Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Racism and the Tea Party Movement

tea party pictures documenting racism and bigotry

As the crisis of capitalism intensifies and more and more people are not able to meet basic human needs such as health care or housing, people are looking for solutions outside the established political parties and politicians. There is a danger that right-wing fascists will attempt to take advantage of people's disenchantment with the political process and try to push people farther to the right into racist hate, scapegoating immigrants and people of color for the crisis that the rich ruling classes themselves created.

The "Tea Party" movement was engineered by right-wing strategists and pundits at Fox and other "news" corporations and has managed to stir people into a flag-waving frenzy of wingnuts including religious ultra-conservatives, Ron Paul supporters, anti-choicers, greedy free-market capitalists, nazis, libertarians, Alex Jones conspiracy nuts, and anti-immigrant Minutemen vigilante types. While it is possible that many people within the Tea Party are well meaning and just plain ignorant, there is a explicitly racist and homophobic element that must be confronted. Being an overwhelmingly white populist movement It is no surprise that nazis and white supremacists have attended and even organized Tea Party events around the country. Even here in Chicago nazis Paul Alfich(Volksfront, Oak Lawn), Renae Rachelle DePerio(Portage, IN) and Melissa Jordan(Stormfront Meetup, north side) attended last year's April 15 Tea Party.

Here are some articles that document racism in the Tea Party movement:

On April 15 the Tea Party is demonstrating at Daley Plaza and Chicago-area organizations are planning counter-protests:
Protest The Tea Party Bigots on April 15. This is OUR City -- not Glenn Beck’s or Sarah Palin’s.

On April 15, tea party activists will rally at the Daley Plaza. Incited by Fox News goon Glenn Beck and failed vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, these fake grassroots activists are useful tools for corporate America’s political agenda – including opposition to public funding of any kind for human needs, from health care to education.

While claiming to be for “small” government and limited spending, they cheer on U.S. war spending at the current rate of $2 billion dollars a day – almost 60% of the federal budget. They support the Obama administration’s wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan. They have no problem with spending even more to expand war into Somalia and Yemen, threaten war against Iran, or interfere in Latin American countries such as Honduras and Venezuela.

Bigotry saturates tea party protests. In March, tea partiers called Georgia Rep. John Lewis a "n****r. Lewis, a civil rights movement veteran viciously beaten by a white mob in 1961, was outside the  U.S. Capitol building as protesters began chanting "Kill the bill, kill the bill" at him. When Lewis told them "I'm for the bill," people chanted, "Kill the bill, n****r." "It was a chorus," said Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), who heard the chants. "In a way, I feel sorry for those people who are doing this nasty stuff -- they're being whipped up." Another protester spat on Cleaver, who is also Black.

Tea partiers have called gay Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) "f****t" and taunted him with "lisping" chants. They have systematically hazed sick and disabled people trying to testify at healthcare meetings, and their anti-immigrant and anti-Latino signs cross the line into open racism. Sarah Palin herself has referred to indigenous people as “Arctic Arabs,” and said “So Sambo beat the bitch” when Barak Obama defeated Hillary Clinton in the Democratic Party presidential primary.

Chicago is a city of African-Americans, immigrant workers and union members. Large and politically active Mexican, Puerto Rican, Arab, Muslim and LGBT communities make their homes here. We have a long tradition of fighting for progressive political change -- from the Underground Railroad and the Haymarket Martyrs to massive marches for immigrant rights and undocumented people. Let's stand together on April 15 against these right-wing extremists.

The M20 coalition calls on all progressive-minded people and organizations to join us to protest the tea party bigots on tax day. Don’t let the bigots take over our city.

11:45 AM, April 15 Daley Plaza | corner of Dearborn and Washington
For info or to endorse the counter-protest, please email

1 comment:

  1. Nice that you have a collection of photos of signs of which only one or two could be considered racist followed up by a bunch of unsubstantiated claims. By the way your first paragraph has a mistake: fascists are left wing not right. The Nazi movement was considered progressive liberal (still is). You are trying to represent a movement with millions of people in it by pointing at a group of neo-Nazis whom are NOT conservative if they are in fact neo-Nazis. The real question is: what makes people actually believe they are owed health care and housing etc? If you take money from the government it came from other citizens who no doubt pay more taxes. If you are going to get free health care from people who pay more taxes then you do, does that mean we can claim you as a dependant? Convenient to ignore the reason for the movement and play the race card to distract from the real point. Many of the problems in the country are due to people expecting free stuff, ie the recipient class.