April 21, 2009
While Janeane Garofalo's charge that the Tea Party Movement consists of racists attracted a great deal of attention, I'm fascinated by the way she slipped in an admission that not all of the participants were white.
It's almost pathological or elevated to a philosophy or a lifestyle. And again, this is about racism. It could be any issue, any port in a storm. These guys hate that a black guy is in the White House. But they immigrant-bash, they pretend it's taxes and tea bags, and like I said, most of them probably couldn't probably tell you thing one about taxation without representation, the Boston tea party, the British imperialism, whatever the history lesson has to be. But these people, all white for the most part, unless there's some people with Stockholm syndrome there....So, not only are they automatically suspect merely for being mostly white, but any non-whites who agree with them are not there of their own free will, but basically prisoners (slaves?) who have fallen in love with their captors.
It is necessary for her to say something about the non-whites lest she run afoul of her own rule that any white criticism of a non-white person is automatically racist. Non-whites have to become victims, captives, people who lack free will. By this standard, black Republicans like Condoleezza Rice and Michael Steele do not think for themselves or have their own opinions. Rather, they are brainwashed captives, presumably in need of liberation by the likes of Janeane Garofalo and Keith Olbermann. In fact, Garofalo and Olbermann both see Steele (and all Republican women) as Stockholm Syndrome sufferers.
It's too easy to dismiss Garofalo as an over-the-top washed up actress whose tattoos are fading along with her mind. This misses the fact that what she says is not new, and is pretty much in the mainstream of liberal thought. To them, it is an article of faith that opposition to Barack Obama is racist. It's all part of the script that goes back to the election.
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.As a matter of fact, I was wondering what happened to "all the rabid, wild-eyed bigots" even at the time they were first "identified." I could not find them.
But they're alive and well, and apparently they've become Birth Certificate Truthers. Oh yes. Regardless of how few people believe in this dwindling WorldNetDaily meme, I suppose it was inevitable that a few of them would be willing to show up and spout the WND party line on cue for leftie YouTubers eager to make generalizations:
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!!!Never mind that Birth Certificate Trutherism was no more a part of the Tea Party Movement than opposition to gay marriage or even birth control; all that matters is finding people willing to say whatever fits your narrative. (See Bob Shrum's scathing attack on Tea Party "paranoia" based on a selection of four signs spotted in a crowd. Never mind that anyone can show up at any event with a sign saying anything.)
Kooky as I think the Truthers are, I don't see what racism has to do with unfounded charges that Obama was not born in the United States -- any more than similar charges that were made about McCain. (Or, for that matter, Chester Arthur!)
Even in the video supplied, not one protester mentions Obama's race.
From the editorial bias, I think it's pretty obvious if a racist bigot had been anywhere to be found, he or she would have been a highlight of the video.
What's being forgotten by many is that liberal activists do not define racism the same way as most people. Racism has been defined as opposition to socialism, and belief in individualism. By that bigoted standard, Garofalo is right to call the Tea Party Movement "racist."
None of this is to deny America's long and unfortunate history as a country plagued with racism and bigots. I even remember them from when I was a kid -- including what William S. Burroughs' called the "decent church-goin' women, with their mean, pinched, bitter, evil faces." Actually, today that's an unfair stereotype.
Not all women with mean, pinched, bitter, evil faces go to church.
posted by Eric on 04.21.09 at 11:54 AM
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