Black Tea, White Translator

For once my iGoogle page led me to some interesting content: this discussion regarding race and the Tea Party on CNN.

I’ve never found myself so vehemently agreeing with a middle aged white dude, in fact, it was kind of scary. On the one hand, I’m really glad the topic of what the reaction would be to the Tea Party if it was comprised of people of color was brought up and discussed, but on the other — why did it take a middle aged white dude with a book coming out for the topic to be relevant? Because regular every day people of color have been noticing and saying that shit for a while now. There is NO WAY a black man could EVER spit on a white Congressman and yell a racial slur at them without being taken down by like 10 security guards in 0.5 seconds. Hell, they might have already had him preemptively handcuffed seeing as how he was that close to the good white people. If Latinos took to the streets with guns and signs talking about overthrowing the government in response to the AZ immigration law, white people would shut up about that law being racist QUICK. It’d just be the perfect way to quash those revolutionary minded immigrants. Congress would make it federal law. Being of color means you have to be angry nicely. Gently point out where Whitey has gone wrong and offer your assistance to guide him along the anti-racist path. Because if you start carrying signs talking about the government being socialist, or yelling, or basically not just staying IN YOUR PLACE there are serious consequences to that and they’re not just getting clowned by a middle aged white dude on CNN.

White people are in so much denial about why the teabaggers are able to act like this towards the government, why it’s apparently OK for someone to shout “You lie” at the PRESIDENT during a fucking Congressional address, why Obama is so demonized by the right. He is OUT of his place and white people, whether they want to admit it deep deep down are fundamentally disturbed by this. So you have a resurgence in racism when racism was supposed to be over because we black people finally hit the jackpot. I honestly can’t imagine being blind to this fact, that racism is on the rise, but apparently white people just don’t notice because they don’t have to. It’s inconvenient to notice.

In short I don’t think a lot of white people are interested in really thinking about what would happen if the teabaggers were black. Or willing to unpack that privilege at all. In some ways I do wish Obama would weigh in on the blatant shit but I understand the line he has to toe. People of color toe that line every day so I know what happens when you cross it. That’s what the guns at the rallies are about. That’s what the signs and spit are about. That’s what 400% more death threats is about.

So yeah, what would happen if the tea was black? Leave those questions to the white translators.

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  • Lori

    We don't even really have to ask what would happen if the Tea Party were black, because we know. The government would be infiltrating their organizations, raiding their apartments and headquarters, and gunning down its leaders in front of their pregnant partners.

    The thing I find so frustrating is how we just cannot talk about how much race is influencing the Tea Party movement. Did you see the study showing the attitudes of Tea Party supporters regarding race? Something like 65% believed blacks aren't hardworking, 55% said they aren't intelligent, and 60% believe they can't be trusted. And yet if somebody dares to point out how much racism drives the movement, that person is accused of being a racist for even bringing it up and the discussion shuts down.

    But it's all about race. It's not an accident that these people are constantly talking about going back to the vision of the Founding Fathers when those fathers didn't want women or non-landed white voting, and didn't even want blacks to be considered human beings. It's not an accident that they feel like the government doesn't represent the people any more, because they don't think people of color are people. It's almost laughable to hear people saying that they think the government is showing preference for the poor (I mean, that's just the most bizarre interpretation of our political situation I've ever heard–our government is primarily in the service of making the rich richer no matter who is in power, and at this point I think the best we can hope for is a candidate who won't screw the poor over too much as they do that) as if they believe that Obama is stealing their money and then dropping it from a helicopter over inner city housing projects so that welfare moms can go out and buy a second Mercedes. But, I've come to realize that's the worst fear of so many white people: that somewhere, a black person is getting their "hard-earned" money.

    • http://www.redvinylshoes.com Tasha Fierce

      Thank you! It's crazy to me how people think taxes work. If your taxes don't go towards helping someone else out they go towards some other bullshit like Congressional toilet paper or military jets. It's not like you get a refund if we cut off aid to those in need.

  • http://lifeonfats.wordpress.com Bree

    What gets me is how many in the Tea Party say they want to take back America, but they actually can't because it wasn't theirs to begin with.

    I also like to know where all the public protests were when Bush was in office for the last eight years. I guess it's OK if a President who shares the same color and political party as them spends money and sponsors government reforms…

    • http://www.redvinylshoes.com Tasha Fierce

      Well Bush suppressed a lot of dissent by only allowing people who agreed with him to show up to rallies or town halls, etc. And activists other than the teabaggers didn't have a major news channel (FOX) devoted to covering all their protests.

  • http://almeda.livejournal.com/ Elliott Mason

    As my husband points out, for a sort of echo of what we all know WOULD happen if the Tea Party were black, you need look back no farther than the Black Panther Party.

    Which was in some ways less scarily militant than the TPers and other hatriots active today …

  • Lee

    Believe me, not all white people are oblivious to what you're saying here. But we don't get any more traction than you do when we try to talk about it. I tried bringing it up in response to something a friend posted, and got back "what are you talking about, all the cops here are black."

    • http://www.redvinylshoes.com Tasha Fierce

      NWA had some comments on black police officers that I found interesting.

  • http://snarkysmachine.org Snarky's Machin

    As my husband points out, for a sort of echo of what we all know WOULD happen if the Tea Party were black, you need look back no farther than the Black Panther Party.

    Seriously, this.

    Ha. It's nice to see "white translator" making a comeback. An oldie, but a goodie.

  • chriso

    I just don't see how anyone can see the Tea Baggers as ANYTHING but racist. It just seems so blatant. And yet.