Calling the Tea Parties a racist group is false and it's counter-productive: there are much better, much healthier, and much more effective way to oppose them. In this post I'll provide very compelling evidence that they aren't racist. Obviously, even the very compelling evidence below isn't going to sway some people who will continue to oppose the teapartiers in counter-productive ways. If you aren't convinced, feel free to leave a comment with a specific, valid argument supporting your position.
And, if you want to oppose them in effective ways, see the tea parties summary and all the posts on that page. If their other opponents would take the time to understand what the Tea Party is really about and how to effectively oppose them, their influence could be greatly diminished.
Here are three reasons the teapartiers aren't a racist group:
1. There certainly are racists in the teaparties. However, that doesn't make them a racist group, it doesn't make their goals racist, and it doesn't mean they're about racism. There are no doubt racists in any group: the NAACP, the Shriners, atheists, global warming opponents, documentary filmmakers, and on and on. That doesn't mean that those groups and occupations are themselves racist or are about racism. If one of those groups promotes or enables the racist ideas of their members, then depending on the other circumstances it might be reasonable to say that the group is racist. Truly racist groups don't shy away from the racist comments of their members. The teapartiers have done the opposite: they've condemned and exiled their members who've crossed their line. In that regard, the Democratic Party is more racist than the teapartiers: they're more willing to embrace the racists in their midst. If a teaparty-affiliated economist had said "I have nothing against black female construction workers" (first link in last sentence), he wouldn't be teaparty-affiliated for long. That's not how explicitly racist groups act. But, could they be implicitly racist? Let's look at that next.
2. They aren't implicitly racist because they don't give a flying rat's behind about dozens of millions of white people. The teapartiers care as little about and have as little regard for poorer whites as they do about poorer non-whites. They're more than willing to vilify all who disagree with them, regardless of skin color: liberals, progressives, teachers, union workers, civil servants,... It's a long list. The teapartiers aren't out there trying to help unemployed, struggling white people get jobs: they're implying that they're lazy welfare cheats. Those aren't the actions of a White Nationalist group or even of a group that's just pro-white.
3. If the teapartiers oppose Obama because of his race, doesn't that also mean that they would support Hillary Clinton because of her race? Because, that's a corollary to the false claims about the tea party movement. Opponents of the teaparties who say the teaparties oppose Obama for racial reasons are implying that they would support or at least oppose less strongly Hillary. No one who was paying attention during the Clinton era would believe that. If Hillary were president, the teaparties would still be around in one form or another, whether more formally organized than now or the opposite. Hillary would push the same general agenda as Obama and her more fringe opponents would dredge up all the scandals of the first Clinton era: Travelgate, Vince Foster, the blue dress, Mena, the Clinton Body Count (link), and on and on. "NOBAMA IS A COMMUNIST AGENT OF GEORGE SOROS" would simply become "HITLERY IS A COMMUNIST AGENT OF GEORGE SOROS". "Obamunist" would become "Clintonumism" or some such. The teaparties have been able to obtain their small degree of popularity due in large part to the internet, specifically social networking. The U.S. alone added over 144 million new internet users from 2000 to 2010 (link). If there had been Twitter, Facebook, and those 144 million internet users back in 2000, there might have been a more organized opposition similar to the teaparties a decade ago. There are other factors leading to their rise that weren't around or weren't as much of an issue then: the Clinton years were boom times for the U.S.; Fox News wasn't yet as powerful as it is now; and the GOP wasn't as intellectually weak. Way back when, people were passing around videotape documentaries about Waco; now you can find those and much, much more on Youtube. Fringe thinkers were on obscure AM radio stations or shortwave; now they can broadcast on the internet and develop followers through Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and Youtube. The teapartiers didn't develop during the George W Bush administration because a) he was able to fool them into thinking he was just a regular guy (see "Why I Like George W. Bush", etc.), b) he's a Republican and so too are most of the teapartiers, and c) Karl Rove is smarter than current GOP leaders and was able to suppress the more fringe GOP adherents.
See the tea parties page for how to oppose them in fact-based, effective ways.
Tue, 08/30/2011 - 13:44 · Importance: 4