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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Calling Teapartiers Racist Offends Rightwing PC

Woman with racist signThe Tea Party is angry. They're angry about taxes -- at a time when their taxes where almost certainly reduced. They're angry about government spending -- after being silent about an eight-year government spending spree. They're angry about intrusive, big government -- while supporting candidates who advocate torture, warrantless wiretapping, government regulation the sort of sex you're allowed to have, and keeping women pregnant against their will. Hypocrisy seems to be a hallmark of the teabaggers, along with runaway ignorance and a new -- and disturbing -- sort of politically correctness.

But one thing the Tea Party is most definitely not is racist. Pointing out racists among the teabaggers is mostly definitely verboten by their new PC. And, since the teabaggers are just an extension of the Republican Party's base, it is likewise most un-PC to accuse the party of racism. And now the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is being most un-PC.

ABC News:

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People this evening unanimously passed a resolution that calls on Tea Party members to repudiate what [NAACP President Ben] Jealous says are "ultra-nationalist and racist factions within the organization."

The resolution said the Tea Party members have used "racial epithets," have verbally abused black members of Congress and threatened them, and protestors have engaged in "explicitly racist behavior" and "displayed signs and posters intended to degrade people of color generally and President Barack Obama specifically."

Jealous specifically pointed to signs at rallies portraying President Obama as a witch doctor, and to claims made by Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., and Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., that Tea Party protesters opposing health care reform hurled racial slurs at them.

"They need to be unequivocal and they need to be responsible and get the bigots out of their organization. It's that simple," Jealous added.

Oh sure, just because some teapartiers walk around with racist signs, it means that there are racists in the Tea Party. The St. Louis Tea Party coalition fired off a counter-resolution accusing the NAACP of bigotry and "hypocritically engaging in the very conduct it purports to oppose." Scholars of tactics in debate will recognize this as the rarely-used "Peewee Herman gambit" -- i.e., "I know you are, but what am I?"

But the question remains; is the Tea Party racist? As the NAACP points out, they seem way too comfortable with racists in their midst -- as is the GOP as a whole. If they don't encourage racist messages, they don't waste a lot of effort in chasing racists out of their rallies. And this is also true of the wider Republican Party. In an effort to promote their new PC, Republicans are pretending that certain Americans don't exist at all.

Associated Press:

Some Republicans are unhappy with the Bonner County [Idaho] Fair's theme of "Fiesta at the Fair," in light of ongoing battles to stop illegal immigration from Mexico.

The Bonner County GOP said it will decorate its booth with the word "celebrate" instead of "fiesta." The Republicans have also asked Arizona officials for some license plates to put in the booth, to show support for that state's controversial law targeting illegal immigrants.

"The Republicans at BCRCC want to make it very clear that English is our primary language, and call our booths 'Celebrate!' and display some Arizona license plates if you have some to spare," Bonner County Republican Central Committee Chairman Cornel Rasor wrote in a letter to Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, according to The Spokesman-Review newspaper.

There are no legal Hispanics residents, I suppose. "Bonner County fair board Chairman Tim Cary said the fair was just looking for a theme that's fun to decorate with, and the choice had nothing to do with official language or immigration disputes," according to the report.

"Are we supposed to change the name of a burrito to something in English?" Cary said. "I'm thinking there's some narrow-mindedness here, but that's just my opinion." No Chairman Cary, I don't think that's an opinion. I think that's a fact being demonstrated at the very moment. "Fiesta" has just joined the growing list of words banned by the new rightwing PC. Right after "Islam," probably.

For other news on the non-racist right, we can turn to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which reports that white supremacists are donating to a legal defense fund aimed at helping that state defend it's "papers please" law against a Justice Department lawsuit. This shouldn't surprise anyone, since white nationalists have been behind this law since day one. A law that's practically designed to harass Hispanic people -- legal or not... what's not to love? At this time, the Arizona government is not turning away money raised by hate groups, but whether that changes will depend on whether the rest of the media picks up on that story. So, sadly, I'm guessing no. Like the Tea Party and the GOP, the Republican-led Arizona state government is way too comfortable with racists.

But we can't talk about that, because that's not PC.


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