Thursday, July 15

You Go First, Part MDCCLXXII

Sarah Palin Whoever Palin, Inc. pays to translate the electrical activity in her head into complete thoughts sentences, "Sarah Palin: The Charge of Racism: It's Time To Bury The Divisive Politics of the Past: Before We Run Out of Colons: By Sarah Palin" July 13

Sophia Nelson, "Should Black Folks Give The Tea Party A Second Look? Yes, the Tea Party movement is overwhelmingly white. But this writer says the black community should stop being emotional and consider the facts. July 14

I'M busy installing block-and-tackle in my garage, which is curious because I'm not sure what block-and-tackle is, exactly, and the only time I've ever operated a pulley in my life was during one of those grade school demonstrations somebody's father rigged up on the Seven Basic Machines. Are there seven? Or am I confusing that with Wonders of the World, Ages of Man, Levels of Troy, Words You Can't Say on Television, and/or Commandments? Seems like it's always Seven for some reason.

Here's the interesting thing about block-and-tackle: what you call "rope", what we call "maize", the sailor knows as "line" until it is riven by a block. Then it's a rope. The amazing part here being, once again, that even the illiterates in the old days were smarter than we are today, and had a much more interesting vocabulary.

Anyhow, I couldn't let these two go another day without some well-deserved reaving, so, in reverse order:
As a black woman in America,

Tell ya what, Ms Nelson; I was trusting that was inherent in that "Black Folks" bit above.
I have remained largely silent about the Tea Party movement and whether the movement itself is ''racist,'' as it is being charged by many in our community, including the leadership of the NAACP.

Though, interestingly, you thought Harry Reid should resign, and said so. So let's just note that your reticence suggests something other than quiet forbearance as a general principle.
As a community, we should take a step back for a moment and learn how to stop making emotional judgments and consider the facts about the Tea Party movement.

Maybe it's just me, Ms Nelson, but I've always felt that Americans of African descent--okay, that's actually all of us, but you started it--have a pretty goddam good sense of when they need to listen to angry white mobs and when they should observe from a reasonable distance.
I think we can all agree that the Tea Party movement, as it stands today, is overwhelmingly white, working to middle class, and overwhelmingly disdainful of President Obama and his policies. My concern with the movement has always been that it was too monolithic.

Just not "monochromatic".
In my opinion, the biggest challenge with the Tea Party movement, like the Republican Party, is that it is 99 percent white.

Challenge for whom? Non-white Americans have had 400 years of practice listening to organizations that are at least 99% white: Congress, Business, Slave holders, the officer corps of the various branches of the armed forces. Could it work the other way, even just this once? It's telling that this grassroots teabagging festival wasn't too concerned about racial makeup before it got called on it, just as it's telling the Teabaggers didn't discover the Federal deficit until it was handed to the current President. It's telling that the congruent Birther Gang--which was jettisoned, to the extent that it has been, only after it became a freakin' embarrassment to anyone with a double-digit IQ, not because it was unmistakably racist from the get go, is 99% white, too. And it's telling that The Root chooses to illustrate your little plea for understanding with a prop African-American Teabagger, not any of the thousands of alternatives.

But here is my concern: Black Americans for all intents and purposes are in an economic depression right now and have been since 2007, when the housing and economic crises first started to manifest. Yet we seem to be sitting passively by as the black middle class experiences the greatest loss of wealth ever. Folks, we need to be clear, with black male unemployment at 35 percent to 50 percent in some American cities (Great Depression levels) and sisters leading heads of household at alarming rates, we need to get aggressive about a black economic-empowerment agenda that should not be dependent solely on what the government can or cannot do for us.

Hey, if middle class, careerist, glamour-shots-posting African Americans wanna sign up to be Teabaggers they're welcome to do so. If you got yours, now, demand your already minimalized tax rates be lower still. Go Down, Moses! Demand that Black Folks, Po' Folks, and much of the middle-class of whatever stripe continue to get its medical care in the emergency room. Go ahead.

And excuse the rest of us if we recognize that an economic depression is precisely the time for people to look for their government to begin doing things for them, and not just for defense contractors and western mining interests and the owners of massive communications empires it cossets in Bull market and Bear, the supposed benefits of which have to trickle a loooong way to begin reaching even middle-class blacks. Go ahead, lady; just spare us the lecture which pretends Teabaggers have struck some hitherto undreamt-of chord.

Acting Former Governor Palin?
I am saddened by the NAACP’s claim that patriotic Americans who stand up for the United States of America’s Constitutional rights are somehow “racists.”

