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|08-04-2010, 12:36 AM||#1|
Join Date: Aug 03, 2001
The Tea Party. Racism Charges A Distraction
Racism Charges A Distraction
By Deb Medlin
THERE’S NOTHING LIKE playing the race card to grab attention, and thereby get a leg up on one’s adversary, except when the racial trump card has been overplayed, and it stops trumping. Mention race as the impetus for some action, and the details of the “racial” action are more likely to elicit rolled eyes and cynical comments than to draw concern.
The charge of racism used to mean something, but it has been so overplayed by political partisans that it now means nothing. Among those making the charges, among the perpetually insulted, are the usual suspects — the Rev. Jesse Jackson, the Rev. Al Sharpton, the political left and today’s NAACP. Now, when a non-black person disagrees with the current administration’s astonishingly expensive spending sprees, the discontent is labeled “racist” because, well, we do have a black president. The Tea Party has racist elements, according to the NAACP.
Who are the Tea Party’s supporters? According to a March 2010 USA Today/Gallup Poll of adult Americans, demographically, Tea Party supporters parallel the American public in age, race, educational background, and level of employment. For example, a collective 73 percent of Tea Party supporters are employed full-time or retired. Seventy percent of all Americans are employed full-time or retired. Collectively, 21 percent of Tea Party supporters are non-Hispanic black or “other” race; 26 percent of all Americans are non-Hispanic black or “other” race. The poll’s statistics indicate division along economic, not racial, lines.
The ideals of the loosely organized Tea Party movement are multi-faceted. One unifying theme is that government is out of touch with Americans’ concerns and beliefs, especially regarding the need for fiscal responsibility. The federal government is spending profligately, growing excessively and controlling an increasing portion of people’s lives. Yet, border security and national defense, core federal responsibilities, remain inexcusably insufficient. Other core ideals of this movement are the principles of the Founding Fathers, defense of the Constitution, and the need for limited government.
This is not popular fare to fans of big government, coming in the shadow of a federal government that is big, and expanding to control large sectors of the economy. The Tea Party is an outlet. It is a response for people tired of being governed by those who would rule at the expense of the governed, using the seductive nausea of “we will take care of you” as defense for excessive controls.
In the few years since its establishment, the Tea Party movement has become an effective tool with which people can lend credence and strength to their individual discontent. Proof of this collective effectiveness is witnessed in the candidates thus far elected to office on familiar Tea Party platforms. The Tea Party movement is attracting people concerned about tax increases, and the subsequent decrease in their take-home pay. People are angry that they have no say about laws that are being jammed through Congress.
What does any of this have to do with racism? Nothing. The charge of racism is a distraction. It is disingenuous to think that the Tea Party movement sponsors racist thought, just because there is not a plurality of blacks at the rallies. But, somehow, the charge of Tea Party racism has become a media talking point.
Have we considered the possibility that some blacks may not attend Tea Party gatherings because of the media’s saturating negative coverage against it? Have we considered that some blacks may feel racial peer pressure to not attend? Have we considered that some people may not attend because it is difficult even to go into a church uninvited? Have we stopped to consider that the Tea Party message of fiscal responsibility resounds more with those who have more to lose, no matter the race?
Tea Party supporters do not need to apologize for “racism” any more than the NAACP has to apologize for the message of the New Black Panther Party. The partisan charge of Tea Party racism is distracting. Those concerned about reestablishing fiscally sound government that honors the constitutional process should treat racism accusations as the trumped up charges that they are. Ignore the accusations, and stay focused on established goals. They’ll go away.
|08-04-2010, 06:07 PM||#2|
Join Date: Dec 29, 2001
Location: New Jersey - the cradle of civilization
Sadly, the folks who see Tea Party memers as evil racists will not change thier minds.
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