Friday, July 16, 2010

The Tea Party, Mark Williams, and Why the NAACP is the Greatest Slave Trader of Them All

"We are dealing with people who are professional race-baiters who make a very good living off this kind of thing. They make more money off of race than any slave trader, ever. It's time groups like the NAACP went to the trash heap of history where they belong along with all the other vile, racist groups that emerged in our history."--Mark Williams, Tea Party Express National Spokesperson

Question: Could there be any gift that does not keep on giving in the way that the tea bagger Palin brigades do with so much unselfish selflessness?

[Talk about a genius example of Oscar Wilde inspired wordplay, was that sentence not like wiping your behind with silk?]

Mark Williams' offering is one of those rare and priceless moments where a Freudian slip meets a psychological projection. Despite (or maybe because of himself) one of the key spokespeople for the Tea Party reveals who he and they really are as he attempts to rebut the charge that there are in fact racist elements within the Tea Party, all the while simultaneously deploying the white racist tactic of projection...what kids more affectionately call the "so I am, but what are you!" game.

Lost in the collective sigh and exhalation regarding the tea bagger's, Sarah Palin's, and the twisted Right wing populi's claim that the NAACP is somehow a "racist" organization, there is a teachable moment that has gone unclaimed by the punditry and the peanut galleries alike. The collective conservative White denial and defensiveness against what was a very measured and reasonable resolution by the NAACP was 1) a missed opportunity for the Tea Party to seize the initiative and be in agreement that the racists in their ranks should be expunged and 2) would suggest that in relief, the tea baggers seem to have a profound misunderstanding of the nature of chattel slavery in the New World.

Alternatively stated: What sort of twisted person would joke about slavery and suggest that the premier civil rights organization of the 20th century somehow profited more than the United States' slaveocracy and its bloody handed slave traders? That fighting White supremacy somehow earns money and profit in an order of magnitude greater than that earned by the perpetrators of one of THE greatest crimes against humanity? Ultimately, and this is the sickness implicit in white Conservative race baiting reactionary politics, how could one reasonably suggest that the Black Holocaust was somehow a benefit to African Americans?

To even have to write these questions seems absurd. The tea baggers, New Right, die hard conservatives, and their related ilk somehow believe that slavery was a walk in the park. Possessed of a bizarre view of American history (and drunken on a visual of happy slaves on ye old plantation sitting under the shade tree, playfully picking cotton, and eating watermelon till the sun sets), slavery is reduced to an inconvenience to be gotten over.

In the conservative imagination, race is not a variable that over-determines life chances even into the 21st century. No, racism would only go away if people of color would stop complaining. Just as the Civil Rights Movement was greeted by a white ethnic backlash that manufactured stories of white disenfranchisement and the folk fiction of signs that read "No Irish, No dogs," (a twisted equivalence game where all oppressions are somehow created equal) the New Right imagines white folks as being the new victims of Jim Crow.

What many willfully ignorant folk do not understand is that chattel slavery in the New World was barbaric. In the United States it tore a hole in our collective democracy and exposed the glaring contradictions of a Constitution that purported to proclaim freedom for all while excluding all those deemed 3/5th's of a person. With its long shadow, slavery in America has produced a legacy of structural inequalities in wealth, income, access, and opportunity that plague us to this day. The slaveocracy and white supremacy were also realities in which black bodies were counted as amongst the most valuable assets in the United States--so valuable in fact that a whole society would risk destruction in order to protect this human capital.

And not to be forgotten is the human cost of slavery--the millions who died during the barbaric Middle Passage, and the many millions more grinded under by the gears of the human killing fields of the plantation. These are anonymous and lost people, statistics if you would, for those who do not share their kinship or blood. For others, these are our lost brothers, sisters, ancestors, and kin. They are the whispers on the wind of memory and history not to be forgotten as they speak to a missing link in our connection to both the past and present.

In total, the way that some conservatives, and in particular how the New Right and the Mark Williams's of the world play these sacred dead for cheap political gain, suggests a broader crisis in political faith, values, empathy, and community that goes beyond race and straight to an emptiness of shared struggle in the face of common problems. We are a society in crisis. The tomfoolery and race baiting of the tea baggers makes this dire truth even more clear.

All in all Mark Williams, Sarah Palin, and the Tea Party brigands believe that slavery was a joke, or alternatively that the enslavement of black Americans is a punchline to a political speech. As we began, you don't joke about slavery, the Holocaust, or the genocide of Native Americans. You just don't. When the New Right and its believers do so, they reveal once more a political culture that is terribly sick. For in conclusion, these neo-John Bircher racists show us all the while who they have always been. And for that we should be grateful...while also being truly disturbed.


CNu said...

Keeping it crisp and current, Ta-Nehisi Coates hits it just about right....,

CNu said...

Also BT rolled through boogerising and went Audie Murphy on the coonservatives thus;

KKK and NAAWP Leader David Duke on why he joined the Tea Party and what the Tea Party and KKK have in common (right after Lamont Hill making O'Reilly look like the ass he is)...

