doing to Barack Obama. Saying that Bill Clinton had it as bad as Barack Obama has had it is just not borne out by the facts. The right wing has had 22 years of practice. Michael Dukakis and Bill Clinton were just the beginning.

I really am not understanding the insistence here on mefi that the attacks on Obama that have gone on since the Democratic primaries in 2008 and that have not let up once in the time since then are somehow not racist, that they would have happened regardless of his skin color. They would not have. Not to the same degree, not in the same way, not taking the same shape and form.

There would not have been signs held up at rallies with photoshopped images of Obama sitting outside of a thatched hut with a bone through his nose. There would not have been e-mails gleefully sent around by top Republican politicians all over the country comparing his wife to a gorilla or showing a row of presidential portraits with a black square filled with two goggling white eyeballs to indicate Obama's place or showing a field of watermelons in front of the White House (followed by insincere apologies for any offense caused). There would not have been the same coded appeals to race resentment and race-based fear. There would not have. It's that simple.
posted by blucevalo at 7:40 AM on July 19, 2010 [6 favorites]


Bill Clinton was called a murdering, lying, Anti-American drug dealer.

I forgot about the drug dealing, didn't Bill have state troopers running coke for his brother Roger or something? Oh, and don't forget about Bill's secret black daughter.
posted by MikeMc at 7:40 AM on July 19, 2010


Bill Clinton was never accused of not being an American citizen. Lawsuits were never filed against Bill Clinton to force him to make his birth certificate publicly available.

I think the point is that had those options been available they would have been used. I have no doubt that if Bill's father had been a foreign national you would have heard the same types of things. As for the racist signs, "jokes" and email forwards well, they are what they are and you can't really sling that stuff at a white guy nor can you deny what they are. I got an email forward with a picture of the White House lawn turned into a watermelon patch, that's not really open to interpretation.
posted by MikeMc at 7:44 AM on July 19, 2010


There would not have. It's that simple.

I don't think anyone's saying the right wing isn't loathsomely racist w/r/t Obama, but the point I'm making is that I don't think they're howling any louder-- they're just bringing other (racist) weapons to bear.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:48 AM on July 19, 2010


And, yes, I do have a license to mix metaphors.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:52 AM on July 19, 2010


Okay, let's assume you're right. I'm not sure what difference it makes that they're not howling any louder. How does that alter the loathsomeness of what they're doing? How could they possibly howl any louder than they already are without being carted off to the loony bin?
posted by blucevalo at 7:52 AM on July 19, 2010


shakespeherian: "I don't think anyone's saying the right wing isn't loathsomely racist w/r/t Obama, but the point I'm making is that I don't think they're howling any louder-- they're just bringing other (racist) weapons to bear."

I think they may be howling louder, though not because of the racism however but because of changes in the conservative psyche since 9/11. I could easily see just as much misogyny if Hillary had been elected.
posted by charred husk at 7:53 AM on July 19, 2010


I don't think anyone's saying the right wing isn't loathsomely racist w/r/t Obama, but the point I'm making is that I don't think they're howling any louder-- they're just bringing other (racist) weapons to bear.
I would agree, actually.

The issue isn't that many people oppose Obama because he's black, rather it's that a nontrivial chunk of the movement has no compunctions about jumping straight to the Obama Monkey Witch Doctor stuff, in addition to the Gangster Thug Antichrist Idiot Evil Genius Totalitarian Hippie stuff.
posted by verb at 7:54 AM on July 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


But that is the issue. Given this country's history with race, and the associations that those attacks bring up, it is not the same thing and it does not have the same consequences to make such attacks, even though the attacks might come just as fiercely in some different form if the president were any non-person-of-color Democrat.
posted by blucevalo at 7:57 AM on July 19, 2010


I'm not sure what difference it makes that they're not howling any louder.

My contention is with the argument that 'You know the Republicans and/or Tea Partiers are racist because they only started complaining about big government with a black guy was elected president.' I'm not going to argue that they aren't racist, but this argument has little merit and makes it easier to dismiss overall charges of racism.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:03 AM on July 19, 2010


The right opposed Clinton with every ounce of strength it had. I think very few people had ever heard the name Rush Limbaugh until Clinton. That man created an entire career and an entirely new segment of media based on hating Bill Clinton. And that's all.

The right now opposes Obama with every ounce of strength it has. The only difference is that someone wised up and figured out "hey, put all the really hateful stuff into this new group called the Tea Party, and that way the stately Republicans can pretend to only differ on policy issues". Which was, and has been, working brilliantly, except for Republicans (i.e. Joe Wilson etc) who can't stick to the playbook. And, as has been mentioned before, apparently the Teabaggers have lost awareness that they are a cover group, and believe they actually have a voice and a seat at the proceedings. And they are being (cheerfully) led by a woman with clinically suspect intellect and limitless ambition.

The Republicans would be smart to shut down this Tea Party business. It has served its purpose, but now it has begun being a threat to the establishment. It has run amok. They could use this racism stuff to stamp it out, because honestly where else are the Teabaggers going to go? Are they going to run to the Democratic tent? Impossible. As mentioned above, the "Tea Party" is a phantom, 95% of its pretend supporters are Republican (and the other 5% didn't' understand the question or purposefully withheld info... I feel quite sure there are 0% liberals in the Tea Party), and will vote as such. "Tea Party" is just an imaginary mantle, a cover. It allows the right to be hateful bigots but gives them deniability. I think the Republican leadership is just now after the primaries fully appreciating the impact of splitting the vote, and being slow on the uptake as they are on almost every issue (by design), I think they are genuinely off balance and unsure of what to do with this Frankenstein's Monster they have created.
posted by discountfortunecookie at 8:20 AM on July 19, 2010 [7 favorites]


I'm not going to argue that they aren't racist, but this argument has little merit and makes it easier to dismiss overall charges of racism.

Well, given that there were no Tea Party rallies and massive outpourings of cash to run Bush into the Potomac with pitchforks while he was in office and his vision of big government was the wet dream that kept on giving for the right wing when it suited their purposes, I'm kind of skeptical that the argument has absolutely zero merit.
posted by blucevalo at 8:22 AM on July 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


Bill Randall is running for Congress here in North Carolina. As a Tea Party Republican.
By the way, guess what race he is?


I'm voting for Robert Sterling Wilson!
posted by FatherDagon at 8:24 AM on July 19, 2010


In related news -- Sen. Cornyn: ‘I Think A Lot Of People Are Looking Back With More Fondness On President Bush’s Administration’.
posted by ericb at 8:24 AM on July 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


To me, the "reverse racism" argument you sometimes hear is the most nauseating feature of our political discourse.

For example, Black Amercians cannot be racist toward white people -- it is just categorically impossible. To be racist, in my view, it is not enough to think people of other races are inferior or something like that. No, to be racist must mean having access to instruments of power that can do harm to the objects of your race-theory -- or to benefit from the legacy of such harm.

In other words, I, as a white person, never feel even a vague fear or anything if I hear someone of another race make categorical claims about white people. It just doesn't register on my nerve endings, or intellectually. Most slurs against white people even register as a kind of low comedy. (An equivalent phenomenon: it's funny when a man dresses as a woman, but not when a woman dresses as a man.)

I imagine, though, that if you are Black, and you hear an ignorant or willfully hateful comment, an entire history is summoned up and made present in a way that must often feel threatening.

So, for those of you who feel persuaded when Beck or Rush accuse Obama or other Blacks of "reverse racism" -- give it some thought. You want to disagree about what social programs should be funded and by how much? Fine. But leave this argument to the cynical and the ignorant, or else you'll be mistaken, rightly, for same.
posted by Philemon at 8:24 AM on July 19, 2010 [4 favorites]


"The federation’s action in expelling Tea Party Express is welcome, but should not stop with Williams, as there are clearly other racist and bigoted elements trying to make inroads into the anti-tax movement."*
posted by ericb at 8:27 AM on July 19, 2010


The anti-government extremism of the 1990 was a convergence of white supremacist (aka milita) and anti-abortion terrorism. Politically, they were cheered on by libertarians, but libertarians are followers, not leaders. There's nothing out of whack with the Clinton-haters also being racists, since the converge of white supremacy and anti-abortion extremism effectively blurred that boundary. But enough of this derail....

This is only the first act, not the finale. What is going to determine how this comes out is the next round of racist bullshit from the Tea Parties, not how they whitewash and scapegoat their internal enemies.

Good on the NAACP for doing this and wishing them luck in staying on target with this issue. Take the racists out of the Tea Party and it will be a different animal entirely. It's notable that no other political entity and particularly the Democrats were unable to confront this issue. I'd call it Thurgood Marshall's revenge...

Here's what Lenny Zeskind had to say at the NAACP convention on the subject of the Tea Party
posted by warbaby at 8:27 AM on July 19, 2010 [4 favorites]


The right opposed Clinton with every ounce of strength it had. I think very few people had ever heard the name Rush Limbaugh until Clinton. That man created an entire career and an entirely new segment of media based on hating Bill Clinton. And that's all.

No, it's not all. The hatred is of a different kind and a different intensity with Barack Obama. Bill Clinton was the template. Barack Obama hatred is the Bill Clinton hatred on steroids.
posted by blucevalo at 8:28 AM on July 19, 2010


Well, given that there were no Tea Party rallies and massive outpourings of cash to run Bush into the Potomac with pitchforks while he was in office and his vision of big government was the wet dream that kept on giving for the right wing when it suited their purposes, I'm kind of skeptical that the argument has absolutely zero merit.

Again, the point is that they're opposed to Obama because he's a Democrat, and there are also some giant stinking elements of racism. But if Obama was white, the conservative opposition to his presidency would be just as loud, just as angry, just as hateful, and would involve non-racist lies and conspiracies.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:30 AM on July 19, 2010


But if Obama was white, the conservative opposition to his presidency would be just as loud, just as angry, just as hateful, and would involve non-racist lies and conspiracies.

No, it wouldn't. We're going to have to agree to disagree.
posted by blucevalo at 8:32 AM on July 19, 2010


But if Obama was white, the conservative opposition to his presidency would be just as loud, just as angry, just as hateful, and would still involve racist lies and conspiracies.

Fixed that for you....
Liberals think these are all poor, angry, working-class whites, but that’s not true,” said Zeskind, who helped draft the NAACP resolution. “It’s a solid middle class. The belief that these are people hit by the economic downturn is a myth. It’s people who have what they want and don’t want it taken away. They’re defending white privilege. Their slogan is ‘We want our country back.’

Read more
posted by warbaby at 8:35 AM on July 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


We're going to have to agree to disagree.

Fair enough. Here's a friendly high-five.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:38 AM on July 19, 2010


No racism here. Move along.
"For many tea partiers, racism is in the eye of the beholder.

Take Ron Wight, who stood with dozens of tea party activists at the J.C. Nichols Memorial Fountain in April, complaining about the Obama administration, its socialist agenda and being called a racist.

Those like him who complain about President Barack Obama are accused of racism, lamented the semi-retired music teacher from Lee’s Summit.

Then he added: 'If I was a black man, I’d get down on my knees and thank God for slavery. Otherwise, I could be dying of AIDS now in Africa.'

Wight doesn’t consider that comment to be racist.

