Thursday, April 16, 2009

Updated--Chauncey DeVega says: Sometimes White Folks Do Indeed Make Me Sad--America's Racial Id On Full Display at "Patriotic" Tea Bag Parties

Photo courtesy of the Huffington Post:

The present again demonstrates a historical truth that the not so hidden underbelly of Right-wing populism is indeed White supremacy.

Update: I guess the tea-baggers have the poor White trash vote sewn up!

'Nuff said.


Al From Bay Shore said...

Nah, this analysis is waaaaaaaay off. It reminds me of the time that a sports commentator suggested that Bobby Hurley, point guard for Duke, was as good as Kenny Anderson, a point guard for Ga. Tech. The commentator was quickly rebuked and discredited by Dick Vitale. Thanks Dickie "V"!Now its my turn "bay-beeeee"!

The "Tea Parties" are nothing but the usual April 15th tax protests that have been going on for the last several years or so, perhaps longer. Yes, they have been commandeered by anti-Obama conservatives BUT there has always been a call for tax reform, whether its changing the tax code, simplifying the process, and, in the case of Fair Tax legislation, abolishing the federal income tax along with the IRS. These calls for tax reform, over the last decade or so, have manifested into annual protests every April 15th. You seem to be dreadfully unaware of this.

To apply the broad label of "White Supremacy" upon these protests is not only mindless but shows a complete unfamiliarity with the lasting issues of tax reform movements in America over the last 10 years. Had you been paying attention to the primaries in Iowa, you would have seen voters apply the tax reform litmus test to the GOP candidates. A lot of Iowans fell out with Rudy Giuliani because he did not support Fair Tax legislation. In the 2004 election, John Kerry was asked about this same legislation. Without providing detail or supporting facts, he dismissed it.

What is most disturbing is the lack of Black participation in a movement of any sort designed to reform our current taxation policies. This makes no sense as all Black people in America are affected by the federal income tax.

In the same way that the recent tax reform protests have been nearly hijacked by partisan Republicans and Conservatives, the Black community's political energy has been hijacked by partisan intellectuals (ie. Michael Eric Dyson) and clerics (Rev. Al Sharpton). Typical kitchen table issues like taxes, safe neighborhoods, and unemployment have been supplanted with grievance ideologies that claim to address the racist victimization of Black People. Instead, these ideologies, like the recent Tea Parties, merely parrot partisan rhetoric. The great irony of these ideologies is that they turn a blind eye to the victimization of Black people when the victimizer is Black. This is especially true in the case of Black women and Black children.

All this raises question about your conclusion that populism on the right is a manifestation of White supremacy. This analysis apes the misguided activism of the Black mainstream. In a time when the effects of Black on Black victimization far outweigh the effects of White supremacy, you insist on indulging in an obsessive fixation on "what White folks are doing". This is nothing new since contemporary mainstream Black activism, and its ancillary political discourse, continually ignores the issues that most affects the majority of Black people. Instead it fancies pursuits that are exclusively theoretical, and have no application in the real world of daily Black existence.

Paul Ervin said...

have you seen the other 9 signs?

Lady Zora, Chauncey DeVega, and Gordon Gartrelle said...

@Paul. That is a good one, but if these folks are such a minority of opinion, why don't the "good" and "patriotic" teabaggers tell them to leave? Wouldn't one expect these good, "real" Americans to be ashamed of these bigots?


Well put.

But, how do you explain the way that populism in this country is highjacked by xenophobia, and works precisely through appeals about "them" and "us"? And historically, and almost exclusively, the narrative of citizenship in this country one where Whiteness is configured against Blackness, and where "progressives" and "populists" have seen their work high jacked by White racist insecurities and anxieties.

Also, google symbolic racism and watch the videos from these protests, and then rewatch the notorious anti-Obama Palin rallies. After doing so can you tell me that race isn't central, even if it is coded for, or in the background, of this "movement?" The organizers of these events may trot out some black poster children, but they can't hide the venom in their audience against those folk who are not "real" Americans.

Again, how do you explain what is plainly visible in these protests? Al, one cannot always deem the inconvenient fact an outlier to be disregarded because it doesn't fit with one's priors.

Re: the anti-tax movement, again, what is being implied in terms of who is benefiting from the State, and from "redistribution." Again, this is a subtle appeal against the imagined black and brown poor who are undeserving of all the "subsidies" the State offers them in the "popular" imagination.

Check out the book Why American's Hate Welfare; Joel Olson's the Democratic Problem of the White Citizen; Roediger's new book on how Race Survived U.S. History; and the classics the Rise and Fall of the White Republic, and the Invention of the White Race. Or we can go really old school as DuBois diagnosed this pathology some 100 plus years prior. They will prove illumination in your understanding of the racialization of American populism and people's movements.

For me, this is the joke of these protests, these poor souls are screaming bloody murder without reflecting on how they are being manipulated by the same corporatists that created this situation, and to which the Right-wing media machine is a cornerstone of. It isn't false consciousness per se, but some of these folks are utterly ill informed and seem incapable of understanding their own long-term self-interests. The wages of whiteness are indeed lucrative, no?

Our guest poster on the Glenn Beck nonsense also made some very cogent points on this issue--he is a more than solid historian whose comments you should seriously reflect on.

Ultimately Al, I love goofing on black conservatives, not principled black conservatives/nationalists like yourself per you would never let yourself be used, but those others can't see past their own narrow self-interest and acknowledge that in being "the good one", they are not respected even by their overlords. Poor Tom negroes--or maybe the joke is that this lifestyle is actually quite lucrative.

just being provocative.


chauncey devega

Al From Bay Shore said...

Chauncey, I had to vent. Those rat bastards (partisans) have hijacked my beloved tax reform protests. Fair Tax legislation has been set back yet again. Eventually these folks will get back in power and then act as if Fair Tax never existed. I have the same angst towards the Civil Rights Establishment.

The problem with loving democracy is the realization that it takes earmarks and pork to get good laws passed.

Vittoria Falconer said...

@Lady Zora, Chauncey, and Gordon~~~

In the voice of my southern grandmother Geneva: