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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Its the Tea Parties

I was watching The O'Reilly Factor, to hear Dennis Miller talk about Helen Thomas (turns out not to have been that insightful).  Earlier in the show, before my son called to talk to me, Mr O'Reilly had Time Magazine Columnist Mark Halperin on, talking about a Matt Drudge headline about the President.

The thing that I noted was that Mr Halperin was saying that as he travels the nation he finds that there is racial prejudice driven dislike for the President.  To make his point, he pointed to the Tea Party movement.

At the last Greater Lowell Tea Party meeting there was a lot of talk about deficits and about Congress being out of control in terms of spending and the upcoming elections.  There was concern that the Obama Administration will not stand behind Israel—in light of the "Flotilla" imbroglio.  There were a fair number who are supporting Sam Meas for the Republican Nomination for the 5th Middlesex House seat.  For those who don't know, Sam Meas came here from Cambodia, so he is not your local WASP.  There was no talk of Obama the Black Man.  Obama the President, yes, but not Obama the Black Man.

Are there Tea Party people who hate Blacks?  I am sure there are, somewhere.  I just haven't met them.  Are there Blacks who hate Tea Party people?  I would expect there are.  I just haven't met any yet.

On the other hand, since I was watching O'Reilly, I rate Mr Halperin a PINHEAD.

Regards  —  Cliff

4 comments:

ncrossland said...

Amen!!!

Folks who continually denigrate or marginalize the so-called Tea Party movement do so out of a deep fear that they are gaining in power and prestige, enough to do serious damage to the status quo, or they simply don't understand them at all....and likely never will.

I would also venture that throughout America, RACE is almost in last place as a consideration when it comes to Presidential politics. In fact, the only state which has produced a credible racial issue is South Carolina, and that instance seems to have deeply offended the rest of America....but thrust the Sikh lady into the winner's circle in the race for Governor. At least SHE doesn't appear to have an Argentinian boy or girl friend. That HAS to be progress.

kad barma said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kad barma said...

It's inconvenient, but important, to acknowledge the issue. For example:

The University of Washington Institute for the Study of Ethnicity, Race & Sexuality's 2010 Multi-State Survey on Race and Politics (found here http://depts.washington.edu/uwiser/racepolitics.html) suggests that Tea Partiers are 25% more likely to be "racially resentful".

The NY Times and CBS News (yes, I know, and I think they're biased, too) published a poll (found here http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/04/14/us/politics/20100414-tea-party-poll-graphic.html?ref=politics) that showed that Tea Partiers are more likely to agree with poll statements like "The Obama Administration favors blacks over whites".

I would say that, despite its better origins and intent, the Tea Party movement will remain attractive to racist as long as its platform of opposition to Obama is not vigorously defined and defended. The challenge for the individual Tea Parties is to ensure, as has been demonstrated by certain sign-carriers to be thrown out of certain Tea Party events, that racially-motivated people are made to understand that the movement is about small government, and NOT about race, and that racially-based attitudes are not welcome.

I'm encouraged to see more effort being made by Tea Parties to enforce this distinction, and to defend themselves vigorously (as has been done here) whenever the charges are unwarranted. Personally, I know that the original intent of the Tea Parties, is small government, and in addition to agreeing wholeheartedly with the premise, I'd say I'll be more likely to participate if the distinction were better enforced.

The signs are encouraging.

ncrossland said...

I tend to agree with you Kad. When I was young and stupid....as opposed to being old and stupid....I worked for a time as a member of a US Forest Service Hot Shot team (fire suppression). After a time, I made an interesting observation. When a new fire was spotted and we were enroute to put it out, there was invariably a huge plume of smoke suggesting a raging inferno at its source. Most often however, we found a rather impotent fire blazing happily away...in a single tree, or log. And such I believe are the accusations of racism in the Tea Party movement.

I have not heard any patently racist remarks from Tea Partiers of their events. I would perhaps agree that Obama has demonstrated a preference for black appointees to various cabinet positions in his Administration...but I hardly view that as racist....simply an acknowledgement of a preference that seems apparent. And, I would not accept nor necessarily agree with the posit that the black appointees in the Administration have a black focused agenda. I think my response to such garbage would be "Oh come on now......!!!!"