Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Absurdity of the Day: Sarah Palin and the Tea Baggers Accuse the NAACP of being "Racist" and "Divisive"

We do indeed live in strange times. So for the Right, the NAACP is a "racist" organization, and the tea baggers are innocent Americans unfairly accused of racist behavior?

Beyond partisan sniping, what is so troubling about this classic, white deflection (i.e. a mirroring where those who call out racism are in turn labeled as "racists") is that it involves a 1) deep misunderstanding of what racism actually is and 2) that in the 24 hour news cycle where all points of view are equally valid, Palin and the Vox Right peanut gallery's claims will be elevated to that of the reasoned and rational.

Mining white racial resentment for electoral gains is a tried and true strategy of the Right and Conservatives in this country. Remember, political parties are a brand name, a type of shortcut that helps its members (potential or actual) decide to support the organization. While by the reasonable person standard the Tea Party may not be a classic white supremacist organization per se, they certainly contain a great many racists. Moreover, if public opinion data is any indication, the tea baggers are certainly very "traditional" in their racial attitudes.

Ultimately, (and as I suggested before) the tea baggers condone and give safe harbor to the racists in their midst. For me, that is enough to christen the Tea Party as the new age John Birchers that they are, a group of people who as I often remark may not hold the noose at the lynching party, but would show up in their Sunday finery and cheer it on.

To point on the twisted world in which the Right wing populists live, a choice excerpt from the article "NAACP vs. Tea Party: Racism Debate Heats Up as Sarah Palin Joins Fray":

The St. Louis Tea Party coalition on Monday evening passed a resolution of its own condemning the NAACP for "hypocritically engaging in the very conduct it purports to oppose." The resolution calls on the NAACP to withdraw its resolution. It even urges the IRS to reconsider its tax-exempt status of the NAACP because of what the Tea Party coalition dubbed the organization's "habitual partisan political behavior."

Former Alaska Gov. Palin , a vocal advocate of the Tea Party movement, jumped into the heated race debate Monday night, assailing the NAACP resolution as an example of "typical divisive politics that is so absolutely unnecessary." "The Tea Party movement is a beautiful movement, full of diverse people, diverse backgrounds," Palin said on Fox News' "Hannity." "It's very unfortunate that they are taking this tactic because it's a false accusation that Tea Party Americans are racist. Any good American hates racism. We don't stand for it. It is unacceptable." Palin in turn called on President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama to "repudiate" the resolution and "set the record straight."

The former GOP vice presidential candidate tweeted her support for the Tea Party again today: "I'm busy today so notify me asap when NAACP renders verdict: are liberty-loving, equality-respecting patriots racist? Bated breath,waiting..." Other Tea Party loyalists charge the NAACP's charges are driven solely by political motivations and are misguided. "Those ideas that Tea Party people are racist and that we're trying to instigate a racist climate in this country, that's simply a lie. That's out and out falsehood," said Rev. C.L. Bryant, a former president of NAACP's Garland, Texas, chapter who is now a leading Tea Party activist.

"I have not heard one racial slur that came out of that march," said Bryant, referring to the Tea Party protest on Capitol Hill where members of Congress alleged racist comments. "Those were simply Americans who were protesting."


We do indeed live in interesting times, do we not? And am I so wrong to yearn for the good old days of honest racists and honest racism? When folks wore their stripes (or hoods) proudly for all to see?


Anonymous said...

"Palin in turn called on President Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, and any other blacks she could think of to 'repudiate' the resolution and 'set the record straight.' 'I mean, y'all need to discuss this at one of your meetings or something.'"


Cobb said...

Absurdity indeed. Nobody anywhere in America is interested in creating and sustaining a permanent anti-racist organization, and there is nobody credible enough in the country to have one with black and white directors. Does anybody believes the NAACP is capable of, for example, signing amicus briefs of value to the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ?

Q. Where does one go to get racial justice in America?
A. Nowhere, because smart people understand that nothing rises to the level of racial injustice in America.

OhCrapIHaveACrushOnSarahPalin said...

@Cobb what does any of that have to do with the absurdity of the country's most divisive politician calling for an end to divisive politics?

I just wonder how far white bigots/conservatives are going to be able to stretch their "i know you are but what am i" meme. It's certainly all the rage these days.

Imani Asako said...

Courtesy of a colleague of mine from her Facebook page, I came across two links today that seemed to touch on this very subject. The first the article about the "gentleman" running for the New Hampshire house and his outlandish beliefs in dividing our nation and the second is the video "What if the Tea Party was Black?"

It makes me wonder sometimes about my place in a nation where a white transit official who shoots an unarmed restrained black man in the back while he lies on the ground is found that his actions fall under involuntary manslaughter and are justifiable, and where a white youth who steals cars, planes, and boats, and robs over 70 homes is considered a folk hero (although I am impressed at his ability to fly a plane by playing video games and reading about it in books.)

What a nation.,0

Cobb said...

Palin isn't divisive because of anything she's done, because she's done nothing but open her yap and spew. She's divisive because of who she unabashedly *is* and the various stereotypical response her demographic profile arouses in reactionaries.

Sarah Palin as a candidate to my mind represented the perfect opportunity for those who mouth off about poor blacks and whites to find common ground to stand in solidarity against vacuous yuppies of all stripes. This was perfectly obvious to me from the day she arrived on the scene, so I was astonished at the guttural reaction to her person and the slimy attacks on herself and her family that continue to this day.

The actions of Sarah Palin are a nullity. All she can do is get the goats of people addicted to personality politics.

MilesEllison said...

Are people actually this stupid?

OhCrapIHaveACrushOnSarahPalin said...

@Cobb Palin is a paid-off demagogue who shunts her minions to buy her Rupert Murdoch/bin Talal books, absorb everything her Rupert Murdoch/bin Talal colleagues say on Fox, and read their dumb pieces in Rupert Murdoch/bin Talal newspapers.

The reason she still matters is because she appeals to the base of duped GOP conservatives, who block out the 20 year career-politician part and listen to aw shucks i'm just a hockey mom claptrap.

It's classic demagoguery. Forget the MSM and the left, we know this because of her chilly reception among a lot of other rwnj demagogues, who consider her a threat and with good reason.

She usually stays away from addressing any racial issues, outright. That she wasted no time coming up with a what-who-me FB post in the wake of a simple NAACP resolution tells a lot more than her defenders would like.

Had she chosen to, she could have staved off a lot of this herself when she (finally) got involved with the teabagging bigots. Up until late last year, she had squat to say to any of them but yeah let's keep the delusion that she really cares about we the people (outside of what they can do for her notariety) lolol

ish said...

Thanks for this post. I think you've really nailed it. The "classic white deflection" you write about is something I've been trying to express in arguments. Thanks for the clarity.

Oh Crap said...

Oh my! This NAACP thing had Sarah all hot under the collar even before that stupid FB post of hers.

She's quite indignant about the whole matter, poor dear.