Were you wondering what happened to all the rabid, wild-eyed bigots yelling, “Kill him!” and “Terrorist” and “Socialist” carrying stuffed monkey plush dolls at the McCain-Palin rallies? It’s easy in our jubilation over Obama’s victory to forget the many people in America who were deeply fearful and hate-oriented towards an Obama presidency. Those people didn’t just shrug their shoulders at the Democratic victory in Nov 2008. No, they’ve re-organized. Largely abandoned by the Republican party who tapped cynically into their ignorance, fear and hatred and whipped these folks into a racist lather as a Get Out The Vote strategy, the Tax Day Tea Party people have used the internet to find each other and organize.
They’re getting plenty of news coverage. And don’t get me wrong: the teabaggers (heh) have expressed some legitimate concerns about the impact of the economic stimulus on the ballooning deficit and the evolving structure of the financial bailout strategy. Concerns some progressives and many Americans share actually. Yet Obama’s kept his promise to lower taxes for most Americans except the very wealthy – I don’t know about you but I definitely am getting more back than I expected personally on my own taxes. So…whassup, really? Are these folks really concerned about their taxes going up or is it about what they perceive their taxes to be funding? Here’s an image from the Michelle Malkin blog that sums up their real concerns, IMHO – note the bloody imagery, btw.
I’ve been parsing the words and the racists have been very careful to cover their tracks and fury that a black man is President. But not well enough. I’m starting to become pretty convinced at this point that “socialist” is a some kind of code word for “nigger”. Here’s an example of some of the subtle language the Tea Party people are using to describe their own movement (emphasis mine) from the Michelle Malkin blog, a central hive for the poorly informed, wild-eyed, bigoted, Fox News/wingnut blog-driven lynch, ahem I mean Tea Partiers:
As you’re probably aware, Michelle’s been a huge supporter of the “tea parties,” as has been Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Rush and countless others. The phenomenon is spreading, and more will be held on Tax Day — April 15 (a map of all the locations is here).
In late February, I attended a tea party in Lansing, Michigan, and will be there again next Wednesday. While there, I spoke with several people, and, while everybody attended for the same “big picture” reason, many had their own reason to be there.
For some it was wildly excessive and confusing tax laws. Others were there out of concern for their children and grandchildren. Some were there because they’re maddened that the same glorious policies that have made Detroit look like Bangladesh after a garbage haulers strike are being introduced on a national level, a few were upset because the same people who created these massive problems are charged with fixing them, others don’t want their country sold out to some global entity, and one man I saw had a sign that said “‘Government job’ is a contradiction in terms.” Many were there for the reason of “all of the above.”
Huh? What does Detroit or Bangladesh have to do with Barack Obama? Oh that’s right, Detroit has experienced white flight, urban blight and economic devastation for years now, making some areas seem almost Third World. But that wouldn’t have anything to do with the crumbling U.S. auto industry and everything to do with the black mayors the city has been electing, right? The corrupt Kwame Kilpatrick notwithstanding, this sounds like a snarky, swiping slur directed at South Indian immigrants, African-Americans and unions all combined succinctly. There’s real racist animus here: check out the video above of Tea Party nuts convinced that Barack Obama can’t be president because he faked his birth certificate and is actually Kenyan by birth. My God — do you know what that means? It means a black man is illegally president! Because it’s just not possible for a black man to be president unless something has gone horribly wrong with the system! Citizens, act now and get to your local Tea Party!!!
White supremacists are loving the Tea Party movement btw. They hear the dogwhistle loud and clear and are looking to take advantage of the discontent. Much more including what white supremacists are saying, the top five questions journalists and bloggers should be asking Tea Party rallygoers and my updated criteria for undercover racist attacks after the jump.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||M – Th 11p / 10c|
|Baracknophobia – Obey|
Many white supremacists report planning to attend Tea Parties or already have and some are looking for a way to recruit into their White Nationalist movement. There’s an awful lot of Tea Party chatter among these folks. Why doesn’t the media cover this angle? Here’s a telling and typical comment from Stormfront.org:
Ladies and gentlemen, I think every WN needs to not only attend the April 15th Tea Party nearest you (I’m going to the Alamo in San Antonio) but then stay involved and help provide leadership to this movement.
I believe that this is the white revolution we’ve been waiting for.
It doesn’t look what we expected but this is it.
I’ve seen probably 50 videos on TV showing previous marches and what strikes me is that the participants are all WHITE. It stands to reason . . . we’re the ones being taxed to support Affirmative Action, Welfare and other worthless social programs. It’s our tax dollars going to ACORN and supporting the 12 million illegals swarming into our neighborhoods.
I would urge news media and citizen journalists covering the tea parties to scratch below the surface to get at the rotting racist underbelly of these protests and ask revealing questions like these top five:
I’ve re-activating my criteria for an undercover racist attack on Obama from the campaign and revising it for the new reality. Check out the original and my updated revision after the jump. The original criteria for the racist attack zone from Oct 2008:
My criteria for a racist attack during this long and arduous campaign season has been to pause when these three conditions are present and examine what message might actually be on the dogwhistling march:
1) Is it unique to Obama, i.e. is it a phrase we’ve never heard before applied to any other presidential candidate ever or is it something we haven’t heard in recent memory? For example: elitist or drug seller.
2) Is it illogical or impossible – does the assertion plainly contradict the facts? For example: elitist, drug seller or tax raiser.
3) Is it repeated, over and over, by a desperate person whose team is falling in the polls & who adopts a wide-eyed, credulous, nodding stare pronouncing the lie slowly and precisely with a watchful eye to see if the listeners are buying it. For example: elitist, drug seller, tax raiser or terrorist.
Optional: Does the assertion cause nervousness, embarrassment or confusion among non-blacks? When other white people such as Tom Brokaw sense something wrong and start to ask questions like “Do you really believe that?”, you know for sure you’re in the racist attack zone.
Here’s the new criteria for an undercover racist attack:
1) Is it unique to Obama, i.e. is it a phrase we’ve never heard before applied to any other president or is it something we haven’t heard in recent memory? For example: he’s not an American citizen or he’s a socialist who’s planning re-education camps for young people.
2) Is it illogical or impossible – does the assertion plainly contradict the facts? For example: not an American citizen, socialist, tax raiser, re-education camps for young people.
3) Is it repeated, over and over, by a desperate person whose team lost badly in the last election & who adopts a wide-eyed, credulous, nodding stare pronouncing the lie slowly and precisely with a watchful eye to see if the listeners are buying it. For example: not an American citizen, socialist, elitist, drug seller, tax raiser or terrorist.
Optional: Does the assertion cause nervousness, embarrassment or confusion among non-blacks? When other white people such as Tom Brokaw or John Stewart sense something wrong and start to ask questions like “Do you really believe that?”, you know for sure you’re in the racist attack zone.
As Exhibit A, I offer John Stewart’s interpretation of the Tea Party movement as Baracknophobia above. My main concern here is that the heated rhetoric around the protests could lead to violence against African-Americans, Jews and Latinos if some Tea Party recruits go from non-violent to violent. That’s why it’s important to drag the masked racism here out into the daylight so we can deal with it and force denials from their movement leaders before certain elements become more brazen and people start getting hurt.
Cheryl Contee aka "Jill Tubman", Baratunde Thurston aka "Jack Turner", rikyrah, Leutisha Stills aka "The Christian Progressive Liberal", B-Serious, Casey Gane-McCalla, Jonathan Pitts-Wiley aka "Marcus Toussaint," Fredric Mitchell
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