Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Saturday, April 24, 2010 12:36 am

What if the Tea Party were black?

Filed under: Reality: It works — Lex @ 12:36 am
Tags: ,

Tim Wise takes a photographic negative of recent Tea Party-related events. It’s an ugly picture:

… imagine that even one-third of the anger and vitriol currently being hurled at President Obama, by folks who are almost exclusively white, were being aimed, instead, at a white president, by people of color. How many whites viewing the anger, the hatred, the contempt for that white president would then wax eloquent about free speech, and the glories of democracy? And how many would be calling for further crackdowns on thuggish behavior, and investigations into the radical agendas of those same people of color?

To ask any of these questions is to answer them. Protest is only seen as fundamentally American when those who have long had the luxury of seeing themselves as prototypically American engage in it. When the dangerous and dark “other” does so, however, it isn’t viewed as normal or natural, let alone patriotic. Which is why Rush Limbaugh could say, this past week, that the Tea Parties are the first time since the Civil War that ordinary, common Americans stood up for their rights: a statement that erases the normalcy and “American-ness” of blacks in the civil rights struggle, not to mention women in the fight for suffrage and equality, working people in the fight for better working conditions, and LGBT folks as they struggle to be treated as full and equal human beings.

And this, my friends, is what white privilege is all about.


  1. If the tea party was majority black, the pundits, msm would call their behavior as thuggish and unAmerican and the protests as a riot.
    The media would not try to make excuses for their behavior. The local law enforcement would definitely be locking them up for carrying weapons.
    I love my country, but we are still not where we need to be as far as race relations is concern. Prime example of unconscious prejudice is the way the media referred to Katrina survivors as freaking REFUGEES!

    Comment by ngee — Saturday, April 24, 2010 1:41 pm @ 1:41 pm

  2. I’m with you on the media, ngee, but I actually thought describing Katrina survivors forced from New Orleans as “refugees” served a certain useful purpose by getting other Americans to think of what happened in New Orleans as something that normally “doesn’t happen here,” only in other (usually Third World/nonwhite) countries. We understand the concept of sending aid to those folks; surely we ought to be doing AT LEAST as much, IF NOT MORE, for our fellow Americans.

    Comment by Lex — Saturday, April 24, 2010 2:58 pm @ 2:58 pm

  3. The term refugee made the New Orleans , Katrina survivors seem foreign and unAmerican.

    If the majority of the New Orleans survivors were white do you think the msm would have referred to them as refugees? I don’t think they would have and that is the problem.

    Comment by ngee — Saturday, April 24, 2010 9:22 pm @ 9:22 pm

  4. I understand and agree with your point; I’m just saying I believe that use of the term had other, more beneficial effects as well.

    Comment by Lex — Saturday, April 24, 2010 10:59 pm @ 10:59 pm

  5. Sorry, but there is nothing beneficial to calling red blooded Americans refugees.

    btw, I’ve enjoyed reading your recent posts about Time Wise and the confederacy. I wish there were more local bloggers who were brave enough to put this out there and not make excuses for ignorance and hatred.

    Comment by ngee — Saturday, April 24, 2010 11:16 pm @ 11:16 pm

  6. excuse typos. Meant Tim Wise.

    Comment by ngee — Saturday, April 24, 2010 11:18 pm @ 11:18 pm

  7. Well, I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree on that point — I take my position in part from the experiences of people I know who were displaced from Nawlins and who describe themselves, without irony, as refugees. But I understand why the description would rankle.

    Thanks for the kind words, although I don’t think of it as being any braver than anyone else with a study, a computer and a blog says or does. (And if you’ve read some of my stuff about right-wing Christianists, you’ll know I don’t consider such folks very brave.)

    Comment by Lex — Sunday, April 25, 2010 12:21 am @ 12:21 am

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