Y'know, whoever you are, I don't suppose you can help yourself by this point, but arguing that Teabaggers are just standing up for the Constitution is prima facie evidence of your tone deafness. Telling African-Americans you're only defending the Constitution is like telling the Cherokee you're just standing up for Contract Law.
The charge that Tea Party Americans judge people by the color of their skin is false, appalling, and is a regressive and diversionary tactic to change the subject at hand.

Tell ya, what, Ex, I'll believe you mean it when you tell the Sons of the Confederacy it's time to move on.
President Reagan called America’s past racism “a legacy of evil” against which we have seen the long struggle of minority citizens for equal rights.

Philadelphia (MS) Freedom…
He condemned any sort of racism, as all good and decent people do today.

Yeah. I remember how careful he was, whenever he told that Welfare Cadillac Queen story, to mention that race had nothing to do with it. All 6,436 times he used it.
He also called it a “point of pride for all Americans” that as a nation, we have successfully struggled to overcome this evil. Reagan rightly declared that “there is no room for racism, anti-Semitism, or other forms of ethnic and racial hatred in this country,” and he warned that we must never go back to the racism of our past.

Yeah, we needed to move forward, beginning with erasing what candidate Reagan called the "humiliation of the South" caused by the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Prince among men. Just because he inherited the Goldwater wing of the party, the one which invented the Southern Strategy, doesn't mean he couldn't, and didn't, go out and lie baldfaced about the thing. Because, you know, racism is certainly so evil that no good man would ever admit what a profitable enterprise it was for him personally.

S'funny; y'all are so busy being Not Racist that it never ever occurs to you to listen. Just once.


Christopher said...

Every so often you get these articles that have this basic structure:

Q. What can we do to get black people to like Republicans?

A. Black people could stop being so crazy and realize that we're already perfect the way we are.

And I don't really understand why articles like that keep getting published. I feel like masturbation should be done in private.

Montana said...

I must thank the Tea Party for electing Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown since he voted for the Financial Reform Bill and help the President of the United States with another legislative victory, thank you Tea Party.

The problem is this. Tea Party candidates will win a number of these congressional races because local districts are often safely partisan in nature. They can make their wild, unfounded claims, crazy accusations, etc., and win. That means not only are we likely to see an increase in Republican seats in both houses, we're likely to see more antics, more insanity, more stupidity. At the same time they're going to do everything they can to derail Obama's policies which will likely mean high unemployment, a moribund economy, and more compromises on policy positions that make no one happy.

That could literally mean that if the Republicans put up a legitimate candidate in 2012, they could win. Such a result is bad enough, but the likely response for the Democrats is to move further to the "middle" to placate voters. As we've seen over the last decade, the "middle" in American politics is basically on the verge of being an 80s Republican. Increasingly that means we'll have a political landscape of a conservative party and ratfuck insane parties. The former, given it's track record, slowly moving to the right, the latter, given it's track record, loudly screaming "socialism, communism, fascism!!!"

If we continue on this course, privatization will be socialism.

J Neo Marvin said...

Americans who stand up for the United States of America’s Constitutional rights

I didn't know that the country itself had Constitutional rights; I thought its citizens did. Very interesting Freudian slip, Sarah.

Grace Nearing said...

Poor Sophia Nelson. She publishes her "let's give the Tea Party a chance" post and, wouldn't you just know it, the past chairman and current spokesman for Tea Party Express goes completely bonkers, publishing a "lazy coloreds want to give back their emancipation" post.

Wonder if Nelson will write a follow-up post.

Fiddlin Bill said...

Underlying much of this Tea Party cant is the briefly stated presupposition that "racism" died some time back--that it is entirely a social phenomenon of history. Give that unargue and unarguable premise, the Mark Williamses can march ahead with their diatribes about "black racists" and characterize a whole group--black people in fact--as "shiftless". Which was of course one of the many principles of American Racism---AND STILL IS.

Racism not being dead or historical at all, of course.

Anonymous said...

I am getting sick and tired of these assholes continually braying that "we are not racist" and then not following up with any evidence of same. Quite the contrary, every available piece of evidence points to the fact that they ARE. Their defense comes straight out of "Peewee's Playhouse;" I know I am, what does that make you?? Very mature, people. Now, go away. Also, too, it's Acting Former Half-Governor Palin to you....thank you, sir, for pointing out the obvious.

Kathy said...

They don't know what the word racism means, or what real racism entails. Just as they are clueless about the definition of socialism, or democracy, let alone "Marxism".