'I wish slavery had never happened,' he said. 'But there are some black people alive today who have never suffered one day what the people who were black went through in the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s. Has somebody said something stupid or done something stupid? Yes, there have been incidents.

'But with everything that has been done in this country legally and socially for the black man, it’s almost like they’ve been given a great leg up.'

... A photo circulating on the web shows Dale Robertson, founder and president of Houston-based TeaParty.org — also called the 1776 Tea Party — at a 2009 rally carrying a sign that said: 'Congress = Slave Owner, Taxpayer = Niggar.'

...The Council of Conservative Citizens, a St. Louis-based group that promotes the preservation of the white race, has sponsored its own tea parties in some Southern states.

The council’s website has referred to blacks as 'a retrograde species of humanity' and said non-white immigration would turn the country into a 'slimy brown mass of glop.'" *
posted by ericb at 8:41 AM on July 19, 2010 [4 favorites]


Fair enough. Here's a friendly high-five.

Back at you, double. I don't consider this an unfriendly argument.
posted by blucevalo at 8:44 AM on July 19, 2010


Here's a Republican (and, I believe, endorsed by the GOP), who is functionally running on a White Nationalist platform.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:50 AM on July 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


Also, you can correct me if I'm wrong, y'all, but I lived through Bubba's administration and I don't recall handguns and semi-automatic weaponry being openly displayed at rallies for candidates who opposed him, however vociferous they were, and if memory serves, the NRA was not exactly Bill's best friend, either.
posted by blucevalo at 8:50 AM on July 19, 2010 [4 favorites]


Oh, no; he's not endorsed. The GOP has tried to distance itself from him.

Gosh, this must be a confusing time for some conservatives. They've heard the dog whistles. They've heard the pandering. They know they have been given tacit permission to be racist, and have been told it's not racism, the other guy has a problem. They recycle arguments they hear on FOX, but do it without much skill, and wind up sounding like dyed in the wool neonazis. And then the GOP turns its back on them.

What must that feel like?
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:54 AM on July 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


blucevalo: I'm not disputing that. I was trying to say Limbaugh built an entire media segment on "only" hating Clinton. That's all, just hating Clinton. No merit, not even any real topics. Just a smear campaign.

The right is fighting Obama as hard as they can, and that effort includes an incredibly effective tool for reaching some populations: obvious overt racism. Some of the repubs just had the common sense to build this front group to house the racism, but it has gone off the rails, which I guess in hindsight was exactly what should have been expected.

I don't think you're as different in opinion from shakespeherian as you seem to think. Yes, I think Obama hate is Clinton hate on steroids... the steroids are the racism. They would most assuredly still hate Obama if he were white, because they hated (HATED) Clinton. They just also get the free attack of the racism. So you both are right.

Yes, to be clear, Obama is being attacked with obvious, overt racism. They don't even TRY to hide it. That's why I'm angered by people like St. Alia who try to defend it. The Tea Party doesn't even TRY TO HIDE the racism. They don't even have that common decency. Because their base eats that shit up. This current faux schism has nothing to do with racism, it has to do with power jocking within the Tea Party. The Tea Party, and practically all of its members, are totally, completely, unabashedly racist. Period.

I told a friend that I want to visit a Tea Party rally, and I have already made up what my sign will say: "I also dislike uppity negroes!" Because that's really the crux of their entire platform. How dare that negro think he's like us?
posted by discountfortunecookie at 9:04 AM on July 19, 2010


Astro Zombie: "What must that feel like?"

Feels like supporting and helping every "anti-abortion" Republican into office since Reagan and never actually getting any movement on the abortion front.

Feels like voting for every "small government" Republican since Reagan and watching the size of government continue to grow no matter what.

Feels like rooting for every "fiscally responsible" Republican since Reagan and watching the deficit grow and grow under their watch.

Feels like obeying Falwell's Moral Majority and watching "Christian" Republicans getting caught in sexual misadventures.

Feels like voting for Bush Jr.'s "humble foreign policy" and getting embroiled in two wars.

Feels like "No new taxes."

Feels like "Compassionate Conservatism."

Feels like the same damn puppets falling for the same damn lies over and over again.
posted by charred husk at 9:06 AM on July 19, 2010 [13 favorites]


The tea party is up in arms because they don't like the direction the country is going. Many of you think this is racist because the President is black/biracial.

I think the racism is displayed amply through the ugly and racist caricatures of Obama displayed at Teabag rallies, and the coded language in speeches given in Teabag beerhall equivalents.

But enough about you. If this is a push for respectability to moderate voters, the only way to counter this party's lies is to remind the public of its hateful roots.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:17 AM on July 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


discountfortunecookie: I don't think I'm disagreeing with you and shakespeherian (and most of the others who've made this argument) fundamentally, either. But I am trying to make the point that the Tea Party/GOP-abetted attacks on Obama, and the attempts to derail and demonize his presidency, and to declare his presidency illegitimate from the get-go, are unprecedented.

The attacks would be there without the racism, but the attacks with the racism magnify the intensity and the virulence, and they allow the intensity and virulence of other associated hatreds (the immigration hatred, for example, that is rife in Arizona and elsewhere right now) to flourish almost unchecked. This is a different class and potency of hatred than anything Bill Clinton or any other president has ever faced. That much of what is animating the intensity is racism, I think, is indisputable, whatever policy disagreements are used to window-dress it.
posted by blucevalo at 9:18 AM on July 19, 2010


For example, Black Amercians cannot be racist toward white people -- it is just categorically impossible. To be racist, in my view, it is not enough to think people of other races are inferior or something like that. No, to be racist must mean having access to instruments of power that can do harm to the objects of your race-theory -- or to benefit from the legacy of such harm.

I disagree.
posted by grubi at 9:25 AM on July 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


and to declare his presidency illegitimate from the get-go, are unprecedented

That much of what is animating the intensity is racism, I think, is indisputable, whatever policy disagreements are used to window-dress it.

I agree completely with both of these statements.

(Note also that from a certain perspective, the presidency of Al Gore was actually legally declared illegitimate)

charred husk: I've believed for a LONG time that the fundamental anger inherent in almost every voter on the right is due to profound failure of the voter by their elected Republican candidates... however they are either unwilling or unable to assign the blame to whom it really belongs.

It's sad really. The rank-and-file Republican voter may be the most poorly represented citizen in modern history, because getting Republicans elected was never about those citizens. They are pawns in the absolute truest sense of the word.
posted by discountfortunecookie at 9:30 AM on July 19, 2010


But I am trying to make the point that the Tea Party/GOP-abetted attacks on Obama, and the attempts to derail and demonize his presidency, and to declare his presidency illegitimate from the get-go, are unprecedented.
Again, I think this isn't the case. Bill Clinton was declared an imposter and a fraud because he was a "draft dodger" who was not a legitimate commander in chief. Rush Limbaugh famously opened many of his broadcasts by counting down the number of days that America had been "under siege" and "occupied" by the Clintons. The narrative of real americans being tyrannized by a liberal usurper is not new.
posted by verb at 9:32 AM on July 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


For example, Black Amercians cannot be racist toward white people -- it is just categorically impossible. To be racist, in my view, it is not enough to think people of other races are inferior or something like that. No, to be racist must mean having access to instruments of power that can do harm to the objects of your race-theory -- or to benefit from the legacy of such harm.

I disagree.


I also disagree. Members of minorities groups can be racist-- witness Michelle Malkin. This does not, however, mean that any minority member who has a mistrust of the majority, or etc., is a racist.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:35 AM on July 19, 2010


It's important to distinguish between institutional and personal racism. It is possible for somebody to be personally racist -- to believe in the inherent inferiority or superiority of a race -- without having the power to build institutions that support that racism and continually privilege and benefit them.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:39 AM on July 19, 2010 [4 favorites]


What if the Tea Party was Black?
posted by ericb at 9:40 AM on July 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Again, I think this isn't the case. Bill Clinton was declared an imposter and a fraud because he was a "draft dodger" who was not a legitimate commander in chief. Rush Limbaugh famously opened many of his broadcasts by counting down the number of days that America had been "under siege" and "occupied" by the Clintons. The narrative of real americans being tyrannized by a liberal usurper is not new.

And Rush Limbaugh had a much smaller platform then. And Glenn Beck was just a punk broadcasting out of a warehouse in New Haven then. And we have a 24/7 cable news war for the most outrageous froth-inducing invective possible now. And we have a much more voracious internet-driven media culture now.

All arguments for increased intensity and virulence.

Beyond that, I disagree that a narrative that claims that the president is not an American citizen does not differ qualititively from a narrative that does not make that claim.
posted by blucevalo at 9:40 AM on July 19, 2010


qualitatively
posted by blucevalo at 9:41 AM on July 19, 2010


Feels like the same damn puppets falling for the same damn lies over and over again.

How else are you going to working class people to vote for Republicans? Track record?

If you explained the Republicans' true agenda to these people, there would be no more Republicans on The Hill within 6 or 7 years.
posted by L'OM at 9:45 AM on July 19, 2010


Bill Clinton was never accused of not being an American citizen. Lawsuits were never filed against Bill Clinton to force him to make his birth certificate publicly available. Bill Clinton may have been accused of having an agenda to destroy the country, but that claim was not given the kind of credence that it is now when it is made against Obama.


Well, Obama hasn't been accused of murdering an aide in the White House, and there's been no special prosecutor appointed to spend years and millions trying to find something, anything, to indict Obama for.

They just use whatever hateful invective they can find. They can't say he lied about wounds received in battle, so they claim he's a Muslim. If they're louder and more shrill, it's because they've had more practice.

But if Obama was white, the conservative opposition to his presidency would be just as loud, just as angry, just as hateful, and would involve non-racist lies and conspiracies. (warbaby)

No, it wouldn't. We're going to have to agree to disagree. (blucevalo)


OK, I suppose we are. But, I'd like to understand the disagreement just a little more. if it were say, Hilary, do you think we wouldn't be hearing hateful lesbian comments and seeing posters about that? If it had been John Edwards, would he be safe from torrents of claims about bastard children and threesomes? Suppose it were an actual atheist? Can you imagine the things that would be said?

I think they simply go after targets of opportunity and I'm just not sure what you see the difference as being.
posted by tyllwin at 9:46 AM on July 19, 2010


This is just Williams’ latest go-round. He has a long history, including…

…calling former president Jimmy Carter a “creepy f*ggot,”
:(
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 9:46 AM on July 19, 2010


tyllwin: If you're not sure what the difference is after the multiple comments I've made, I'm not sure what else I would say that would convince you. It may well be that I'm just not expressing myself with enough clarity and concision. If you disagree with me, fine.
posted by blucevalo at 9:55 AM on July 19, 2010


Fair enough.
posted by tyllwin at 10:04 AM on July 19, 2010


It's important to distinguish between institutional and personal racism. It is possible for somebody to be personally racist -- to believe in the inherent inferiority or superiority of a race -- without having the power to build institutions that support that racism and continually privilege and benefit them.

I agree.
posted by grubi at 10:10 AM on July 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think they simply go after targets of opportunity and I'm just not sure what you see the difference as being.
Sure! What's ugly is that large swaths of the movement are revealing that they consider "having black skin" and "having ovaries" to be "targets of opportunity."
posted by verb at 10:10 AM on July 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


discountfortunecookie : I think they are genuinely off balance and unsure of what to do with this Frankenstein's Monster they have created.

