Monday, April 26, 2010

"Imagine if the Tea Party was black": Updated

A friend of mine mentioned this post to me at church yesterday, and another friend emailed it to me today.

It is a provocative thought experiment.

Money quote:

In other words, 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.

I don't think that the "dangerous and dark 'other'" marginalization is limited to blacks, either: Working-class people of whatever race, especially those challenging the current economic order, and militant gay protesters are just two groups that would, I believe, be similarly branded as thugs instead of being defended as patriots. But none of that takes away from the writer's central point.

Follow the link to see the whole post.

Update: I'm reading the comments at the site where this is posted.

Here is one I especially like (I couldn't seem to successfully link to it):

"What's there to imagine, Mr. Wise? Simply consider how low the threshold was for ACORN to have been vilified and ruined, and how quickly action was taken.

(And *then* add in the results of the separate investigations that have been conducted.) "


  1. I've read it and I think it overstates its case somewhat. For one thing, the Tea Party has gotten lots of criticism and there have been plenty of calls to crack down on them when they have been seen to have been acting badly. White people have been far from universal in waxing on about freedom, one usually sees Tea Partiers talked of as being ignorant jerks.

  2. Does it? The criticism I've seen has been from columnists and commentators who are already pegged as liberals, for the most part -- and that includes Jon Stewart. With the exception of Kathleen Parker (lately the winner of the Pulitzer Prize), I see an awful lot of conservative columnists and letter writers to the editor who offer sweeping defenses of the Tea Party folks, including the very actions that the blog post calls out, or minimizing some of the most egregious behavior it cites.

    And maybe I just have a limited imagination, but I really cannot imagine a black radio commentator on any mainstream radio network speaking about a white president in the way that Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck et al. seem to get to do with near impunity. (Yes, I'm sure there are local black commentators with limited audiences who are as vitriolic -- just as there was in my local metro radio market until a few years ago. But national ones?)

    And to the extent that there has been criticism, I think it has been nowhere near as widespread and universal as it would be in the counterfactual hypothetical that the blogger offers. I really don't.

    Of course, I'll admit, that's the trouble with counterfactuals. Easy to state, tough to impossible to prove.

  3. "I don't think that the "dangerous and dark 'other'" marginalization is limited to blacks, either:"

    Of course not. The dreaded Emerson Avenger is 97% white just like 97% of all U*Us yet he has definitely been demonized and marginalized as the "dangerous and dark 'other'" of the U*U World. Sometimes he even feels like the White Nigger of the U*Us. . .

    *Also* UUA President Peter Morales did a bang up job of demonizing and marginalizing the vast majority of "old religions" as the "dangerous and dark 'other'" in his sermon cum "stump speech" announcing his candidacy for UUA President. If my memory serves me well Rev. Peter Morales demonized all three of the Abrahamic religions, and any number of other unspecified "old religions", as "obsolete religions created for another time" that "lead to tribalism, violence, suspicion, hatred, and oppression" and "contribute to the darkness" of "hatred, injustice, prejudice, ignorance." I guess his mother never told him, "If you can't say anything nice don't say anything at all."

  4. Robin, I don't share your interpretation of the Morales sermon to which you refer. It seems to me that you're cherry-picking quotes out of context to support your position. I'm leaving your comment up because it is within the commenting guidelines here.

  5. I suggest that you actually read Rev. Peter Morales' sermon which doubled as is "stump speech" announcing his candidacy for UUA President, or view the YouTube video of it, if you can find them somewhere on the internet. . . They seem to have magically disappeared into thin cyberspace, although similar demonizing and marginalizing statements about "old religions" aka "obsolete religions" may be found preserved in later recycled sermons, such as his Religion for a New America sermon delivered in Baltimore on May 3, 2009. The sermon presents a consistently negative view of pretty much ALL other religions with the exception of U*Uism. Even U*Uism itself isn't spared being (justifiably) marginalized as "a tiny, declining, fringe religion." Where does Rev. Morales say *anything* nice about *any* other religion in that self-serving politically incorrect sermon DSD?

    Thanks for allowing my White Nigger of the U*Us crack to stand. It's a Quebec thing and it works. . . It may appear on one of my picket signs one day if U*Us don't respond appropriately to my recent Boston TEA Party which once again exposed and denounced the "dangerous and dark 'other'" demonization and marginalization that I and other people have been subjected to by outrageously hypocritical U*Us and a few other U*U injustices and abuses.

    WVC = bones


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