Monthly Archives: April 2010

The unbearable whiteness of being (a right wing Republican)

Rightwingers and many Republicans will tell you that what you’re about to read proves that I, and all people on the left, are the real racists.

It’s a classic technique but it’s transparent and laughably ineffective for all who aren’t dazed by the echo chamber.

In countless situations online and in person, people who point out possible, let alone blatant, racist speech or behavior coming from the right are accused of “playing the race card,” “exploiting racial politics,” and even of keeping non whites “on the plantation.”

But take a look at photos and videos from the “tea party” rallies. Look at pictures and video from the campaign, especially the Palin only rallies. Remember this guy?

Ron Brownstein at The National Journal Magazine notes the increasingly “monochromatic” nature of the rightwing Republican coallition [emphasis added]:

Amid drug violence in Mexico and high unemployment in the U.S., concern about controlling the borders is understandable. But the hardening GOP position also shows how the party is being tugged toward nativism as its coalition grows more monochromatic: In a nation that is more than one-third minority, nearly 90 percent of McCain’s votes in the 2008 presidential election came from whites. That exclusionary posture could expose the GOP to long-term political danger. Although Hispanics are now one-sixth of the U.S. population, they constitute one-fifth of all 10-year-olds and one-fourth of 1-year-olds. The larger threat is to America’s social cohesion. Democrats, with their own divisions, can’t reform the immigration system alone. Either both parties will accept that responsibility or the nation will likely suffer through years of sharpening social division symbolized by the escalating battle over Arizona.

As even Michael Steele acknowledged, the Republicans have been tapping into white anger, beginning in the sourth with Nixon’s “southern strategy” and migrating to other parts of the country when possible over the last five decades.

They have stoked and taken electoral advantage of reactionary nativist fears spurred by broad societal changes. For years it worked according to plan: the Republicans got their votes but kept the less savory elements of the demographic group now called “tea partiers” at arm’s length.

Not any more.

As the rise of Sarah Palin and Charlie Crist’s story demonstrate, the radicals have taken over the party. Whatever happens with the immigration reform debate this year, things are going to get much, much worse for the increasingly fragile Republican coallition.

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Arizona brings immigration reform back to the front burner

[Updated below]

I’ll resume regular posting, two to four times a week.

Aside from travel and school stuff, I’ve been distracted by the reaction to this video I shot of my mayor questioning Obama’s citizenship at a local ‘tea party’ rally. The rally was in a public park of course and many of the attendees looked like they are drawing social security and medicare checks, but they sure hate government. Except that one of the organizers called 911 on me for filming. She said they ‘rented the park’ and had the authority to kick me out.

A police captain set her straight, but it nicely demonstrates their authoritarian mentality.

As this post at Think Progress notes, the people who attend these rallies, aside from being mostly older white far right Republicans, also support the incredibly intrusive Big Brother ‘show me your papers’ Arizona law:

Not only are Tea Partiers not speaking out against SB-1070, they’re actively supporting it. The Arizona Tea Party Network called on its members to support Brewer’s big government. In fact, the sponsor of SB-1070 is state Sen. Russell Pearce (R), a Tea Party backer.

Why are they so supportive of Big Government in this case? The Think Progress post quotes a University of Washington study sheds some light on the attitudes toward people who are, unsurprisingly, vastly unrepresented at their rallies:

For instance, the Tea Party, the grassroots movement committed to reining in what they perceive as big government, and fiscal irresponsibility, also appear predisposed to intolerance. Approximately 45% of Whites either strongly or somewhat approve of the movement. Of those, only 35% believe Blacks to be hardworking, only 45 % believe Blacks are intelligent, and only 41% think that Blacks are trustworthy. Perceptions of Latinos aren’t much different. While 54% of White Tea Party supporters believe Latinos to be hardworking, only 44% think them intelligent, and even fewer, 42% of Tea Party supporters believe Latinos to be trustworthy. When it comes to gays and lesbians, White Tea Party supporters also hold negative attitudes. Only 36% think gay and lesbian couples should be allowed to adopt children, and just 17% are in favor of same-sex marriage.

Update: Redstate blog, whose head honcho is best know for calling former supreme court justice David Souter a “goat fucking child molester,’ has this up today about how congressional black congress members and civil rights movement heroes were, y’know, lying about ‘tea partiers’ calling them n!gg4r and otherwise abusing them. Hey, if it wasn’t caught on video, then it could not have happened, right?

Bolding mine: yes, you can see for yourself. Why? Because people brought cameras*. Otherwise, this wouldn’t have gotten challenged, and the Democrats wouldn’t be trying to hide from this story right now. And no, this is not something that people should just move on from, either. We can move on after the Members of Congress involved either publicly retract their accusations, or else prove them.

This is just one more way the ‘tea partiers’ are proving how moderate and inclusive they are. It’s just that all the non white, younger, non far right Republicans — who totally, totally exist and who support the ‘tea party agenda’ — for some reason don’t seem to be able to make it to the rallies. Maybe it’s all the angry white people with guns…

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