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Tea Party just racist?

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Yah, so I was having lunch today with a friend. Local businessman, CEO of a mid-sized company. Former board chair of the local Chamber of Commerce. Classic, old school conservative, sorta like a furry fellow with big teeth ;)


We're talking around the political scene, and da recent elections, and the Tea Party topic comes 'round. He tells me his in-laws are Tea Partyers, and that it wasn't until he had dinner with 'em earlier in the month that he figured it out. "It's not really a conservative movement, it's core is just racism. They can't get over the notion of a black man being president, and so they just object to almost anything he does. It's couched in other terms, but when yeh dig very far those things just become nonsensical. "


I confess I was a bit surprised. This fellow is not the sort to make that kind of call. Maybe it was just because it was his in-laws.


So I'm asking, seriously, for some deep reflection and perspective. Is that it? I confess, I find the policy positions of the Tea Party incomprehensible. And for incoherent policy positions, there sure seems to be a lot of energy and anger about something.


That's not saying that everyone in da movement is a racist, or that the movement itself is proposing racist policy. But Im wondering about da core, eh? The energy. I've never really seen anyone get all fired up about the deficit or even about health care legislation for that matter. Certainly not about "smaller government". When Ross Perot started harping about the deficit he only generated a ripple, eh?


Now I'm a fellow that doesn't go there easily, much like my friend. False or overstated claims of racism abound, and I've seen some reverse racism in Affirmative Action programs and in other areas. At the same time I'm not naive, eh? Real racial prejudice does exist. I was just surprised as could be at my friend's conclusion, because I actually respect this fellow's judgment and because he'd never in a million years go out of his way to come to that conclusion.


And because I'd concluded that da Tea Party was like Earth, eh? "Mostly Harmless.". Another lobbyist-driven special interest group.


I'm a northern GOP fellow, though, eh? Old school Christian sort. Real racism is to be always and everywhere opposed.



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Anyone who thinks the Tea Party is all about racism is just plain stupid.


And Beavah, being a Boston conservative - well, those two words don't fit together very well.


A true conservative wouldn't have to ask, "why all the anger?" after everything Obama has done. Not only ramming through ObamaCare, but also the way it was done. Transparency, everyone at the table - yeah, right. Backroom deals, changing the rules on voting. Now, waivers of this wonderful ObamaCare are being sought and given to political cronies. If it is so good, why are the unions asking for waivers? (And if you don't remember all the feathers flying about HillaryCare, I suggest you go read some history)


How about the way the stockholders and bondholders for GM were treated? Unions put ahead of them, given preference.


Stimulus money used as a slush fund.


Villifying Fox News, saying they aren't a legitimate news channel.


Yeah, your right - none of that would anger a true conservative - it's all about the color of Obama's skin.


Again, anyone who thinks the Tea Party is all about racism is just plain stupid.


And, yes, I consider myself a member of the Tea Party. So, please Beavah, keep the insults coming. I'm keeping a list.

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That is just nonsense. The media has scoured the Tea Party gatherings for any kind of controversial signage and has turned up very little - far less than most leftist groups that spew hatred for those who disagree with them. The lack of policy is because there is no organization so there is no coherence to the statements about what is wanted. Much is platitudes - smaller government and lower taxes just as the left wants to tax the rich and provide handouts. The anger in my opinion stems from many things: a bad economy for which they hold the congress responsible, a healthcare bill that was not favored by the people and the democrats enacted anyway, the arrogance of the 'ruling' politicians who see themselves as above and knowing best for the people, the bailouts to some businesses but not to others, the extremists appointed as 'czars' with no oversight, the concern over the banks being controlled by the government, the arrogance to say that by adding 33,000,000 people to the health care roles that the costs will go down until the bill is passed when Obama says that it was silly to think that healthcare costs would decrease under Obamacare, to pass a massive bill affecting 20% of the economy without even reading it, I can go on and on.


Nikki Haley is a tea party candidate, I saw a black new republican representative the other morning. The tea Party has nothing to do with racism.


The people realize that the US no longer manufactures very much and that the congress over the past decades is responsible. The federal government has run this country into the ground and many realize that it may not survive and if it does, it could be much poorer than now. People understand that this situation is tenuous and could get much worse while Pelosi, Reid, and Obama tell them that they are not able too understand. The people understand and want real change.

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I saw alot of Obama signs with a bone through his nose. Another popular one was watermelons on the WH lawn. Those are kinda racist.


Now all the signs with Obama in Nazi uniform or Stalin symbolism isn't racist, its just moronic. SOCIALIST! NAZI! MUSLIM! KENYAN! And you want to be taken seriously?


Why was the anger hatched on Jan 20th, 2009? Where was it when Bush bailed out the banks, when the Patriot Act was passed, when we started two unfunded wars, when we passed the Medicare drug plan? Where was the anger? What was the tipping point?