Ooh, I like this analogy. It inspires me to want to start my own grass-roots anti-tea-party group called the Torch & Pitchforkers.

We'd all wear t-shirts with things like "Angry Mob" and hold anti-rallies where we surround their protests and shouted "rabble rabble rabble" while waving our namesakes in the air.
posted by quin at 10:11 AM on July 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sure, non-white people can be personally racist toward whites. The thing is...it doesn't really matter that much.

The various seats of power in this country favor white men so heavily (elected officials, CEOs, university presidents, Wall Street, etc.) that the personal racist opinions of a scattered handful of non-whites just don't really have that much impact beyond the personal.
posted by desuetude at 10:14 AM on July 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


Ooh, I like this analogy. It inspires me to want to start my own grass-roots anti-tea-party group called the Torch & Pitchforkers.

We'd all wear t-shirts with things like "Angry Mob" and hold anti-rallies where we surround their protests and shouted "rabble rabble rabble" while waving our namesakes in the air.


I would so go to this meetup.
posted by desuetude at 10:16 AM on July 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


tyllwin -- I think that any other politician than Obama would presumably be safe from claims from people like Glenn Beck that he has "a deep-seated hatred for white people" and from Sharron Angle that "Thomas Jefferson said it's good for a country to have a revolution every 20 years." I don't think that any other politician would ever be subject to that invective and to the hatred that the invective inspires. Even Bill Clinton.
posted by blucevalo at 10:21 AM on July 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


Op-Ed from the NYT that may have some relevance here.
posted by MikeMc at 10:22 AM on July 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


"rabble rabble rabble"

Maybe McDonald's could be a corporate sponsor and everyone could shout "robble robble robble"?
posted by MikeMc at 10:25 AM on July 19, 2010


The various seats of power in this country favor white men so heavily (elected officials, CEOs, university presidents, Wall Street, etc.) that the personal racist opinions of a scattered handful of non-whites just don't really have that much impact beyond the personal.

So? Racism is bad, regardless of scope.
posted by grubi at 10:25 AM on July 19, 2010


and from Sharron Angle that "Thomas Jefferson said it's good for a country to have a revolution every 20 years."

I pretty much guarantee you would hear this said regardless of which Democrat is in the White House.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:26 AM on July 19, 2010


I pretty much guarantee you would hear this said regardless of which Democrat is in the White House.

If that's true, and if you throw in the semi-automatic-toting gun crazies at her rallies, I guess I should be even more afraid about the future of the nation than I already was.
posted by blucevalo at 10:31 AM on July 19, 2010


So? Racism is bad, regardless of scope.

Um, yeah, OK, but this is like saying that "all violence is bad" when comparing, say, a fist fight and a military invasion. If you don't expand your analysis a little with some historical and social elements, this kind of broad statement ends up being a sort of moral smoke screen.
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:35 AM on July 19, 2010 [4 favorites]


The Willie Hortonization of Barack Obama: "Given his history, it should be no surprise Roger Ailes' minions at Fox News have obsessed over the discredited 18 month-old story of alleged voter intimidation by New Black Panther Party members on the day of the 2008 election. Since June 30, Fox News has spent more than eight hours of airtime and 95 segments on the story. And no network has done more to expose Americans to the extreme and hateful politics of the New Black Panther Party, which has been designated a 'hate group' by the Southern Poverty Law Center, than Fox, where the group's spokespeople have appeared more than 50 times since 1998."
posted by blucevalo at 10:36 AM on July 19, 2010


I was just reading about that NBP thing, which I hadn't heard about until today.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:38 AM on July 19, 2010


OK, but this is like saying that "all violence is bad" when comparing, say, a fist fight and a military invasion.

No, not really. A fist fight vs a military invasion isn't a matter of scope, it's a matter of size, intensity, and resources. Institutional racism vs personal racism come from the same thing: ignorance. Not all violence comes from the same thing. It's what you do with it that changes the scope.
posted by grubi at 10:39 AM on July 19, 2010


Institutional racism vs personal racism come from the same thing: ignorance.

I'd like to believe that the reason people are racist is because they're just ignorant, and haven't actually met a black person, rather than they choose a group to categorically hate and carefully miseducate themselves, because that miseducation directly benefits them, by privileging them over the despised group. I'd like to believe that, because, were that the case, slavery could have been cured with a schoolbook and the Holocaust could have ended simply by Germans meeting and getting to know their Jewish neighbors.

Alas, this sort of hatred, when it is institutionalized and perniciousness, makes use of ignorance, but is not based in or reliant or rooted in it. It's base, it's source, it's root, is power.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:49 AM on July 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


Its, rather, while we're on the subject of ignorance.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:50 AM on July 19, 2010


That's not the ignorance I'm talking about.
posted by grubi at 10:56 AM on July 19, 2010


Well, perhaps you might be good enough to clarify.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:58 AM on July 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


No, not really. A fist fight vs a military invasion isn't a matter of scope, it's a matter of size, intensity, and resources.

Which is pretty much the difference between racism as displayed by the privileged vs racism as displayed by the unprivileged. The rich white guy who hate "Mexicans" can deny anyone he thinks is "Mexican" a job or a place to live or admission to a university or whatever. He can talk to his rich white guy friends and get legislation passed that pretty much makes it illegal to be "Mexican" (it won't stand up in court, but it will make a lot of people miserable in the meantime). On the other hand, a poor Latino woman might hate white men just as much as the white guy in the example above, but she can... um, spit in his coffee? key his car? scowl at him real hard? OK, theoretically, with a lot of effort, she could knife him on the street, but he can ruin a lot more lives with a lot less effort and, despite the slight cartoonishness of my example, does so on a daily basis.

"Size, intensity, and resources" are precisely the point -- privileged (or institutional) racism has them and unprivileged (personal is not a good word for this) racism does not. Pretending the two are the same or even all that similar in their actual effects on real people is not helpful.

And it's not intended to be. "Racism is bad. The end." is a kind of moral smoke screen that allows the issue to be swept away and renders the word "racism" almost devoid of meaning.
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:01 AM on July 19, 2010 [10 favorites]


Having seen the Clinton attacks up close, I'm going to agree with those who say it was as bad or worse back then.

Clinton's legitimacy was questioned from the start by the screamers because he won less than 50% of the vote (remember Perot?) and then of course there was an entire massive bureaucracy that grew out of the effort to undermine him.


What I find interesting is that conservatives are so quick to start foaming at the mouth over the presidential illegitimacy of both Clinton and Obama, whereas liberals - who had what I consider a much stronger case after SCOTUS decided Bush v Gore along party lines - but didn't spend 8 years howling about Bush's legitimacy. Yes, some people refused to use the word "president' and whatnot, but it was on an entirely different scale.
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:18 AM on July 19, 2010


What I find interesting is that conservatives are so quick to start foaming at the mouth over the presidential illegitimacy of both Clinton and Obama, whereas liberals - who had what I consider a much stronger case after SCOTUS decided Bush v Gore along party lines - but didn't spend 8 years howling about Bush's legitimacy. Yes, some people refused to use the word "president' and whatnot, but it was on an entirely different scale.
It was definitely there -- you saw bitter comments about "The president speaking" when Gore did a presentation, etc. And there were people who would still roll up a rant about how the election was stolen etc. But as you said, the difference in scale is pretty significant.
posted by verb at 11:24 AM on July 19, 2010


Clinton's legitimacy was questioned from the start by the screamers because he won less than 50% of the vote (remember Perot?) and then of course there was an entire massive bureaucracy that grew out of the effort to undermine him.

Obama's legitimacy was questioned before the start.

And, again, Clinton was never attacked on the grounds of not being an American citizen.

Whether that's qualitatively worse or somehow not "as bad" as what happened to Bill is a debate that people here seem to want to have. I don't think there's any doubt, personally.
posted by blucevalo at 11:26 AM on July 19, 2010


Well, perhaps you might be good enough to clarify

It's not as simple as "If only they got to know them!"; it's that these people are ignorant, and want to remain ignorant. To feel that "race" is anything beyond a social construct or that one race is superior or inferior to another... that's mired in pure ignorance. Combine that ignorance with hate, and you have the recipe for much worse. But without that ignorance, racism, sexism, and homophobia cease to be.

is it easy to do this, to simply educate? Oh, heavens, no. But without the hate, they're still racist. without the ignorance, they're not.

"Racism is bad. The end." is a kind of moral smoke screen that allows the issue to be swept away and renders the word "racism" almost devoid of meaning.

No, it's not. You're trying to imbue the word with extra meaning. Racism is shorthand for "racial prejudice": judging people based on their perceived race. What people do with that racism... that's a matter of record. But that someone can only be racist if they have power? Bullshit. Poor, backwards, redneck honkies who have no access to political power but hate black people are just as racist as the people funding the Tea Parties. The racism comes from the same place: ignorance. You might say "fear", but that's part of the ignorance.

They are ignorant, whether by choice or circumstance. Neither are excused from their ignorance, whether they have power or not. Change the power structure, give all power to blacks and take it from whites, and can white people be racist in that dynamic? Absofuckinglutely.

The power dynamic is a different kettle of fish altogether, and is too important to ignore. But settling on a definition of "racism" that includes all forms of racial prejudice does not, in any way, diminish the power of the word or the impact of racism itself.
posted by grubi at 11:32 AM on July 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Williams' Tea Party Express is one of the most influential in the conservative movement. It has reportedly raised $2.3 million this year, helped elect Sen. Scott Brown in Massachusetts and organized a rally in Nevada that featured a rare Sarah Palin speech.

But on the bright side, they also got nutcase Karen Angle as the Republican nominee for Harry Reid's Senate seat, ensuring that Reid gets another term.
posted by coolguymichael at 11:37 AM on July 19, 2010


Well, that all depends on how many Democrats feel motivated to turn out to vote in November for Harry Reid in a state with 14.5% unemployment and in a city (Las Vegas) where 1 out of every 10 homes is in foreclosure. Sharron may be a nutjob, but she's neck-and-neck with Harry in most polls I've seen.
posted by blucevalo at 11:43 AM on July 19, 2010


And, again, Clinton was never attacked on the grounds of not being an American citizen.

If Clinton's father had been a white European without claims to American citizenship and his mother had been an 18-year-old woman who spent time in Europe around the time of Clinton's birth, they would have made this attack.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:46 AM on July 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sharron may be a nutjob, but she's neck-and-neck with Harry in most polls I've seen.


If Ralston says you're dead, you're dead.

posted by CunningLinguist at 11:50 AM on July 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


shakespeherian: "If Clinton's father had been a white European without claims to American citizenship and his mother had been an 18-year-old woman who spent time in Europe around the time of Clinton's birth, they would have made this attack."

Everyone listen to shakespeherian... after all, he apparently invented the finglonger.
posted by Riki tiki at 11:51 AM on July 19, 2010


If Clinton's father had been a white European without claims to American citizenship and his mother had been an 18-year-old woman who spent time in Europe around the time of Clinton's birth, they would have made this attack.

