Boy do the Tea Party people ever flip right the fuck out when accused of racism. Is the “Tea Party Movement” itself racist? I guess my answer to that would be no, but I’d follow it up by asking how significant the difference is between a movement that stands for racist values and one that “merely” happens to be comprised of people who hold racist views to a much higher degree than the general population? Ok fine, the Tea Party isn’t racist in absolute terms — ie, if we’re talking a binary choice where the Tea Party either “is racist” or “isn’t racist” then it’s closer to the latter. In relative terms however, Tea Party members are more racist than most people. Tea Party members are more likely to show up at rallies with racist signs (ie) than other groups of people. And Tea Partiers are more likely to believe that (as in the Newsweek article above) ie: black people don’t actually have any additional hurdles to overcome in life, results would be more equal if lazy black people were to simply get off their asses and try harder, etc.
So what is really the difference? If I went to a KKK rally or a White Power rally or whatever I’d certainly see more racist propaganda than I would at a Tea Party, but in turn I’d see much more of the same at the TP than I would at say a highschool football game. Is that the bar that the TP has set for itself? “We might act more racist than most any other group, but we’re less so in absolute terms than the Klan and thus feel we are innocent of the charge of racism.” Whoopity-fricking-doo, congrats on that. It reminds me of a bit from Bob Altemeyer’s research on Authoritarians:
(“High RWA” refers to someone who scores highly on Altemeyer’s test of “Right-wing authoritarian” characteristics)
Looking at it this way I fail to see what (reasonable) complaints there could be with the NAACP’s resolution. Of course the TP people have treated this with characteristic accuracy and are claiming that the NAACP has written every single one of them off as unapologetic racists, but in reality the resolution
condemn[s] extremist elements within the Tea Party [and] call[s] on Tea Party leaders to repudiate those in their ranks who use racist language in their signs and speeches.
For good measure they even add,
in some cases the language has been misconstrued to imply that the NAACP was condemning the entire Tea Party movement itself as racist.
So in place of any effort to acknowledge and/or correct these behaviors* we have the usual sob story/victimization/liberal media whingefest. Yeah sure–it’s not that the sky-high “not as bad as the skinheads” bar you’ve set for patting yourselves on the back isn’t that impressive to society at large. It isn’t that they are reacting accordingly now that they’re more familiar with the way you guys actually act. It isn’t that the NAACP has accurately described the reality on the ground here–namely, that there are racist elements in the Tea Party and no effort is made to push back against their presence at rallies or otherwise expel them from the movement. It’s clear you guys are the victims here.
Just like always.
*or am I the only one failing to recall a single incident of Tea Party speakers condemning any such behavior from the stage, right-thinking Tea Partiers banding together to kick people exhibiting racist propaganda outt’ve their events, etc?