A little racism with your tea?

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A little racism with your tea?

April 20, 2009
I was all set to write a brilliant psychosocial expose of the racist undercurrent of the April 15 Teabag Parties, and then I saw this video of Janean Garofalo and Kieth Olbermann hitting the nail on the head.

(I'm going to figure out how to embed video, I swear it.)
At the end of the day, the teabaggers are racists. It's the only intellectual thread (and I use that term loosely) that unifies all of Teabaggerdom. They're not really protesting taxes, because the president just lowered the taxes of the vast majority of the teabaggers. They're not really protesting the national debt, or deficit spending, because they didn't seem to give a shit when Dubya was emptying the Treasury into Iraq. They're not really protesting Obama's alleged Muslim-ness, 'cuz he's a Christisn. No, they're upset because there's a Black Guy in the White House.
Don't believe me? Check out these pictures:

Ohhh, yeah. Monkey see, monkey spend y'all. Or how 'bout this one?

Hey! How about a stereotypical '80s sitcom reference?

Still don't believe me? Check out this blog post from a reporter at the Sacramento Teabag Party:
"... when out of 5,000 people who supposedly represent a cross-section of Americans, there are two African Americans (both entertainers), that’s not what you’d call diverse. I understand the Sacramento Bee found the only Latino couple who were at the “tea party.” I was at the rally for about 40 minutes—it was a very busy day for me—and I saw no rally participants who weren’t white. None. The only people of color I saw where cops working the event and the one black man who was counter-protesting. In fact, I’ve covered many, many protests at the Capitol and I have never seen a gathering with less racial diversity than this one.
Read the back-and forth between him and one of his fans readers. It pretty much encapsulates this whole sordid affair.

Topic tags: 


Any child whose parent is an American citizen is also an American citizen no matter where the child is born. Thus, Obama's mom is an American, so Obama is an American citizen. These people who are claiming Obama's birth certificate is false are barking up the wrong tree.

Only in comunism some are more equal then others. To be US prezident you must be born on US soil. Obama was not born in US soil, otherwise he would show the birth certificate. Why do I have to show when I am employed all my documents and Obama not?

The law at the time stated that the parent had to have been of legal age for 5 years (she had to have been 23) for the child to be a natural born citizen, as opposed to a naturalized citizen.
The difference in rights consists of: the ability to be president and maybe two other really minor things.

To me it is just more evidence that nobody is minding the store. The "press" in this country is not worthy of the name.

If you want real news, search the internet or the foreign press, or maybe smaller town papers. The MSM is dealing us a globalist agenda. The Council on Foreign Relations has controlled the presidency for years. They still do.
The last president took your constitutional rights away in order to fight a perpetual war on terror. This new one wants to keep that nifty new rule, and start a "national volunteer" force to rival the armed forces.

ALL the races just want to be FREE. Our soldiers cannot FREE anyone else.

Abe, you are cruel, but fortunately incorrect. I went to the Olympia Tea Party, and am not one bit racist.

At a Portland anti-war protest a couple years back, a few people burnt a soldier in effigy (see http://www.portlandtribune.com/opinion/story.php?story_id=11745928354487...). So is it fair to say, categorically, that anti-war protesters want to murder soldiers?

I went to a Magnetic Fields concert in New York, at Lincoln Center a few years back. There were thousands of people there. Interestingly, the whole audience, literally, was white or Asian. So have I proven that Magnetic Fields fans are racists?

Also: Tax levels *at this moment* might be low, but all spending must be accounted for by taxation at some point, be it immediate taxation, taxation of our children, or through price inflation resulting from the expansion of the money supply. Spending = Taxes, it is just a question of when and how the taxes are to be paid. Many, many signs I saw at the Tea Party emphasized the evil of deferring taxes onto future generations. (I saw exactly zero signs like the ones you pictured in your post. I would have remembered!)

I and many of my friends very much cared very much about Bush's deficits. I think he was perhaps the worst president in modern times.

Bottom line is: if you impugn the beliefs/motives of the many based on the actions/beliefs of a VERY few, you risk being wrong. And you are. If it hurts a little, that's healthy!

hello, fellow whites!