And if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.
posted by blucevalo at 11:52 AM on July 19, 2010


CunningLinguist: Thanks for this column link. I hadn't known the latest news on Angle's situation. Great news!
posted by blucevalo at 11:53 AM on July 19, 2010


It seems like the silliest illegitimate attacks on Obama are intended to be parodies of the legitimate attacks leveled against Bush.

I say intended because many of them are so crazily outrageous that they just have to be part of a well-thought-out PR plan. But what is the intent? Is it to muddy the waters, and to help the poorly informed eventually forget about the Bush record? ("After all, they all do it!")

Is it to weaken the Left's strongest arguments against the Republican agenda by claiming that they apply equally to the alleged victims of Obama's policies? Consider:

Obama is an illegitimate president.
Obama is trampling the Constitution.
Obama is a racist.
Obama's policies hurt the little guy and help the "elites."
Obama loves Wall Street.
Obama is a totalitarian dictator in the making.


NONE of these arguments have any basis, whatsoever, in reality (except possibly the "hurt the little guy" thing, which I don't think is remotely true but I concede is open to a political debate).

ALL of these arguments, except possibly the last one on the list, are decidedly relevant when discussing Bush's presidency. It just seems that conservatives don't argue, politically, on the grounds of their principles any more. Instead, they're attempting to overwhelm the public discourse with these bizarre, totally groundless, claims which directly echo the very legit, very well-founded questions raised by Bush's actions.

And the above claims aren't made just by the fringe of the Tea Party. There are Republicans in -- and running for -- Congress who refuse to say that Obama was born in the US. Incredible.
posted by Philemon at 11:54 AM on July 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


And if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

My point is that Obama's biography makes it semi-feasible to say he wasn't born in the US, thus providing a ridiculous attack to gain a foothold. There was no such basis for making this sort of claim about Clinton.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:04 PM on July 19, 2010


Poor, backwards, redneck honkies who have no access to political power but hate black people are just as racist as the people funding the Tea Parties.

Ah, but they do have power, and a legacy of power to invoke, and that's the difference. There are more of them, for one thing. For another, their parents and grandparents used to hang black people from trees from time to time, and any victimized minority senses that the bad times can always come back.

That vigilance is one of the costs of a racist legacy from the point of view of the oppressed, which members of the community that did the oppressing can never feel. Certainly an American Black person can hate white people, want nothing to do with white people, and distance oneself from whiteness in any form possible. But he can't humiliate a white person and he can't threaten a white person on the basis of race.

Furthermore, this hatred has a kind of legitimacy, if at least of a self-protective kind. If you're a Jew living in a small Eastern European rural community, having a wariness about your Catholic neighbors may express itself in a way that seems like racism, but it actually might just be a well-founded defense strategy. Calling it racism would be absurd.
posted by Philemon at 12:05 PM on July 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


I would prefer to see this place debate facts and policies [...]
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:51 AM on July 19 [+] [!]
As would I, and as would, I'm sure, the vast majority of those reading this thread.

It gets frustrating when you won't ever engage on the level of "facts and policies," however.
posted by jtron at 12:20 PM on July 19, 2010 [5 favorites]


For another, their parents and grandparents used to hang black people from trees from time to time, and any victimized minority senses that the bad times can always come back.

He has stories of his ancestors hanging black people, therefore he has power? No, he has a delusion of power. It's not real power.

But he can't humiliate a white person and he can't threaten a white person on the basis of race.

Sure he can, depending on the context. I'm not saying *I* have been a victim of racism (most likely I have not), but that I can see the possibility for black-on-white racism. Neither that or the good-ol'-traditional white-on-black racism is acceptable, as far as I can see.

To delegitimize it by saying "blacks can't be racist towards whites" is logically absurd, regardless of whether if it's common.
posted by grubi at 12:27 PM on July 19, 2010


jtron, when people don't engage, there's no point. I thought that derail was quite deftly rerailed.
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:29 PM on July 19, 2010


My point is that Obama's biography makes it semi-feasible to say he wasn't born in the US, thus providing a ridiculous attack to gain a foothold.

Except that there's no basis in fact for the claim, in Obama's biography or anyplace else, rendering the idea that there is any feasibility to the claim (semi- or otherwise) absurd on its face.
posted by blucevalo at 12:38 PM on July 19, 2010


Poor, backwards, redneck honkies who have no access to political power but hate black people are just as racist as the people funding the Tea Parties.

Except, you know, both poor rednecks and racist rich teabaggers both would have the cops on their side if they point to a black person and said, "He raped my daughter!" whereas, say, your most prejudiced black power group pointing at a white person and saying the same thing, would NOT have the police on their side.

Whether you agree or disagree about racism = prejudice + power, you should be aware that most fo the people who try to divorce the power aspect from the discussion as a smokescreen is equivalent to the person who shows up in a discussion about child abuse and says, "But sometimes kids hit adults too!".

Because every group has nutcases, not every group has the power to deny jobs, housing, loans, schooling, or, you know, kill someone in cold blood with the law looking the other way.
posted by yeloson at 12:44 PM on July 19, 2010 [4 favorites]


He has stories of his ancestors hanging black people, therefore he has power? No, he has a delusion of power. It's not real power.

This train is leading us away from the main conversation into the inevitable "blacks can be racist against whites" derail, which has precious little to do with the Tea Party, which, if it has racists in it, has white people who are racist against blacks. This is the equivalent of popping into a thread about a woman getting raped to endlessly remind us that men can get raped too, but, unless it's necessary to the main topic, seems rather a sideline that has little function but to distract a topic that addresses one sort of suffering to focus instead on the suffering of the privileged.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:44 PM on July 19, 2010 [6 favorites]


I guess if you can't see the difference, we must once again exchange high-fives.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:46 PM on July 19, 2010


This is the equivalent of popping into a thread about a woman getting raped to endlessly remind us that men can get raped too

Oh, come the fuck on.
posted by grubi at 12:48 PM on July 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


No. It's an expression of privileged, in the sense that it's men taking over a discussion of something that primarily affects women, and derailing it to make the thread about them. I have been polite, but you have very successfully knocked this discussion off course into a discussion of whether or not black people can be prejudiced against white people, and if it's just as bad.

That's not the discussion here, and I would respectfully ask that you come the fuck on.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:51 PM on July 19, 2010 [4 favorites]


I'm torn on Sharron Angle. On the one hand I really hate the idea of giving the Teabaggers a victory. On the other hand if she wins we get Harry "the Coward" Reid out of the Senate Majority Leader position, and I can't help but see that as a very good thing indeed.

On the third hand, Ms. Angle is so crazy she has actual, visible, bats flying out of her ears, having her as the Teabagger's triumph could go a long way in showing the rest of the country how nutty they are.

I'm having a difficult time seeing a real downside to Reid getting ousted.
posted by sotonohito at 12:52 PM on July 19, 2010


I guess if you can't see the difference, we must once again exchange high-fives.

This was addressed to blucevalo.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:57 PM on July 19, 2010


No. It's an expression of privileged, in the sense that it's men taking over a discussion of something that primarily affects women, and derailing it to make the thread about them. I have been polite, but you have very successfully knocked this discussion off course into a discussion of whether or not black people can be prejudiced against white people, and if it's just as bad.

That's not the discussion here, and I would respectfully ask that you come the fuck on.


Look, grubi can make his own points, but he's not the one who brought up the "black people can't be racist" canard. No matter how you feel about that assertion, it's a known point of contention, and one that invites this kind of side talk. Grubi said nothing more than "I disagree" and people who couldn't leave well enough alone kept pressing it. If you're really concerned about the derail and not that grubi won't agree to a highly-academic definition of something, you should be addressing your post to Philemon.

With that, I won't help derail myself anymore, so while I'll continue to read the thread, I won't press the point.
posted by Amanojaku at 1:01 PM on July 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm having a difficult time seeing a real downside to Reid getting ousted.

The downside is that Harry Reid will no longer be Senate Majority Leader and Chuck Schumer will (assuming that the Dems hold onto the Senate).

That may be, of course, not a downside to some.
posted by blucevalo at 1:04 PM on July 19, 2010


On the third hand, Ms. Angle is so crazy she has actual, visible, bats flying out of her ears, having her as the Teabagger's triumph could go a long way in showing the rest of the country how nutty they are.

Michelle Bachmann is straight outta the belfry too and didn't she get reelected?
posted by jtron at 1:09 PM on July 19, 2010


I would respectfully ask that you come the fuck on.

No, you.
posted by grubi at 1:10 PM on July 19, 2010


Michelle Bachmann is straight outta the belfry too and didn't she get reelected?

So did Jean Schmidt, though she's been rather the wallflower of late.
posted by blucevalo at 1:11 PM on July 19, 2010


it's a known point of contention, and one that invites this kind of side talk.

This is an invitation people don't need to accept. I regret participating in it at all. It sometimes seems to be that the people who actually have suffered from racism the most in this country are the ones who least get to discuss it in a public setting without being reminded that they too can be oppressors, even when that is not the subject of the discussion, and I find that to be markedly uncivil. It strikes me more as running salt in a wound.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:11 PM on July 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


I was addressing a point commonly made by tea partiers in a thread about racism in the Tea Party. I think it's relevant, especially this far down the page when other points have been made. Maybe I was making obvious points at too great a length, though. Anyhow, I don't see how Grubi has derailed anything by responding to it.
posted by Philemon at 1:12 PM on July 19, 2010


Michelle Bachmann is straight outta the belfry too and didn't she get reelected?

For what it's worth she has been elected both times with sub 50% margins and was reelected with one of, if not the, lowest win % in the country.

So, yeah the broader point that she got reelected is totally valid, but, and this is valid too, a majority of her constituents haven't actually voted for her.
posted by edgeways at 1:19 PM on July 19, 2010


It's a lot easier to be a crazy house member than senator.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:22 PM on July 19, 2010


Shootout in Oakland May Have Been Result of Pent-up Anti-Government Anger
posted by homunculus at 1:35 PM on July 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


Here's a surprise:

The ‘Tea Party’ is very real and will have a big impact on this year’s election and beyond – but it is important to correctly characterize this movement. The Tea Party is a grass-roots, intensely ideological, conservative Republican movement, fired up by Fox News and Glenn Beck. It is not remotely an independent or populist revolt against the elites or a working class revolt rooted in frustration with the recession, Wall Street and government.

posted by ryoshu at 1:38 PM on July 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Racist New Hampshire State House Candidate Advises Tea Party To Be More Open With Its Racism
“While the tea party movement is desperately trying to fight off charges of ‘racist elements’ from the NAACP, Ryan J. Murdough, a Republican candidate for New Hampshire State House, has no qualms about expressing his views on race. ‘It is time for white people in New Hampshire and across the country to take a stand,’ Murdough wrote in a letter to the Concord Monitor titled ‘We must preserve our racial identity’:
‘For far too long white Americans have been told that diversity is something beneficial to their existence. Statistics prove that the opposite is true. New Hampshire residents must seek to preserve their racial identity if we want future generations to have to possibility to live in such a great state. Affirmative action, illegal and legal non-white immigration, anti-white public school systems, and an anti-white media have done much damage to the United States of America and especially New Hampshire. It is time for white people in New Hampshire and across the country to take a stand. We are only 8 percent of the world’s population and we need our own homeland, just like any other non-white group of people deserve their own homeland.’”
posted by ericb at 1:57 PM on July 19, 2010


Michele Bachmann's Tea Party Caucus Approved
posted by homunculus at 1:59 PM on July 19, 2010


This train is leading us away from the main conversation into the inevitable "blacks can be racist against whites" derail, which has precious little to do with the Tea Party, which, if it has racists in it, has white people who are racist against blacks.

