Sunday, September 19, 2010
Don't Believe the Big Lie
There is a disturbing narrative being painted about the so-called Tea Party movement: That it is just a bunch of people outraged about high taxes and government spending. That it is not interested in so-called social-issues conservatism. But do not be fooled, this is a big lie. And the teabagger victories in last week's primary elections reveal the depths of this lie.
As if rushing to its defense, the media has been constantly portraying the Tea Party movement as an economic movement. Official Tea Party spokespeople are constantly quoted saying it's all about government spending, about unemployment, about the size of government. But this is a lie for media consumption. Even when the media notices, as the New York Times did, that the teabaggers and Republicans are all about portraying President Obama as some kind of un-American "other" they fail to identify the underlying truth that is plain to see: the teabaggers are actually motivated above all by social issues chief among them racism, with hatred of gay people bringing up a close second. Apparently deeming the word "racism" uglier than the phenomenon itself, the media have given a free pass to right-wing forces to prettify their message.
But let it be clear: when Sarah Palin and her ilk talk about taking America back, the first thing that needs to be asked is, well, back from whom? The teabaggers of Palin and Glenn Beck believe that the financial crisis was caused by too many mortgages being given to poor black people, and then compounded by "illegal" brown people stealing jobs and social services from "real" Americans. And they believe that the 2008 election was won by Obama because of ACORN (ie, black people) stealing the election. Calling an Obama a socialist, a communist, a Hitler: these are bizarrely social acceptable substitutes for calling him a ni**er. The outrage of the teabaggers, of Palin and Beck is carefully coded hatespeech. It should be a national scandal that a racist movement has crossed over from radical fringe to the mainstream. When they say they're taking it back, they mean from the likes of us.
Upstate NY businessman Carl Paladino just crushed smug Long Island conservative Rick Lazio in the New York State Republican primary for governor. Paladino is renowned for forwarding racist emails to all his friends. Emails like the video showing an African tribal dance labelled "Obama Inauguration Rehearsal." Emails like the fake "motivational" poster labelled "Run ni**ers, run!" Emails like the one showing Obama and his wife Michelle decked out like a pimp and his whore. Echoing the violent thuggishness of f*gbashers and lynchmobs, Paladino has threatened to go to Albany and solve the corruption problems with a baseball bat. Paladino has suggested poor people be sent to prisons where they can be given job training and learn about "hygiene." Oh sure he was sorry that soem people found them offensive. But he found them hilarious! This man's economic platform is irrelevant. He is a stone cold racist running on a platform of taking the state back from the ni**ers and f*gs and not only does everybody know it, but 62% of Republicans voted for this man. Almost 300,000 New Yorkers endorsed his racism or chose to look the other way. And he might win!
In Delaware's primary, the Senate Republican primary for U.S. senator was won by Christine O'Donnell. O'Donnell has been a conservative Christian activist for years, championing among other socially conservative causes the so-called "ex-gay" movement that claims it can "cure" people of homosexuality. Hilariously she has become known as the anti-masturbation candidate, but what she stands for is no joke: she stands for the deprivation of gay people's civil rights. This woman won the primary for the U.S. Senate. This is not batshit crazy Michelle Bachmann winning a congressional election in a gerrymandered suburban congressional district; this is an election for the political elite in this country. And she might win!
Oh Sarah Palin has claimed she is not anti-gay. But she has endorsed all these people who are. The Republicans, right-wing and moderate alike are standing by and cheering these people on. Paladino and O'Donnell are showing the "tea party" for what it is. And that is mortal danger to civil rights and justice. These are the KKK without sheets.
Don't believe the hype. The tea party is only a party for straight, white Amerikkka. For the rest of us it's going to be a wake.