Thanks for having a discussion about racism. as another white (and male), i thought i'd jump in on your conversation. One good thing about Abe and Joe's show, which I like, is it provides steady access to the thoughts of white males, which are difficult to find these days, lol.

personally, i find it hard to take seriously any white male who says he is not "one bit racist". If you talk to or listen to people of color, you will pretty quickly realize how many assumptions are made about nonwhite communities. This is a reflection of the normalization of whiteness which almost all whites and nonwhites are brought up with. any reflective person, white or not, should see that this culture normalizes whiteness. and that's not just racist, but also white supremecist. a white doesn't need to actively hate people of color to hold these values, and may never even realize them until actually hanging out with or listening to a non white person. but, if you're white, don't take my word for it - try hanging out with or listening to a nonwhite person for a while. bring your experience to the table.

But, following this logic, you'd want to say to me.. well, so what? we're all a little bit racist, right? Well.. kind of, but not in the same way. For starters, we definitely do want to leave a special place at the table for the whites who hate non whites. there are haters, for sure, and there are silent haters, and some very loud ones. There are dormant haters who haven't realized their hate because they live in a comfortable "color blind" environment. There are nonwhites who internalize the white supremacy of this culture, but they hold racist values in a very different way than me, or Abe, or Michael. It's one thing to think someone is less good cuz of how they look, but a completely other thing to think of yourself as less good because of how you look.

So, this is where I kind of agree with Michael C. - Abe might be a little loose in naming tea party as "racists". Not because they aren't, but because it's not specific enough for us to discriminate between a hater and your average white who has done very little reflection on the experiences of nonwhites. Eliminating racist attitudes is a process, not a state of being. These two hypothetical people are products of racist and white supremacist thinking, but they require very different approaches to move them further toward the justice end of the continuum.

Just generally speaking, anytime you claim the identity of another person, especially when you're generalizing onto any group, you can get yourself in trouble. Because if someone doesn't identify the way you name them, they will assert their auto-nomy - they claim the human right to name themselves. Add into this the difficulty of separating out the racist and white supremacist values all americans have internalized to some degree or another, and the lack of experience that most whites have in talking about their whiteness or reflecting on nonwhite experiences, and you're just picking a fight that push the michael c. of the world further into his personal experience. racism - 1, justice - 0

so the first reason to avoid labeling anyone as racist that doesn't cop to it is because it's imprecise, and the second reason is because it doesn't work - because of the privilege of whites to avoid interacting with nonwhites, it probably only actually only advances racism by further pushing the whites who most need to examine their profoundly racist assumptions towards those who understand them - other whites who hate liberals.

Abe, i'd suggest talking about the haters - those are the ones who will admit and proclaim their racist attitudes. It seems legitimate to hate the haters, although I know some people of color who do antiracist work say they appreciate an active racist than a nice liberal who thinks he's "not one bit racist" so much denial of reality there! You could possibly talk about the racist and white supremacist attitudes reflected in these signs, and even more, in so many things taken for granted in our daily white life... start the discussion there, and you might get some revealing information from non liberal whites who will admit (perhaps before you will) that they hold some attitudes which sound "a little bit prejudiced". We can all use a little humility on this point.

and michael c., why not do a little research? please don't try talking to a nonwhite yet - you're not racist enough yet. when you get a little more racist, you'll have earned this ability to share. Fortunately, you can read about racism, and you won't hurt anyone. Realize that every brown knows a whole lot more about whites than most whites will ever know about browns. that's one way of understanding you are looking at a relationship of oppression - only the privileged have the luxury to forget.

try this humorous and painfully accurate awareness exercist by our own local damali ayo, doing great work in this area:


have fun, and kill ignorance!

ps - oh, and right, you know, taxes are problematic, but things like clean water aren't really profit bearing endeavors. good discussion fellas.

patrik kilpatrik
kboo volunteer

Patrik, I do concede that "not one bit racist" is a bit hyperbolic. I am well aware of the innate & culturally infused racism inside me.