Yes, and sorry about that, or for my part in it.

To bring it closer to the subject at hand, one of the advantages that "racism is just racial prejudice" has as a smoke screen is that, by removing power from the equation, it helps make the most open expressions of racism occur between groups that are equally deprivileged economically -- as long as poor (or at least struggling) whites see poor blacks (and poor latinos and poor asians) as the primary enemy, they will not notice who is profiting. The poor whites are struggling for their shreds of racial privilege while ignoring more significant systematic injustices that hurt them far worse.

It's not like divide and conquer is a new strategy.
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:02 PM on July 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Popping back in here to share a wee bit of info...at least here in North Carolina, the Republican establishment is no friend of the tea party movement.

It's a rule here in NC that party chairmen are supposed to be impartial till runoffs are finished and a Republican is chosen to run in a particular race. My own husband was part of the committee that put that rule into place.

That rule was blatantly ignored because the powers that be both locally, statewide (and, I have heard, directly on the national level) did not like a particular local Tea Party candidate. I won't go into the gory details because if you are local you already know who I am talking about and if you aren't local you don't really care but let's just say my already cynical little heart got about five times more cynical.

Now,the part y'all might care about: The divide between "normal"Republicans and the more conservative "tea party"people is getting wider and wider and real enemies have been made. I don't know how this might play out nationwide but if I were a Democrat this would be verrrryyyy interesting.

(as for myself, I feel caught between the two as the teaparty people are spinning into tinfoil hat territory while the other side is getting more and more RINO. As far as the racism part stands, my token reminder that my family is not all caucasian so I do have a vested interest in politics becoming less rather than more racist. )
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 2:05 PM on July 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


shakespeherian: I hope you'll forgive me if I beg off pursuing this line of argument any further, unless you can help my addled brain out by backing up a bit and reminding me what we were really arguing about in the first place. The argument's taken on so many layers that I am having trouble keeping straight what's hypothetical and what's not anymore. High five.
posted by blucevalo at 2:12 PM on July 19, 2010


We were arguing over whether I was right or you were wrong.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:13 PM on July 19, 2010


my token reminder that my family is not all caucasian

oops?
posted by grubi at 2:18 PM on July 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


Alia, I think we all have a "vested interest in politics becoming less rather than more racist."
posted by jtron at 2:20 PM on July 19, 2010 [6 favorites]


"For far too long white Americans have been told that diversity is something beneficial to their existence."
He continued: "The Jew is using The Black as muscle against you. And you are left there helpless. Well, what are you going to do about it, Whitey? Just sit there? Of course not! You are going to join with us. The members of the American Socialist White Peoples' Party. An organization of decent, law abiding white folk. Just like you!"
posted by quin at 2:22 PM on July 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


We were arguing over whether I was right or you were wrong.

Well, in that case, you win, obviously.
posted by blucevalo at 2:22 PM on July 19, 2010


by removing power from the equation, it helps make the most open expressions of racism occur between groups that are equally deprivileged economically

Wow. Um, no. we're not talking about going into the trailer parks and telling white people "blacks can be racists, too" that would legitimize their ridiculous opinions. I'm talking about a straight up definition of the word and the possibility of black-on-white racism.

I'm not saying institutional racism isn't a problem or that it shouldn't be the priority -- it should -- but that any racism, on any scale, any scope, from any source is a part of the overall problem. You can't erase widespread personal racism without attacking the institutional racism first, it would seem, so I'm all for tearing into the institutional racism that still pervades our society.

as long as poor (or at least struggling) whites see poor blacks (and poor latinos and poor asians) as the primary enemy, they will not notice who is profiting. The poor whites are struggling for their shreds of racial privilege while ignoring more significant systematic injustices that hurt them far worse.

Interesting word you use there. "Ignore". Wonder what the noun form of that word might be...
posted by grubi at 2:24 PM on July 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, in that case, you win, obviously.

But not necessarily! What if, instead, you lose?
posted by shakespeherian at 2:25 PM on July 19, 2010


He continued: "The Jew is using The Black as muscle against you. And you are left there helpless. Well, what are you going to do about it, Whitey? Just sit there? Of course not! You are going to join with us. The members of the American Socialist White Peoples' Party. An organization of decent, law abiding white folk. Just like you!"

I fuckin' hate Illinois Nazis.
posted by grubi at 2:25 PM on July 19, 2010


Well, in that case, you win, obviously.

But not necessarily! What if, instead, you lose?


Hey, you two! Stop fighting!
posted by grubi at 2:27 PM on July 19, 2010


Well, in that case, you win, obviously.

But not necessarily! What if, instead, you lose?


Anybody who read down this far has lost.
posted by MikeMc at 2:30 PM on July 19, 2010


Lost what?
posted by ericb at 2:40 PM on July 19, 2010


You just lost the game.
posted by discountfortunecookie at 2:43 PM on July 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


This accomplishes two things: It sanitizes the Teabag Party in the minds of moderate voters. On the outside, everyone can pretend the Teabag Party isn't made up of racists because they put up a pretty, public veneer.

I dunno. I think I feel the opposite.

Today a Tea Party spokesman called for national "tea summits" about racism.

When the Tea Party starts making news for discussing racism, they have already lost. 99% of Americans did not connect the Tea Party with "racism" before this event. Times and demographics are changing--they will lose more sympathy than they gain with this news. This is big, bad PR for the Tea Party. The racist angle of the Tea Party is not going away anytime soon.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:47 PM on July 19, 2010


Well, that and the fact that they used the word "summit" at all ..... a term heretofore used only by the Archenemy to identify his beer-wielding PR stagecraft for the Cambridge PD sergeant and Henry Louis Gates and other such non-TP-approved shindigs.
posted by blucevalo at 2:52 PM on July 19, 2010


Shootout in Oakland May Have Been Result of Pent-up Anti-Government Anger

Good lord.
"He hasn't been able to get a job because he's an ex-felon and nobody will hire him," she said.

...

Williams watched the news on television and was upset by "the way Congress was railroading through all these left-wing agenda items," his mother said.
He's mad that nobody will hire him because he's a felon ... and he's mad at left-wing politicians?! Another American educational failure.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:52 PM on July 19, 2010 [6 favorites]


Ahem.
posted by warbaby at 2:54 PM on July 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


I fuckin' hate Illinois Nazis.

I've always loved you.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 3:02 PM on July 19, 2010


So (assuming what you say is true) what better technique would you recommend that the NAACP employ to remove racism from political discourse?

I hadn't checked this thread for a while, so I missed this response to my post above. If you'll read my first post, you'll see I said that we should frame these kinds of callouts around what you do, not who you are. That is, "that thing you did was racist," rather than, "you are a racist." The latter implies enduring, fundamental traits that make people stop listening to anything else you have to say and put their defenses on. I don't think that the NAACP did anything particularly wrong or inappropriate here, since in a public forum where reasonable discourse is limited, they didn't have many other options, but I think it's an important thing to remember in moving forward and discussing it amongst ourselves (as evidenced by this thread).

I chance it to say that most of America is not racist

I totally disagree. I think that most people have some racist views, in that most people engage in some degree of stereotyping and prejudicing (even if it's minor), but since we frame racism discussions around who you are rather than what you do, it's harder to admit to/challenge these views. If you say, "I think XX group is lazy/stupid/whatever," you will have a lot of people jumping to say, "OMG RACIST!" If we heard that and said, OK, they hold this view because it was taught to them by their parents/they had some bad experiences with XX group/etc., but they might be an otherwise reasonable and good person, you can say, "Hey, that thing you just said sounded racist." Even if rational discussion doesn't happen right then, that's something that may be easier for that person to carry with them and consider than "I AM A RACIST," which they will reject out of hand.
posted by emilyd22222 at 3:05 PM on July 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


...leading the fight against the proposed Lower Manhattan mosque, which he called a monument to the 9/11 attackers to "worship the terrorists' monkey-god."

There's a religion out there where I can worship a terrorist monkey God and fight tea-partiers? I'm seriously re-thinking my atheism right now.
posted by Kirk Grim at 3:14 PM on July 19, 2010


If it's this monkey god I'm in too
posted by jtron at 3:19 PM on July 19, 2010


I totally disagree. I think that most people have some racist views

I actually concur. The term "racist" has come to mean such an all out 100% evil position to hold that it makes talking about racism all that much harder. It is difficult to acknowledge racism within one's self because it seems to be such an all-or-nothing thing now. The same is true for most -isms I would wager. I would wager a person could be racist and not have any sympathy for the KKK. I would also wager that a person could have some racist tenancies and still fundamentally be a good person. Things are complex and there is a lot of ground between those that let their prejudices drive them to violent and intolerant behaviors and those that recognize their weakness for what they are and make honest efforts to not project them or let them influence their behavior significantly.
posted by edgeways at 4:05 PM on July 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


Just for the record: I was in grade school when Clinton first got elected, so I probably didn't see the full picture of anti-him-ism.

That said (and this is the point I was trying to make before): dragging race into the thing is inherently makes it dirtier and more low-down, just like what they would say about his wife, if she had been elected, would have been worse than what they said about him.

To paraphrase (and slightly re-purpose) Richard Pryor: "they might not all be [racist] themselves, but they do all work for [racism]."
posted by paisley henosis at 4:10 PM on July 19, 2010


If you'll read my first post, you'll see I said that we should frame these kinds of callouts around what you do, not who you are. That is, "that thing you did was racist," rather than, "you are a racist." The latter implies enduring, fundamental traits that make people stop listening to anything else you have to say and put their defenses on.

That's a fair statement, to be sure, although in our current political climate, I find it hard to believe that most people to whom the label "racist" or "racism" is attached will appreciate or observe the distinction between "that thing you do" and "that thing you are."
posted by blucevalo at 4:14 PM on July 19, 2010


That's a fair statement, to be sure, although in our current political climate, I find it hard to believe that most people to whom the label "racist" or "racism" is attached will appreciate or observe the distinction between "that thing you do" and "that thing you are."
"Love the sinner, hate the sin" always works so well...
posted by verb at 4:25 PM on July 19, 2010


That's a fair statement, to be sure, although in our current political climate, I find it hard to believe that most people to whom the label "racist" or "racism" is attached will appreciate or observe the distinction between "that thing you do" and "that thing you are."

All the more reason to be very careful with framing and message. I'd like to believe that the distinction can be made clear.
posted by emilyd22222 at 4:44 PM on July 19, 2010


I would prefer to see this place debate facts and policies instead of throw around accusations of racism.

