Thursday, March 25, 2010


Is there anyone out there who can argue that the tea party movement is nothing more than the latest edition of white supremacist gang politics of the worst order? It's time to quit treating these folks as simply misled or even as a bunch of right wing libertarian populists. They are clearly the same people we've seen throughout history in this country spewing their racist hate, often masked just a wee bit behind some grievance or other. Well, the tea baggers latest bit of disgusting trash aimed at African-American representatives John Lewis and Emanuel Cleaver, as well as their homophobic screeching at Rep. Barney Frank clearly exposes these racists as the scumbags they've always been. As such it's time we on the left treat them as such. Isn't it getting to be close to the moment when we treat them the way we treat more blatant white supremacists, and nazis when they decide to march in our communities? Isn't it about time we confront them head on? Tea scumbaggers aren't the only angry militants in this country. Buy yourself and your friends some black hoodies and start thinking about about what's next.

The following is from the Black Commentator.

By Bill Fletcher Jr.

It was just a matter of time, and most Black people knew just that. 
At an anti-healthcare rally in Washington, DC, right-wing demonstrators associated with the so-called “Tea Party” movement verbally assaulted Congressman John Lewis.  Calling upon him to vote against the healthcare legislation, they chose to use the “N” word in describing the Congressman.
So, now the gloves are off and the sheets are on.  The entire pretense regarding an alleged non-racial movement of angry (white) people is gone.  What most Black people knew all along has been confirmed.  Lying only slightly beneath the surface was and is a toxin that has almost nothing to do with healthcare.  One finds one’s self reminded of the words of the Rev. Jesse Jackson from more than thirty-five years ago when he was commenting on white opposition to school busing for desegregation:  “It’s not the bus; it’s us.”  Well, team, the Tea Party opposition, and more particularly the vehemence of it, has more to do with their perception that the USA is no longer in the control of whites, and more specifically, that it does not pay to be white any more.
White anger about their collapsing lives in the midst of a declining living standard spanning more than thirty years compounded by the immediate crisis of our current Great Recession, has bubbled into all sorts of irrationalist thoughts and behavior, a point I have made in countless columns.  Until now, the right-wing Tea Party crowd has attempted to be coy in its crypto-racist attacks on the Obama administration particularly.  The use of the so-called Birther Movement (those who argue that President Obama was not actually born in the United States and, therefore, is ineligible to be President of the United States) by the Right is just one example.  The allegations by these lunatics have nothing to do with the facts.  It has been demonstrated time and again that Obama was born in the USA.  Yet, for the angry, white political Right all that matters is that in their minds it is inconceivable that a Black person was elected President. Their only answer is that it must have been fraudulent.
Now, however, the Tea Party crowd, in all of their anger and frustration, has let a few things slip.  If their opposition to healthcare had nothing to do with race, then why the use of the “N” word?  Was it some deep, irresistible impulse that was beyond their control?
Since the gloves are off, progressives, Black and non-black, need to face facts.  We cannot treat the Tea Party crowd as simply a set of angry and misled, but otherwise good natured people.  This crowd, as a crowd, constitutes a right-wing, racist movement that must be opposed; in fact, it must be disrupted.  Their version of populism may, at times, speak to a legitimate anger felt by many people in the USA as wealth polarizes, and as the Obama administration makes unacceptable compromises with corporate America.  But what is really at stake is not that at all.  It goes back to the country that they believe that they lost.
Here can be found the irony of this situation.  We, on the left side of the aisle, recognize that the Obama administration and the majority of the Democratic Congress have been half-stepping in addressing the current economic and environmental crises.  In some cases, they have been worse than half-stepping (such as through the escalation of US involvement in Afghanistan).  Yet the Tea Party crowd is actually angry about any tendency toward redistribution of wealth in favor of people at the bottom, even when those people at the bottom are themselves or their loved ones.  To the extent to which the Tea Party crowd has bought into the notion that healthcare reform (in whatever form) is for someone else, specifically, is for the so-called undeserving poor, blacks, immigrants, etc., they line up for war against it.  This, it should be noted, is a recurring pattern in US history where large sections of the white population regularly act against their own interests to the extent to which they perceive those interests as being the interests of people of color.
For progressives, the irony increases when we recognize that many of the reforms that the Tea Party crowd opposes are, at best, minimal efforts towards any sort of redistribution, environmental defense, or rule of law.  Right-wing populists wish to paint those who have no healthcare as both undeserving and black or brown despite the reality of how diverse the healthcare-less or those with minimal healthcare may be.  Right-wing populists, in general, are not particularly concerned about the deficit either, except and insofar as the deficit is aimed at addressing any of the gross wealth disparities in US society.  Their hypocrisy stands tall for all to see whenever there is a war and they are prepared to uncritically support or directly advance the plunging of this country into greater and greater debt, all in the name of patriotism. 
What became clear this weekend with the racial epithets as well as the gay baiting against Congressman Barney Frank by the anti-healthcare reform crowd is that for the right-wing populists the healthcare debate was really about the ‘other America,’ the one that they believe has come to eclipse them and their dreams. Editorial Board member, Bill Fletcher, Jr., is a Senior Scholar with the Institute for Policy Studies, the immediate past president of TransAfrica Forum and co-author of, Solidarity Divided: The Crisis in Organized Labor and a New Path toward Social Justice (University of California Press), which examines the crisis of organized labor in the USA. Click here to contact Mr. Fletcher.


Montana said...

Since their inception the Teaparty crowd (not a movement since they do have the numbers or clout) have been “haters not debaters”. In my opinion this is what the small portions of the republican party of “birthers, baggers and blowhards” have brought you. They are good at “Follow the Leader” of their dullard leaders, they listen to Beck, Hedgecock, Hannity, O’Reilly, Rush and Savage and the rest of the Blowhards. Are you surprise at what they do when you know what they think? The world is complicated and most republicans (Hamiliton, Lincoln, Roosevelt) believe that we should use government a little to increase social mobility, now its about dancing around the claim of government is the problem. The sainted Reagan passed the biggest tax increase in American history and as a result federal employment increased, but facts are lost when mired in mysticism and superstition. Although some republicans are trying to distant themselves from this fringe most of them are just going along and fanning the flames.

As for the window. This was staged by one of Cantor’s gun buddy, good try at being a victim but I don’t buy it, next.

topernic said...

The government will do anything to keep their power. Even infiltrating groups and organizations in order for an opportunity to behave in a way that calls negative attention to the group. Do not let them distract you from the REAL issue. THEY are the issue. What we need is a complete turnover of every single person who holds office in D.C. with people who have never held any political office. The wall they have built must be torn down, for they will never stop turning the people against each other when their power is threatened.