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Well I don't know about the Tea Party being racist but they sure are a bad judge of talent selecting Sarah Palin as their spokesperson and ramroding her immoral no talent daughter Bristol into the finals of Dancing with the Stars. What a world we live in today!

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Beavah, I'm surprised at you. Did you really think you could get a reasonable discussion here on this topic? Not even a page yet and already you've been slammed by the typical right wing answer "It's all Obama's fault," but has nothing to do with who or what or what color he is. It's all just Obama's fault.


OK, here's my rant:


I, too, have often asked the question about why there was no outrage before Obama? Where was the outrage about government handouts with the prescription drug plan? Where was the outrage about deficit spending with two huge tax cuts. Oh yeah, both during two wars that weren't paid for either. Why have folks forgotten that tarp was proposed and approved BEFORE Obama took office?


Why do these folks conveniently forget that the government has bailed out the auto makers before and I don't remember big rallies screaming about government takeovers and socialism then. Savings and Loan bailout under George H.W. Bush which also led to big budget deficits - anyone remember that? Where was the Tea Party then?


Oh my, there are so many more examples on the left and the right. Still, I cannot ever get an answer from anyone that supports the Tea Party about why they didn't have a problem with all the previous bailouts and spending. Lastly, why do these folks only talk about rolling spending limits back to 2008? Why not all the way to 2000 when the real problems began?


No, I don't think all Tea Partiers are racist. But, I do think it has roots in racism and I'm afraid no one, especially the Tea Party folks themselves, pundits on Fox News or any other right wing talking head, will be able to give me any statistics, talking points, a nice picture of a couple of blacks or Hispanics attending a rally, numbers of signs or lack thereof, or anything else to convince me otherwise.






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Yah, I never agree with Gern, but I'm sorta agreeing with Gern. :p


That's a long, not particularly coherent list of gripes, eh?


"Ramming through Obamacare". I don't get this. It was over a year in process. Republicans refused to participate (part of why it's a mess of a bill), so the Dems exercised their majority and went solo. The Patriot Act, now that was somethin' rammed through without transparency.


"How about the way the stockholders and bondholders for GM were treated?" Huh? The company went BANKRUPT. When a company goes bankrupt, the stockholders and bondholders lose their shirts. It's called "personal responsibility", eh? A good ol' fashioned conservative notion. Know what you're investing in.


"Stimulus money used as a slush fund." Yah, OK, the stimulus funding was a bit of a mess. Some of it was poorly targeted, and in 20:20 hindsight it was also too small. I get this. But it's not like it's the first Congressional appropriation that was a mess. Look at Iraq war funding.


"Villifying Fox News, saying they aren't a legitimate news channel." I won't go there, eh? I honestly don't think any of the modern TV networks are very good news outlets. But da former administration certainly made a regular habit of takin' shots at the liberal media. What's new?


"Again, anyone who thinks the Tea Party is all about racism is just plain stupid." Nobody said that the Tea Party is "all about" racism, or that everyone in it is racist. A friend of mine expressed his view to me that the core energy of the thing is fueled by racism. I asked what others felt.


"a bad economy for which they hold the congress responsible" - Yah, OK, I get being angry about a poor economy, eh? But then it doesn't take much effort to fix the blame this time. The economic crash was caused by a bank collapse, just like the Great Depression, which resulted from banking deregulation, and a bubble fueled by typical Federal Reserve over-jiggering. All under Republican control and oversight.


"the bailouts to some businesses but not to others" - What, they want the government to buy MORE businesses?


"the extremists appointed as 'czars' with no oversight" - I think it was Ronald Reagan who appointed the first "Czar". Clinton had 'em, both Bushes had 'em. They're just an executive branch organizational tool to try to get different agencies to collaborate. Mostly for PR, but a few have been effective. I don't get the anger.


"the concern over the banks being controlled by the government" - Yah, I don't get this either, eh? About da only "control" exercised was an almost meaningless attempt to cap executive "bonuses" for running the bank into the ground. And the bank bailouts were done by Bush, not Obama.


"the arrogance to say that by adding 33,000,000 people to the health care roles that the costs will go down" - yah, but in every bill congress ever passes, Republican or Democrat, they claim that costs will go down, eh? It's nothing new. They've never been right. ;). Why the anger now? The financial reform act is also a mess of a bill, affecting an even more important part of the economy, and arguably doin' an even worse job at what was intended. Where's the anger over that?


Yah, maybe I'm just confused or just don't get it, but there's very little here that isn't ordinary politics in a democracy, stuff that's been goin' on the last twenty years. There's nothing that seems to merit the anger.


I probably really am just dense. :)





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Tea Party Booed Congress - Jon Lewis claimed N-word used.

Andrew Breightbart offered $10,000 reward for proof any use of N-word by Tea Party:

"If you provide verifiable video evidence showing that a single racist epithet was hurled as you walked among the tea partiers, or you pass a simple lie detector test, I will provide a $10K check to the United Negro College Fund."