Or you could take the 90 seconds required to Google the actual speeches and essays of MLK, Jr. and inform yourself. You know: facts. and policies. Your shell game is up. You are part of the problem and the unwitting instrument of hate. Well done.
posted by joe lisboa at 6:27 PM on July 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


joe lisboa, I think it was pretty clear what part of Dr. King's message I was highlighting. Would you like to point out to me what the downside of a society where people were treated as people and not as members of races would be? Would you like to point out to me the downside of debating a leader's views and actions on the basis and merit of the actions, or of choosing a leader on his views and actions rather than saying-this leader looks like me so I will support him-or this leader does not look like me so I will reject her-or this leader does not look like me so I need to vote for him so people won't think I reject him on the basis of race?

The truth is when it comes to race and racism I am a genuine idealist. I believe in order to have a world where all men (and women) are treated equally I have to be the change I want to see. That means I cannot and will not take race into consideration when I am choosing whom to vote for or whom to go to church with or whom to go have dinner with or whom my daughter or son marries. The fact that other people haven't gotten there yet doesn't mean I have to sink to their level.

By the way, I think personal insults directed to me on this subject are stupid. If a person has to prove their liberal politics by insulting a conservative I think it's a waste of keystrokes. It certainly doesn't make the liberal politics more attractive.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:39 PM on July 19, 2010


U R DOING IT WRONG.

I have literally nothing else to add here. Congrats, you have carved out a pathetic niche as archetypical troll, here. Well done? You are willfully distorting every single attempt by others to inform you. It turns out I am part of the problem you embody for drawing attention to your willful ignorance. Educate yourself already.
posted by joe lisboa at 7:46 PM on July 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think it was pretty clear what part of Dr. King's message I was highlighting. Would you like to point out to me what the downside of a society where people were treated as people and not as members of races would be?

St. Alia, you quoted him as if you were ignoring the greater context of that statement and his work and beliefs. His thesis isn't that color doesn't ever matter. His thesis is that black Americans deserve equal rights and consideration and respect.

Until they have it, highlighting just those few words doesn't work.
posted by desuetude at 7:51 PM on July 19, 2010 [6 favorites]


You are wasting your time, desuetude. This superficial crypto-christian has no interest in honest debate. We are tilting at windmills, here. Do not feed the troll.
posted by joe lisboa at 7:57 PM on July 19, 2010


UNDERINFORMED SOUTHERN WHITE LADY DEFENDS HER RACE PRIVILEGE. NEWS AT EVERY-WHEN.
posted by joe lisboa at 8:03 PM on July 19, 2010 [4 favorites]



Desuetude, of course I don't mean color doesn't matter. But I have seen people I respect vote for a man who stands for things they find reprehensible simply because he shares a race with them. Not to mention I have to continually have people judge me as racist because A) I am white and B) I do not support Obama. I would not have supported Obama for one reason no matter what -and that is the issue of abortion. I have voted for other black candidates and will continue to vote for candidates of any race who reflect my value system and who I believe would make good leaders.

My perception is that many people on the left have a kneejerk response to conservatives in general and tea partiers in particular. I never said there were not racists in either group. But I know enough African Americans in both groups and enough white nonracists in both groups to resent the constant drumbeat that conservative =racist. This type of approach to disagreement-the demonization of Other-is going to eventually destroy this nation if we don't ALL get a grip and just stop it. We ALL-and I mean conservatives, liberals,and everything on both sides and in the middle-need to realize that while we bite and tear at each other the very real problems this nation faces are growing bigger and bigger and bigger....there is so much hate on both sides that we cannot seem to hear one another and honestly I am tempted to despair when I see just how horrible it is getting.

And my stomach ties in a big fat knot when I even think about next election season.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 8:03 PM on July 19, 2010


Last time I will feed this particular clueless troll, I swear to the white American baby jesus.
posted by joe lisboa at 8:04 PM on July 19, 2010


But I have seen people I respect vote for a man who stands for things they find reprehensible simply because he shares a race with them

Ronald Reagan? Of course not. That would be consistent.
posted by joe lisboa at 8:05 PM on July 19, 2010


Desuetude, of course I don't mean color doesn't matter. But I have seen people I respect vote for a man who stands for things they find reprehensible simply because he shares a race with them. Not to mention I have to continually have people judge me as racist because A) I am white and B) I do not support Obama. I would not have supported Obama for one reason no matter what -and that is the issue of abortion. I have voted for other black candidates and will continue to vote for candidates of any race who reflect my value system and who I believe would make good leaders.
Alia, for the record I do not believe that your reasons for voting against Obama are racist. I know many others who voted Republican specifically because of the abortion issue. I believe it was a fundamentally deluded choice, one that will do nothing to reduce abortion, but that's a separate issue.

The issue that's troubling here is that these days, many casual bigots have learned that you can use the loose language of idealism ("colorblindness" and "equality," let's say) to undercut the very goals that those ideals would lead us towards. Systemic racial inequality in the system? Maybe, but doing anything about it wouldn't be "colorblind," would it? Attempts to deconstruct and counteract these systemic patterns of racism (and the specific instances in which it's blindingly obvious) become -- by definition -- "color-aware."

That's what Williams based his entire abominable racist screed on: The NAACP is about race, thus it's racist, thus deploying language they think is racist in the service of a political point is clever! Looking at the comments on his blog reveals not outrage by other members of his organization, but a parade of people saying, "Well, of course -- but by saying it like that, you give the liberals ammunition!" There is an implicit understanding that this profoundly ugly view of blacks and other minorities should be kept private and only hinted at in mixed company.

For better or worse, whether or not you are racist or consider yourself racist, whether or not you intended your words to be taken as such, the scolding "Well, MLK would consider a lot of people racists!" in the context of this post suggests the same sort of inversion. "Why, MLK might consider the NAACP racist!" Is it fair to assume that you believe that? Hard to say. Tone and context make it ambiguous. Unfortunately, many of your political fellow-travelers have deliberately masked such sentiments behind such weasel words, as the commenters in Williams' blog tacitly admit.

Race carries many burdens: for a black man living in a midwestern suburb, that burden is that neighbors will think he is a burglar as he walks home from the gym; police will stop him and question him and may detain him for trying to enter his own home; if his name "sounds black," employers will pass over his resume. For a white conservative in the south, the burdens are different: if you make ambiguous statements about race seem to support another racist's justifications, some people will say you sound like a racist. I know -- it's a hard world we live in. Both the white conservative in the south, and the black man living in the midwest, must work to overcome those burdens.
posted by verb at 8:30 PM on July 19, 2010 [6 favorites]


(my previous comment was directed at joe lisboa.)
Verb, the local African American tea party candidate also let loose this week accusing the NAACP of racism. To be honest I am not paying a lot of attention to what the national Tea Parties are up to, but if a black man stands up and says the NAACP has been racist, forgive me for thinking he might actually have a reason for his opinion.

Black conservatives do pay a pretty heavy price for their conservatism by the way. There is no reason they would say such a thing as the above if they didn't really believe it.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 8:35 PM on July 19, 2010


St. Alia of the Bunnies: "The definition of not being racist means you don't judge someone by their skin color, period. No free passes for skin color" at 9:11 PM on July 18

St. Alia of the Bunnies: "if a black man stands up and says the NAACP has been racist, forgive me for thinking he might actually have a reason for his opinion." at 11:35 PM on July 19

I guess a lot can change in 26 hours.
posted by Riki tiki at 8:42 PM on July 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


Shorter St. Alia: I HAVE A BLACK COUSIN THUS MY RACISM IS EXCUSED. Give me a fucking break. At least have the brains to concoct a more creative racist retort than that. That is just sad.
posted by joe lisboa at 8:43 PM on July 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Riki tiki: "St. Alia of the Bunnies: "The definition of not being racist means you don't judge someone by their skin color, period. No free passes for skin color" at 9:11 PM on July 18

St. Alia of the Bunnies: "if a black man stands up and says the NAACP has been racist, forgive me for thinking he might actually have a reason for his opinion." at 11:35 PM on July 19

I guess a lot can change in 26 hours.
"

"Now, I don't see race ... People tell me I'm white, and I believe them, because I own a lot of Jimmy Buffett albums"
- Stephen Colbert
posted by ShawnStruck at 8:49 PM on July 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


Verb, the local African American tea party candidate also let loose this week accusing the NAACP of racism. To be honest I am not paying a lot of attention to what the national Tea Parties are up to, but if a black man stands up and says the NAACP has been racist, forgive me for thinking he might actually have a reason for his opinion.
Alia, just to be clear -- you're saying that an accusation of racism must be true, because a black person made it? If a black member of the NAACP accuses that tea Party member of being racist, is there a way to resolve the issue? Or must we call it a tie and go home?

I want to say this delicately, because there's been a lot of heated language in this thread, and many ruffled feathers. I do not believe you intend to demonstrate a parochial or condescending view of blacks, but it's very hard to not see these kinds of statements by Tea Party folks as, "Our black man says we're right." I ran into this a number of times in my own circles: a family member would talk to me about politics and present to me a book by a black conservative with an air of triumph. "He's black!" they would say, proudly.
Black conservatives do pay a pretty heavy price for their conservatism by the way. There is no reason they would say such a thing as the above if they didn't really believe it.
This is actually a topic that's been debated heavily in a number of literary circles that my wife is a part of: in Victorian times, what was called "The Cult Of True Womanhood" reigned supreme, and among other things, women who pursued scholarly achievements were seen as violating its fundamental tenets. Unsurprisingly, it was enforced almost entirely by other women.

The reason I bring it up is to note that any time there have been power dynamics, there are those who have denied such dynamics, or denied their implications, or who have been on a "side" of the dynamic that one would not have expected. Slave-owning black men! Jewish Nazis! Anti-suffrage women!

I am not suggesting that black conservatives are Nazis, obviously. I'm simply noting that your suggestion -- that producing black conservatives validates the delusional ideas of a man who framed them in ugly, racist condescension -- might not achieve what you're hoping. Those who spend their time dissecting these dynamics, both in history and in current society, are not unfamiliar with that pattern.
posted by verb at 8:49 PM on July 19, 2010 [5 favorites]


Not defending St. Alia's viewpoints here, but for the record, I think she has stated several times that she and her family are not well off by any means. I know of other Tea Partiers who are struggling to stay afloat. Which just confuses, perplexes and frustrates me. I don't get why they don't see how they are fighting against their own interests. I think even on the abortion issue. If we had better sex ed, more access to contraceptives, more social supports for families and single moms, I think we could reduce abortion rates. I just don't understand conservatives. It saddens me and makes me more than just a little crazy.
posted by marsha56 at 9:19 PM on July 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


But I have seen people I respect vote for a man who stands for things they find reprehensible simply because he shares a race with them.

Well, I live in PA and voted for an anti-abortion candidate, a status that I find reprehensible as the political position* of an elected official, because he is a Democrat. My preferred choice would have been to abstain, but Casey ran against Rick Santorum, who was a much worse foe of women's health.

We pick our battles and make our choices. It's not always fun. Maybe those people you know have reasons deeper than those that they share for voting based on race.