You would also find this post -

Showing how National Alliance (American Nazis) are actively participating in Tea Party rallies, and feel that they have hit a recruiting gold mine.

The close relationship between Tea Party founder and white supremacists Don Black, Jared Taylor, and Gordon Baum of the Council of Conservative Citizens.

If you follow the C of CC links, you will find the C of CC has sponsored dozens, if not over 100 Tea Party rallies.

Even the racist skinheads have found Tea Party events to be marginal recruiting forums, and places to distribute their racist ideology, although - due to their general youth and appearance, they are not having much success with the older, largely middle class white crowds.

So the conservanegro bleat that racists aren't active participants in the Tea Party, and are not actively sponsoring Tea Party events...

Is total bullcrap.

RiPPa said...

I just say Confederate States of America about a month ago for the first time. Of course all black people want in their homes are big TVs according to Mark Williams so I'm happy.

Constructive Feedback said...


We Are Respectable Progressive Negroes:

As a Black man who is doing a longitudinal study of what ails the Black community I am far more disturbed by the present "Klan Reenactments" that are being conducted by the Street Pirates as they make assaults upon Black people.

You see Mark Williams who has your panties in a wad merely spoke WORDS that troubled you. The Street Pirates who are doing the reenactments are physically assaulting Black people and causing grand fear in the communities where they roam unchecked.

Is there any particular propensity for you to weigh the proportional damage done to our community and WHO is doing it?

gordon gartrelle said...


We love your contributions here, but will you please STFU about how we take it easy on "street pirates?"

Check our archives. How can you follow us and ignore the numerous times that we rail against violent black "ign'ants" and "degenerates?"

Just last month, Chauncey wrote:

In the most practical sense I have always found it odd that hooligans, ign'ts, thugs, White militia types and others that would do good folk harm are able to assemble an arsenal, while the good guys (especially if you live in a city) cannot...What say you all? Are the racist roots of gun control coincidental to this conversation? Should gun control laws be strictly enforced as a prophylactic against black on black violence? Or will the ign'ts and street pirates always find a way to hurt the good guys?

Aside from being factually wrong, your insistence that we can't condemn white supremacists because we don't do the same for violent black ignants is pure evasion. It's a tactic of weak-minded people who don't want to confront uncomfortable truths about their preferred groups. You essentially have the same mindset as those who, when confronted with black deadbeat dads, counter with "there are a lot of white deadbeats too!" As if that constitutes a defense!

Constructive Feedback said...


I am a Black man who is disturbed. Please excuse me if I make the error of lumping you all "Respectable Negroes" in with the others who are a bit less "Respectable".

You see I just listened to 3 days of strategy by certain Negroes in Atlanta on the local fight the power radio station.

* Wednesday's show: They reminded everyone of their meeting on Thursday

* Thursday's show: The reminded again and told of how BLACK PEOPLE MUST DEFEND OUR COMMUNITY

* Friday's show (Today): Many of the people who had a cathartic moment at the church the night before told of how WONDERFUL it is to have strong Black leadership.

What caused them to be so active Gordon?

The case of the Black woman who was assaulted by the TEA PARTY PATRIOT outside of the Cracker Barrel Restaurant in Morrow GA.

OK - Troy West is not of the Tea Party. But I bet that he supports them in spirit.

You see Gordon - I am coming to grips with a large IMBALANCE of VALUATION that I am seeing among some Black people. In the case of this woman that was beaten - a Black woman is beaten in a similar fashion in our fair city every 6 hours or less yet her assault does not trigger a church full of Blacks NOR the coverage that the words said by a Tea Party person can garner.

Yet the fists of a White man upon a Black woman or the intemperate words said by a White man who is part of the Tea Party is some sort of SUPERIOR reactionary agent. I just can't put my finger on it.

You see Gordon I am not defending the Tea Parties. I just don't understand how them, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh and Michael Steele trigger more ink than does the entire Congressional Black caucus AND all of the locally elected officials that preside over our communities.

Its that SUPERIORITY thing that has me stuck.

I apologize. I thought that you all had been bitten by it as well.

Susan said...

So what your saying is the TeaParty delegates need to pass a resolution to condemn extremist elements within the NAACP, calling on NAACP leaders to repudiate those in their ranks who use racist language in their signs and speeches?

chaunceydevega said...

@Cnu--Ta is always on point. He is a great writer and his new book will be amazing.

@Rippa--That is our reparations. Big tv's, you didn't know?

@Constructive. Not letting you off so easy. As Gordon wondered, why are you strangely silent on white racism, but get your panties all in a bunch whenever we dare to criticize your white masters? Moreover, if you have miscalculated so grossly on our politics, i.e. stereotyping all black folk as being outside your political framework, what other obvious errors have you committed?

@Susan. Are you kidding? Please show me some "racist" signs or examples of the NAACP's "racism?"

Oh Crap said...


The NAACP has the word "colored" and the word "colored" is racist.