But I do my best to combat it. And I think I do pretty damn well, considering. I believe that my personal behavior - the way I conduct myself and the way I live my life - does not negatively affect anyone on the basis of their race. I make certain that no one suffers because of the really rather low-level 'original sin' racism from which I have been able to completely escape.

But these 'people of color who do antiracist work' who 'say they appreciate an active racist than a nice liberal who thinks he's "not one bit racist"' really are part of the problem. Please, for your own sake, make no mistake about that. I hope a good thinker, like you seem to be, does not get so mired in theory as to be useless to the hopefully bright future we all have, working with each other. Unlike a certain KBOO host, you seem very capable of respecting the nuances, and avoiding those broad brushes that are a hallmark of the simple, divisive, sloppy and capricious folks!...


PS: I am not against all taxes. Just too many/too high taxes. I am an unapologetic limited government, free market capitalist who believes that individualism is, perhaps a bit counterintuitively, the bedrock of a successful society.

Sorry, the end of my second paragraph should read, "I make certain that no one suffers because of the really rather low-level 'original sin' racism from which I have NOT been able to completely escape."

I got a strong racism vibe at my local Tea Party too. I went to it to document it and record it for my podcast. It was 100% white and there was no overriding theme except Anti-Obamaism. And the people were mad, angry, seemingly at things they should have been mad about over the last 8 years but weren't, because they were all conservatives. I would say the theme was against the President and against Democrats. There were signs about both. I hate to say this but I hope the DHS is taking notice of all this rampant anti-Obamaism. It was fueled by real anger, and not at taxes.

It made me leave feeling sick -- and this was in Minnesota, usually a progressive state.

I felt a bit different. I liked the Bush Protests a lot better. People at this protest were not very active, they brought there kids, there was no beer or anything. I remember at the world trade protest we all had fun! Nothing like a good old but kicking party while protesting. These conservatives don't know how to protest!

One of the problems you Obama supporters have is you don't think past your own prejudices. He only won by less than 53% of the vote. That means that out of every 100 people only 6 more voted for him than an incredibly weak candidate in McCain. Of those who did vote for him, how many were just voting against George Bush? How many voted for him just because he was black? How many were young voters who have never paid taxes or ran a business or even have had a job? Who voted for a guy who never ran a business, met a payroll and voted "present" 150 times. McCain received 59 million votes. 59 million! I wouldn't be too smug if I were you. Those people at those rallys weren't picked up and dropped off by Acorn,
they are a force to be reckoned with and will be heard at every level at mid -term elections

I think you are correct. And I found another racist group rally- it was called the million man march. I didn't see any white people so it must have been racist against whites. Pull your head out.

There were no invitations sent out. These rallies were open to anyone and if certain individuals choose not to attend them, that is their choice. They didn't have anyone standing at the entrance deciding who could enter and who couldn't. The whole idea was to express concern that somebody is going to have to pay the bill for all this spending and who do you think that might be? it is going to be hard working contributors who will see the funding applied to their taxes. WHERE ELSE WILL THE MONEY COME FROM? Non-productive people don't contribute, they can't. It is not racism, it is just the obvious frustration that hard working people of all colors see when they are not blinded by the "what's in it for me" agenda. Your constant focusing on racism will continue to polarize people until they begin to think for themselves.

Wow... Out of 1000s of signs, you have found three of them that could possibly be read as racially insensitive. Throw out the baby with the bath water. Your bucketizing of people in such a manner shows that you are indeed the person with extreme prejudice...

These oh so white hip-hop-happenin-and-now libbies (who are "down for the struggle" btw) are throwing around  the race card so much it's like 52 race card pick up.  Keep at it - homey ain't playin that no mo'.  Keep tossing out the various forms of the word "hate" too while you're at it. Face it - you're now "The Man" and you all aren't handling having your own tactics thrown back at you.  The silent majority is rearing it's head and you moonbats squealing and squaking is music to our ears.  Take your white guilt and shove it.  Deny, deny, and deny some more.  Political correctness is dying and it's a wondrous thing to behold. Power to The Patriots Yo!  

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