* As distinguished from a personal opinion.
posted by desuetude at 9:39 PM on July 19, 2010


(For some people, a non-white person in the White House is A Battle Worth Fighting Period.)
posted by desuetude at 9:40 PM on July 19, 2010


when I am choosing...whom my daughter or son marries

Whoa, I didn't know your kids had arranged marriages!
posted by naoko at 9:43 PM on July 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


From Health Care, Race and Political Polarization:
Among whites with above average racial resentment, only 19 percent favored fundamental health care reforms and 57 percent favored the present system. Among those who have below average racial resentment, more than twice as many (45 percent) favored government run health care and less than half as many (25 percent) favored the status quo.
posted by scalefree at 10:03 PM on July 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


[A few comments removed. joe, St. Alia, cool it.]
posted by cortex at 10:20 PM on July 19, 2010


My bad, I fed the troll and then prepared a second (and third) course. I accept responsibility for enabling her (now predictable) takeover of the thread and regret it.
posted by joe lisboa at 3:05 AM on July 20, 2010


marsha56 You've made the basic mistake of believing what the so-called "pro-life" people say. This is perfectly understandable, in most instances it is entirely proper and correct to believe people when they lay out their agenda.

Unfortunately, the so-called "pro-life" movement is less about caring about fetal life and more about trying to prevent any non-reproductive sex from ever taking place. They oppose abortion, yes, but they also oppose real sex education and contraception which rather detracts from the premise that their main concern is for fetal life, or that they believe abortion is exactly the same as murder.

The so-called "pro-life" people will never be on our side WRT sex education and the availability of contraception. If all they cared about was ending or reducing abortion they would be, but the unfortunate truth is that ending or reducing abortion is somewhat lower on their priority queue than attempting to eradicate sex for non-procreation reasons.

They're just the Anti-Sex League dressed up in false concern for fetal life.

Like the War On Drugs this is really much more about the official system of reward and its subversion. Sex is pleasurable, therefore it must be denied because if you can just have sex whenever you want you aren't as dependent on the official system of reward.
posted by sotonohito at 4:27 AM on July 20, 2010 [5 favorites]


WRT the so-called "pro-life" movement and their steadfast opposition to contraception and sex ed, I'm going to again bring up things said by Amanda Marcotte of Pandagon and Ellen Willis, author of No More Nice Girls.

In discussing the War on Drugs and the ancillary insanity that goes along with it, Willis wrote "Easily available chemical highs are the moral equivalent of welfare---they undercut the official culture’s control of who gets rewarded for what."

Much the same can be said about sex without risk of pregnancy, and for exactly that reason the so-called "pro-life" movement is opposed to contraception [1], sex education, etc. It isn't about fetal life, or rather it isn't all about fetal life, its about maintaining control of reward. Shouting about "killing babies" is merely the camouflage they have to adopt in order to sell their message to those less convinced that maintaining the official culture's control of who gets rewarded is a valid reason for ruining the lives of people.

This is why economic conservatives are wedded to the notion both of the War on Drugs and the less blatant war on sex for fun being waged by the so-called "pro-life" movement.

Yes, if it were all about abortion, if that were the real focus of the so-called "pro-life" movement, they'd be with us on sex education and contraception. But it isn't. Its also about maintaining the official culture's control of who gets rewarded for what, and indeed I argue that's the more important part of it for the so-called "pro-lifers".

[1] Or at the very least contraception outside marriage, because then you have official permission to have sex.
posted by sotonohito at 4:41 AM on July 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


This type of approach to disagreement-the demonization of Other-is going to eventually destroy this nation if we don't ALL get a grip and just stop it. We ALL-and I mean conservatives, liberals,and everything on both sides and in the middle-need to realize that while we bite and tear at each other the very real problems this nation faces are growing bigger and bigger and bigger....there is so much hate on both sides that we cannot seem to hear one another

Very noble sentiment. The reality is that saying that "we all do it and isn't it oh so horrible it's tearing me up inside" means nothing. The hatred of which you speak is coming predominantly from one direction these days. When it comes to demonization of other, the GOP are the true masters at it, they wrote the book, they filed the patent, they cornered the market, and don't you forget it.

The very real problems this nation faces are at the doorstep of the GOP. They are the ones who are courting and pandering to the Tea Party, not the Democrats. They are the ones demonizing, they are the ones filibustering, they are the ones throwing temper tantrums, they are the ones seething because the long-term crystal ball demographic picture of who will populate their godforsaken idea-free party in 25 and 50 years is so bleak, they are the ones putting roadblocks in the way of any movement forward and any reconciliation, they are the ones saying that bipartisanship is dead, they are the ones who are saying that unemployed Americans are only unemployed because they are too lazy to look for jobs, they are the ones shouting "Liar!" at the State of the Union address, they are the ones making coded racist appeals to whip up fury and violence, they are the ones screaming that they want Obama to meet his Waterloo and go down in flames, they are the ones strategizing to stop Obama at every turn and at any cost.

It's their scorched earth, they wanted it, let them live with it. I have absolutely zero sympathy for any of them.
posted by blucevalo at 5:24 AM on July 20, 2010 [5 favorites]


Racist New Hampshire State House Candidate Advises Tea Party To Be More Open With Its Racism:
The Tea Party at its core is all about race but most of the Tea Partiers do not even realize it. They downplay the race issue every chance they get because they are afraid of being perceived as racist.
That's not from a liberal analyst, it's a direct quote from a candidate trying to attract Tea Party voters.
posted by scalefree at 6:43 AM on July 20, 2010


St. Alia of the Bunnies I would like very much to have a substantive discussion of policy. Unfortunately the Tea Party does not appear even slightly interested in having a substantive discussion of policy.

Cast your mind back to the days of yore, eight or so months ago, when the Tea Party was really starting to appear on the national radar. Do you recall the activity that defined the Tea Party back then? It wasn't conducting a substantive discussion about policy, or even conducting any sort of discussion. It was, in fact, disrupting and preventing discussion by showing up at town hall meetings and shouting down any and all attempts to discuss things.

I'm also doubtful about the ability to have a discussion with a group who show up to potential discussions armed. Call me crazy, but when a person brings a gun to a discussion I get the feeling they aren't interested in discussing anything, but rather in simple intimidation. "Agree with me or I might shoot you" is the message conveyed by that behavior, which is hardly conducive to a substantive discussion, no?

I'll also observe that it was Limbaugh, Coulter, O'Riley, Beck, et al who pioneered, and are still the the main practitioners of, ending discussions by demonizing their opponents.

Please tell me why I should believe for even one moment that the Tea Party is open to even the possibility of a substantive discussion. All evidence available at the moment appears to point to exactly the opposite conclusion. If you support the Tea Party why should I believe that you want a substantive discussion?
posted by sotonohito at 7:22 AM on July 20, 2010 [3 favorites]


It is probably also worth noting that just because a party fields black candidates, does not mean that their policies are not racist. Nor does it mean that a large number of their supporters are not racist.

I am sure that conservatives do not believe that every left-wing policy will benefit the economy, or benefit capitalism, just because there are left-wing millionaires or billionaires.

What these recent developments do suggest is that there are people in the Tea Party who want to appear to have distanced themselves from racism.
posted by lucien_reeve at 9:10 AM on July 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


sotonohito: "The so-called "pro-life" people will never be on our side WRT sex education and the availability of contraception. If all they cared about was ending or reducing abortion they would be, but the unfortunate truth is that ending or reducing abortion is somewhat lower on their priority queue than attempting to eradicate sex for non-procreation reasons....

If it were all about abortion, if that were the real focus of the so-called "pro-life" movement, they'd be with us on sex education and contraception. But it isn't. Its also about maintaining the official culture's control of who gets rewarded for what..."
I spent a decade or so as part of the pro-life movement and I can say that this isn't the case for anyone I worked with. Pro-life convictions are not a cover for some deeper cause; the people who are active on those fronts genuinely, honestly want to save the lives of unborn fetuses. Full stop. Pretending that it's a "cover" for wanting to punish women is, in my opinion, a profound mistake.

What many believers in that movement are not willing to do, though, is think carefully through their other beliefs and ask themselves, "Which of these is most important?" In other words, they believe that people having sex before marriage is sin, and will lead to pain and sadness down the line. It must be prevented! And they believe that telling people how to do that in a somewhat safer manner to prevent abortions is simply condoning one bad thing to prevent another. In other words, it's unacceptable.

At the end of the day, though, they are unwilling to face the fact that they have ranked those bad things. Abortion is bad, but being seen as condoning premarital sex is worse. A mother killing her child is more acceptable to Pro-Lifers than a Pro-lifer condoning premarital sex. Most would say, "No! Of course not!" but this is about denial rather than deliberate deception.

Curiously, it was only some quality time with Kierkegaard's Purity of Heart is to Will One Thing that turned on the lightbulb for me. I had to ask myself, "What is the principle I would not sacrifice for other principles?" Then, perhaps, what is the second thing that I would not sacrifice for any others? It's painful and frightening but the clarity that comes from it is shocking.
posted by verb at 9:15 AM on July 20, 2010 [7 favorites]


A few months ago someone posted a video on a local blog showing a lady of Hispanic background giving a Horatio Alger speech to a crowd of Tea Partiers. The fact that the lady was non-white was held as proof that the Tea Party was not racist. And yet... and yet as you looked over the crowd that was listening and applauding her wildly, there was not one other non white in the crowd, literally.

Any time you have a national group you are going to have a hand-full of willing tokens, who are glad to overlook one aspect of the movement for any number of reasons, attention, money, self professed libertarianism...

I know words like racism are pretty loaded and there is a lot of defensive walls that get thrown up when discussing it, however, while I am 100% willing to admit that not all conservatives are Racist (big R), I also really believe that the root of most destructive racism lies in the the current conservative movement. Yes, there are racist/bigots on all sides of the political spectrum but it is a bit of a false equivalency to state that and then say they are all racist and therefore equal and therefor we can't make a value judgment.

If one speaks of people voting against their interest because of skin color I am sure you can point to plenty of McCain/Palin supporters who voted "white"simply because they wouldn't vote for a black person no matter what. There was A LOT of white initiated race based property damage/political graffiti, low level violence, that happened during the last election, and there continues to be unprecedented levels of death threats and threats of violence against the current president. Yes, there was a spike during Clinton's years, but it don't compare to current levels. This is what a vocal subset of the conservative movement, including the Tea Party embraces. It may not be what any given individual engages in, but responsible conservationism has been hijacked and is represented by violent rhetoric spewing idiots.

Frankly, I understand the stomach knotting feeling surround elections, but tbh, if your position is that you'd never vote for a pro-choice candidate, no matter how nuanced that candidate is, no matter if they actively work to reduce abortions, then basically you've expressed a mind set that contributes to the problem and does nothing to relieve it.
posted by edgeways at 10:47 AM on July 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: Curiously, it was only some quality time with Kierkegaard's Purity of Heart is to Will One Thing that turned on the lightbulb for me

(sorry. great comment.)
posted by mrgrimm at 11:29 AM on July 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


My bad, I fed the troll and then prepared a second (and third) course. I accept responsibility for enabling her (now predictable) takeover of the thread and regret it.

Heh. Yesterday, I was gonna yell, "JOE, YOU'RE ON TILT!" but I figured you'd figure it out on your own. ;)
posted by mrgrimm at 11:31 AM on July 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


verb I'm certainly not going to say that people don't indulge in compartmentalized thought, doublethink, etc. I am going to say that isn't much of an excuse, especially once its been pointed out to them.