Nobody stepped forward to take a lie-detector test. Multiple videos of the event. Reward un-claimed.






UCLA PHD Dissertation Study:

"UCLA graduate student Emily Ekins set out to photograph every single poster and sign at the 9/12 Taypayer March on Washington in September to see if the tens of thousands of Americans that make up the Tea Party movement are really running on racism. Ekins discovered, based on the signs, that the claims of rampant racism simply weren't true."





I've only attended one early Tea Party rally in Atlanta. About 5% of the folks I saw were black and holding up anti-big-government signs. Are blacks protesting big government racists, too?

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I'll say this: I have heard so mant racist and flat outt plain stupid comments from many when it comes to Obama.


Lets start witha fella I work with. He knew without a doubt that Obama wasn't American because ( my friend) did not see his birth certificate. Aside from the fact that not one other single person in government has ever shown the coworker a birth certificate...I have not seen my friends either. Maybe my coworker is an illegal?


Gm, also known as Government Motors. Yep, GM screwed itself. Paying people a slary of $60,000 to not work?

And as I recall, GM was in a mess and ASKED for bailouts before Obama was elected. Bush was planning on giving them before Obama was elected. Obama just told zGM that the government was gonna hold some markers to be sure they get paid back.


Funny, I remember the letter to the editor section of my local paper. Firts day of December - people were already saying Obama wasn't doing anything about the economy, job losses and people losing their homes.


So it means there was already a problem before Obama was in position ( Jan 20th) to do anything.


Back to the original question: Is the Tea Party inspired by racism at it's core?


Nah, I don't think so, but alot, and I mean ALOT of racists jumped on the bandwagon because they saw an oppertunity made up of a sheer number of people who wanted change in Government. They may not even know who is saying or doing what, but if it means a black president is run out of Washington , DC...it's got to be a good group to join!


The tea party may not have anything in common with the political or economical views of racists, but the end justifies the means right?


The enemy of my enemy is my friend.


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Beavah, you must have known what was going to happen.

Anyway, to respond, I think that individuals can be racist. However it's tough to paint an entire group that way - although the racists I know (and I do know quite a few) claim to be Republican or Tea Party or Libertarian (go figure). One of them is a Democrat (really need to talk to that guy sometime to find out how he maintains that). I can't say that I'd be able to characterize any of them as stupid but some of them are terribly prejudiced against almost any ethnic background other than their own. One seems sympathetic toward Hispanics. One says that other than killing his Jesus, he doesn't hold much against Jews. One adopted a black infant and proceeded to replay the whole Cinderella story in his household. He's also the one who flies the Confederate Flag above the American flag on the same staff. Did I mention he's a fundamentalist Christian minister. There are just so many things I just don't 'get'.

The words of Lyndon Johnson ring with a hint of truth for some of them because I happen to have heard them state clearly that they switched from being Democrats to Republicans as a result of passage of the Civil Rights Act. They'll get old and die in another decade or two.


I share the outrage of the Tea Party over some of the things Brent mentioned. I am not a Tea Party 'member', whatever that is, because my outrage is focused almost solely on the fiscal mess and I paint nearly everyone with responsibility for that (I also doubt that we, as a nation, have the fortitude to address it)


So Beavah, I think your 'colleague' may be justified in applying the label to someone he knows very well. But correlation does not translate to causality and his claim is, to me, just one more prejudicial statement. I disagree with application of the 'racist' label to the group.

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The anger has been building for years. It started coming to a head under President Bush because he spent too much. The TARP was a significant escalation of the anger. The TARP meeting and McCain's support of the plan started his slide in the polls (he had been gaining since then), I interpret that as voter anger. Obama was also at that meeting and approved of the plan so he has some culpability. The anger is at all of congress and several recent presidents who have squandered our industrial capacity and economic success. There is anger toward the republican congress (but no the democrat president) who deregulated the banks. Several republican congressmen got defeated so the anger is toward the self determined 'ruling class', not just democrats. I do not recall a bill that was in front of the people for months with 60% opposition during the majority of the time that was eventually passed. The people went to town hall meetings and congressional offices to complain about the Obamacare the summer before it was passed only to be treated with arrogance and condescension by their elected representatives. Those politicians know best and had no intention doing their role in a representative democracy.


It is incredible that you somehow compare the health care bill which will affect the entire population and will eventually bring 20% of the economy under direct federal control to other bills. That is certainly not a fair comparison.


The anger has been there for a long time but the people who are angry are not the ones who protest. They are hard working, family folks that do not hire professional protestors as the left often does. They finally are expressing their anger because they realize that this country can collapse and that the current administration and the democrat party is speeding it along that course. The anger has been there. Obama is the head of the party that is most rapidly heading the country to ruin. The republicans are not well liked either and are seen as the problem as well. The anger is towards all.



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