Thursday, August 25, 2011

What if the Tea Party was Black? Would Washington Still Bow to Their Fury?

I will never understand the rise of the Tea Party.

Ron Paul is, well, kind of a douche, Sarah Palin is a moron and Michelle Bachman is a fucking fruitcake that collects foster children the same way lonely seniors collect cats or knick-knacks. So why were so many people getting behind them?

Being opposed to tax increases is valid. Yet, when Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush raised taxes, it was not met with calls for violence or the fanatical anti-government outrage presently corroding our congressional process. But when a black guy has the audacity to even suggest raising taxes on rich people…whooooaaa boy.
So what gives? Are people really just that pissed off that a young black dude beat out an old white geyser for the top job in the country? Are some Americans really that simple? Is Red State America that primitive? All these questions lead me to another question.

What if the Tea Party movement was black?

Can you feel the terror quivering down your spine? You know you can. Public Enemy wasn’t kidding when they named one of their albums “Fear of a Black Planet.” The very notion scares the shit out of any white, homegrown Protestant.

But how would we feel about a black Tea Party?

If the movement, which is overwhelmingly white, were instead comprised of predominantly black members, would it have the same political impact?

Let’s take this piecemeal shall we?

What if after an unfavorable election outcome, Al Sharpton were to suggest to his many followers, that they “Don’t retreat…reload!” Would he be accused of encouraging violence? I think it’s safe to say he would. And if he were to angrily fan the flames of anti-government sentiment, would he be linked to the Black Panthers or even terrorists? You betcha! (wink, wink) 

But not Ron Paul. Or Sarah Palin who is just too darn folksy to be threatening. Or Michelle Bachman is too Christian and weird to be dangerous.

And what if a bunch of black guys were to show up at a political rally with GATs on full display? Would the NRA adamantly support this celebration of Second Amendment rights? Probably not. Those carrying guns would be arrested on site by the riot police and maybe subsequently asked if they had the permits required to carry firearms. Maybe. It is safe to say that not many white people would stick around though because the only thing scarier than a horde of angry black people is a horde of angry black people with guns. 

Last year, a University of Washington poll found that 74% of Tea Party supporters agreed with the following statement, “While equal opportunity for blacks and minorities to succeed is important, it’s not really the government’s job to guarantee it.”

What if, in this alternate universe, 74% of black Tea Partiers thought this way about white people? Well, they wouldn’t really be able to do anything about it because white people already have a pretty firm grasp on most of the best jobs around. Except that ONE…and they are piping mad about it.

Because they want their country back…their white, Christian, heterosexual, tax-free country. And the Tea Party is comprised of predominantly old, white, rich men; roughly half of who identify themselves as born-again-Christians.

Blogger’s side note – if you like scary movies, watch ‘Jesus Camp.’ These children are the next generation of the Tea Party and yes, you should be very afraid.

What makes the Tea Party so dangerous is that they are advancing a radical agenda that is far to the right of the average Republican and they are already exacting influence over legislation. Their flagrant intolerance of tax increases torpedoed what would have been a groundbreaking deficit reduction plan that even House Speaker John Boehner supported. It would have more efficiently reduced the deficit while raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans and closing corporate loopholes while also cutting more spending than the deal that was eventually reached.

But their influence forced Boehner to recant…resulting in an inferior deal. If the Tea Party were black and they lashed out against government policies, Congress would probably, well, they would probably do what they do now…ignore them completely. Republicans in Congress are apathetic to silent minorities, let alone loud, angry ones.

So what would a black Tea Party look like? Let’s be honest. It would frighten the bejesus out of us. The scary black stigma that has been pumped into the media from the Black Panthers to the Bloods and the Crips already has us petrified of angry African-Americans, especially those residing in the inner city. So if they were toting guns at rallies, shouting extremist rhetoric and advocating the reversal of long-standing court decisions, Republicans would not exploit their enthusiasm, they would ignore it or probably use it as political amunition.

If a prominent black political figure or group questioned the citizenship of a white president while calling him a Satanist (which is comparable to white people calling Obama Muslim)…we would probably perceive them as crazy, ignorant fucks who did not deserve a voice in the political arena.

If this behavior were coming from the black population, Republican lawmakers would use it as justification to further eradicate any semblance of Affirmative Action from all existing laws, they would make an even harsher case to eliminate Medicaid and welfare, they would do everything in their power to suppress this vocal and occasionally violent voice.

And Democrats sure as fuck would not endorse it or ride its’ coattails to political profit. They would know better. They would discourage, not enable, racism, xenophobia and an extremism that puts political gain over the health of a nation. 

And that is exactly what the Tea Party has been doing. So why doesn’t the Republican Party chastise its most extreme elements? Because it needs them. Republicans have nothing to be excited about (Exhibit A – Mitt Romney) and everything to be angry about (Exhibit B – Obama). The only reason the GOP has a pulse these days is because Tea Party fury has given them one.

But it is a toxic pulse and the American public is starting to recognize that. A year ago only 18% of Americans had an unfavorable view of the Tea Party. A few weeks ago, that number climbed to 40% and is rising by the day.

And I hope that number continues to rise. Because extremism wrapped in an American flag should not be allowed to flourish. Prejudice masquerading as politics should be eliminated, not perpetuated. And if my pontificating rant does not persuade you, maybe a rap video will. So check out the link below!

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