As you say, the so-called "pro-life" movement has made its choice WRT priorities, they prefer to try to keep people from having sex to trying to prevent abortions. I find this especially disturbing as they almost invariably claim that life qua life is supreme, and that this interest trumps any and all other interests or concerns. They typically make this point when discussing abortion and the bodily autonomy of women.

But, and this undermines their entire argument, they themselves self evidently do not believe that life qua life is supreme. It's supreme when it comes to denying women bodily autonomy, but magically it stops being supreme when the idea of people having sex for pleasure enters the picture. Then the most important thing is to punish people for having sex.

As you say, this can for some be the result of simple compartmentalization. But A) I don't believe this is the case for all so-called "pro-lifers", and B) I most certainly don't think this is the case for the leadership. Someone in the movement has to know what its true goals are. And, frankly, I am reluctant to insult the entire movement by claiming they don't really understand their own minds and goals. I know many people don't go in for self analysis, but its absurd to think that the entire membership of the NRLC and similar organizations are so completely un-self aware.

More to the point, so what? Even if they are all so thick, and I still maintain that it is deeply insulting to say they are, that hardly excuses their actions. Worse, they must be deliberately and intentionally indulging in doublethink because you know darn well that every single one of them has heard, at least once, someone like me point out the fact that they seem to care more about punishing sex than preventing abortion. Either they're stupid, or they're intentionally lying, or they're intentionally maintaining that compartmentalization and that last doesn't seem much different from lying to me.

If they'd wake up when shown the glaring inconsistency in their beliefs, if they'd say "well heck, I've been wrong all this time, sign me up for the pro-sex education and pro-free and easily available contraception movement!" that would be one thing. But they don't, and they are becoming increasingly open about their deep seated opposition to contraception.

I don't expect people to change overnight when they are shown that their beliefs are faulty, I'll give it a few days or even a week or two of thought, but I do expect sane, honest, people to eventually accept reality. I have done so in the past, and I hope to continue doing so in the future. Its hard, especially if you have significant emotional involvement in an issue, but I've done it and I'm a lazy bastard so it can't be that hard.

If they are all deliberately self deceiving on the topic of abortion and contraception/sex ed, I don't know. That's a terrifying thought, its close to saying the entire movement is insane in the literal sense of the word, and I'm sufficiently reluctant to believe that possibility that I'll need some convincing before I do. The thought of that many genuinely insane people, with that much power and political clout, scares the pants off me. I'd rather think they were just plain mean than think that many people were that crazy. Obviously what i'd rather doesn't have anything to do with what is true, but I want to see more data before I'll accept a reality that unpleasant.
posted by sotonohito at 12:37 PM on July 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


I find this especially disturbing as they almost invariably claim that life qua life is supreme, and that this interest trumps any and all other interests or concerns. They typically make this point when discussing abortion and the bodily autonomy of women.
Yes, this is where it definitely becomes most troubling. "Life trumps all" is fine and good, but I'd be curious to see how many Pro-Life organizations would support, say, massive increases in taxes to fund a comprehensive network of state-sponsored humane orphanages, schools, and so on for the millions of children per year who would not be aborted. Some might! Others would not; and that would be a measuring of priorities. At the end of the day, it is easy to say that something is Very, Very Important when someone else suffers to carry it through.
If they'd wake up when shown the glaring inconsistency in their beliefs, if they'd say "well heck, I've been wrong all this time, sign me up for the pro-sex education and pro-free and easily available contraception movement!" that would be one thing. But they don't, and they are becoming increasingly open about their deep seated opposition to contraception.
That's fine. I have nothing against that, and believe that it's an improvement! Honesty about those priorities means that those who are sympathetic to the "life qua life" reasoning, but opposed to the anti-contraception, safe-a-life-but-only-if-I-don't-have-to-condone-nookie school of thought, will find better ways to channel their concerns than voting for pro-life candidates or donating to pro-life organizations.
If they are all deliberately self deceiving on the topic of abortion and contraception/sex ed, I don't know. That's a terrifying thought.
Carefully sifting through one's own priorities -- and accepting that they're actual priorities and ethical choices -- is hard work that takes a lot of time, effort, and humility.
posted by verb at 12:47 PM on July 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


If they are all deliberately self deceiving on the topic of abortion and contraception/sex ed, I don't know. That's a terrifying thought, its close to saying the entire movement is insane in the literal sense of the word


It might not be all that fun to contemplate, sotonohito, but I would hardly say that it would make people insane. It would make them irrational, which is an all too human characteristic. (Here's a writeup of, among other things, a study finding that people prefer not to hear information hat contradicts their worldview; here's one mentioning that this kind of irrationality may in some circumstances afflict conservatives worse than liberals).

If you surround yourself with people who talk about any one idea, whether it be the importance of Christ or Allah or antiabortion or the brotherhood of man or Joss Weadon, it's easy for your mind to fall into certain patterns of thinking about those issues, and to react instinctively against views from outside your social circle.

It's worth discussing the particular contours of the irrationality of the antiabortion movement (because the point about the ability of sex ed and expansion of health care and contraception access to reduce abortion is as far as I know unanswerable). Maybe it's a reflection of universal human impulses, or US Southern Protestant views on sexuality, or funding from five super-wealthy dudes with views that once would have been viewed as idiosyncratic, or... something else.

But just because someone's views are irrational doesn't mean that they're insane or dishonest.
posted by ibmcginty at 2:35 PM on July 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Black conservatives do pay a pretty heavy price for their conservatism by the way. There is no reason they would say such a thing as the above if they didn't really believe it."

Yes, they get their careers aggressively promoted by a right-wing desperate to appear non-racist. Poor, poor babies.

Do you really think we are all dumb enough to believe your arguments? You must have so much contempt for us.
posted by Ogo at 2:24 AM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Beck Subtext: Obama Planning to Assassinate Tea Partiers
posted by homunculus at 12:08 PM on July 21, 2010


Tea Party Terrorism? Oakland Gunman Targeted Tides Foundation, ACLU
posted by homunculus at 12:34 PM on July 21, 2010


Ogo, the price they pay is from other black people.

Are you so wedded to your conception that tea partiers have to be racist that no matter what they do you will see the action as racist? Because that is how it reads to me.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 1:31 PM on July 21, 2010


Alia, that doesn't make sense. Way, way too many black people are conservative for that to make any sense at all.

I don't have the 2008 data on this machine, but I do have (some) 2004 National Election Study data sitting around on it. For this, I'm going to count anyone as black who stated their race as black alone, or black and something else.

Anyway, since I have actual no-shit data, I can tell you that, for real, lots of black people are conservative. Over a quarter of black respondents who could place themselves on a liberal-conservative spectrum chose "conservative," and blacks were distinctly less likely to identify as liberals than nonblacks were. If you want, I can pull down the 2008 data and reel off for you how many blacks took conservative positions across a range of specific issues.

This really shouldn't surprise you. While everyone's an individual and all that, we can still talk about measures of central tendency, and it's well-known that blacks have a strong tendency towards social conservatism across many non-economic issues, and that even when blacks do have more liberal economic attitudes their attitudes towards the welfare state are at most ambiguously positive.

(now if you had said black Republicans tend to pay a price for their Republicanism, I might agree there, but lots of people are conservative without being Republican and given the Republican party's antipathy to black voters this is not a surprising reaction)
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:23 PM on July 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


"Ogo, the price they pay is from other black people."

So it's bad for them because they are cut off from their own race? From people who look like them?

Black people aren't a monolith. They are people.

Some of them decide to put personal advancement and security ahead of basic human decency.

Just like white conservatives.

"Are you so wedded to your conception that tea partiers have to be racist that no matter what they do you will see the action as racist? Because that is how it reads to me."

Oh, Alia. How predictable that you would respond with an immediate counter-attack.

If someone disagrees with you, it can't possibly be because they just have another point of view. One based on evidence. On common sense. On the things that people actually say and do:

Tea party supporters are 89% white and 1% black. 25% think that the administration favours blacks over whites. 88% of them approve of the recent immigration law in Arizona. Among those who support the tea party, a lower percentage are likely to agree that black people are "hard-working" than among the population at large.

And then there are the outrageous stunts pulled by people like Mark Williams. The "Obama as witchdoctor" signs. The spitting on lawmakers.

And the simple fact that none of this started while Bush was in the White House.

The NAACP called on the Tea Party to distance themselves from the overtly racist elements in their midst. The immediate response of the Tea Party was to accuse the NAACP of racism.

That's so stupid, nobody with an ounce of sense is going to take it seriously.

The only reason they are doing it now is because they can't get elected unless they ditch the racist scum and go back to hiding behind the rubric of "free markets".
posted by Ogo at 3:03 AM on July 22, 2010 [5 favorites]


Beck Subtext: Obama Planning to Assassinate Tea Partiers

The more I hear the likes of Glenn Beck wringing their hands at Obama-The-Marxist's oncoming 'Holocaust' against Good Ole Patriots like themselves, the more I wish their batshit insane fantasies were for real, because if I hear much more jowly goatee-faced bloviating I think I'm going to have to stab myself in the ears.
posted by dunkadunc at 8:51 PM on July 23, 2010


dunkadunc Actually stuff like that terrifies me. The right tends to follow the pattern of accusing others of doing what they themselves would like to do. I have no doubt that many among the right would like nothing better than to round up all the liberals and put them into camps. Hell, Michelle Malkin made her name writing a book claiming that Japanese American interment during WWII was a good and necessary thing.

We have only to look at the casual way the right accused anyone who was less than fully supportive of Bush of treason to see the seed for that sort of thing should they ever think they have enough power to get away with it.
posted by sotonohito at 6:23 AM on July 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Iowa GOP Supports Amendment To Strip Obama’s Citizenship Because He Won The Nobel Peace Prize
posted by homunculus at 9:31 PM on July 28, 2010


Iowa GOP Supports Amendment To Strip Obama’s Citizenship Because He Won The Nobel Peace Prize

Could it be that the state GOP organizations are in a competition to see who can vote for the most absurd resolution?

I ask as a person from a state where the State GOP voted for a plank in the party platform to outlaw witchcraft . . . and yoga Though that was a few years back.
posted by bearwife at 2:58 PM on July 29, 2010


Also, Barack Obama is the fourth U.S. President to win the Nobel Peace Prize. One must ask what the position of the Iowa GOP was about the citizenship of the other three winners.
posted by bearwife at 3:00 PM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


The amendment states that “if any citizen of the United States shall accept, claim, receive or retain any title of nobility or honor” from a “foreign power, such person shall cease to be a citizen” and “shall be incapable of holding any office of trust.

Its not just Presidents that win the Nobel prize-- there are also authors, chemists, doctors and other scientists. So this would strip lots of other people of their citizenship as well. Pretty huge sledgehammer the GOP is wielding to make a point.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:17 PM on July 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Tea Partiers Bent On Ruining Americans' Family Vacations
posted by homunculus at 5:32 PM on August 1, 2010


Diversity Is In The Eye Of The Beholder: A Day At Uni-Tea
posted by homunculus at 5:56 PM on August 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Mark Williams Is Back In The Tea Party
posted by homunculus at 9:16 PM on August 6, 2010


Is there a scientific diagnostic term for a headache caused by stupidity from an external source?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:17 PM on August 7, 2010


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