Tea Apartheid Express

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) recently issued a resolution which essentially called upon the Tea Party Movement to denounce its racist elements.   This is no idle “race card” being  played by the NAACP.

Item #1:  Signs which call for the lynching of the President, claim that “Obamacare” is white slavery, and even those repudiating the President with sayings like “Whatchoo talkin’ ’bout, Willis?” and “Homey don’t play dat.”

Item #2:  The racial epithets hurled at U.S. Representative John Lewis as he walked to work through a Tea Party demonstration.   (For those who don’t know, Rep. Lewis is a Civil Rights hero who deserves our respect, not the taunts of bigots.)

Item #3:  The incredibly over-beaten dead horse known as the Birther movement, that Tea Party subculture of those who insist the President is a Kenyan and doesn’t even have an American birth certificate.  (Do you think anyone would have questioned the citizenship status of a President McCain, who by the way was born in Panama while his father served at the naval station in the Panama Canal Zone?)

There are other items, starting with the flags flying at half-mast after the election, but this post really isn’t about delineating every admissible piece of evidence in the claim that there is a racist element in the Tea Party.

This post is really about Item #4.  The spokesperson for the Tea Party Express, Mark Williams, responded to the NAACP’s resolution by placing the following letter on his organization’s web site.  It is a fake letter to President Abraham Lincoln from NAACP President Ben Jealous.  Summarizing it would not do it justice, so here it is in its entirety:

Dear Mr. Lincoln:

We Colored People have taken a vote and decided that we don’t cotton to that whole emancipation thing. Freedom means having to work for real, think for ourselves, and take consequences along with the rewards. That is just far too much to ask of us Colored People and we demand that it stop!

In fact we held a big meeting and took a vote in Kansas City this week. We voted to condemn a political revival of that old abolitionist spirit called the ‘tea party movement’.

Perhaps the most racist point of all in the tea parties is their demand that government “stop raising our taxes.” That is outrageous! How will we Colored People ever get a wide screen TV in every room if non-coloreds get to keep what they earn? Totally racist! The tea party expects coloreds to be productive members of society?

Mr. Lincoln, you were the greatest racist ever. We had a great gig. Three squares, room and board, all our decisions made by the massa in the house. Please repeal the 13th and 14th Amendments and let us get back to where we belong.


Precious Ben Jealous, Tom’s Nephew National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Head Colored Person

Case closed.  The evidence is in.  This movement has a racist element that it not only refuses to condemn but which it apparently chooses to place in positions of leadership.

For the Tea Apartheid to claim ANY proprietary position regarding ideals this nation holds dear is an affront to every freedom-loving American.  For the Tea Apartheid to claim any understanding of the Constitution or the intents of the Founders is ludicrous.  For the Tea Apartheid to claim they have any concept of the essence of liberty and justice for all is the pinnacle of hypocrisy.

The Tea Apartheid Movement is no longer just a radical faction of the political right.  Until their leadership absolutely and unequivocally condemns, denounces, and abolishes this element of their organization, they are the official face of Racist America.

(In the interest of full disclosure, the Tea Party Express has since removed the above letter from their web site.   But, that is nowhere near enough.  Nowhere. Near. Enough.)

Why We Can’t expect BP to Care

As if we needed another reason to hate BP.  Now it seems that the British Petroleum Corporation might have applied its considerable corporate pressure in assuring the release of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi from a Scottish prison last year.   If that name doesn’t exactly ring a bell, here’s some help — PanAm bombing, Lockerbie Scotland, 1988, 270 people dead, Libya, terrorism.  Add those all together and you get Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, who was released a year ago (to the astonishment of many Scots, Brits, and Americans) based on a doctor’s statement that he had advanced pancreatic cancer and three months to live.  He received a hero’s welcome in Libya where, by the way, he is still very much alive, and now doctors are saying he can live at least another 10 years.

Why would BP do this?  For one reason only: a 900 million dollar oil deal with Libya.

A while back, my Tea Party friend (yes, I do have one) asked me, after a rather heated exchange, “Just what do you have against big business?”

What I WANTED to say was, “Where would you like me to start?”  But, instead, in order to keep peace, I said, “I have nothing against big business, per se, but . . .” and then I’m sure I went into some watered-down attempt at civility which didn’t really make my point at all.

So, better late than never, here is what I have against big business.  Capitalism in its pure form, the form so blindly adherred to by the Tea Party Crowd, the form that follows only the god of the bottom line, the form that would see the devastation in the Gulf as primarily an image problem, that form of capitalism simply has no heart.

As I understand it, the IRS views a corporation as an individual.  I can’t speak to the validity of that on a corporate finance level, but on a human level it’s just plain wrong.  An individual takes her choices to bed at night, turns them over and over in the old noggin, has difficulty sleeping if those choices negatively impact others.  An individual watches a commercial for an organization feeding hungry children or rescuing unwanted dogs and reaches for his debit card.  An individual feels something akin to nausea when an oil-covered bird or a beached dolphin makes the evening news.

A corporation is a group of people consciously agreeing to a mob mentality and taking the unbreakable vow, “My company, right or wrong.”   It inherently has no heart.  The closest it can come is by having leaders of integrity, a board that values compassion, and stockholders who openly admit that money isn’t everything.

Perhaps Alan Greenspan is shocked that corporations won’t regulate themselves, but I’m certainly not.  Saddened, but not shocked.  Because capitalism has no heart.  You can’t really expect a purely capitalistic society to actually act human, can you?

My Tea Party friend loves to reduce things to the lowest common denominator.  If I blast BP, then I must be against big business.  (It’s apparently a contagious illness in politics; this same don’t-make-me-think-too-much-please-keep-things-simple reduction is the red meat of the Limbaugh-Beck-Palin crowd.)  But it’s just flat-out wrong.  I’m not against big business.  I just don’t want to make it king.

Make money.  Hell, get filthy rich.  But here are the rules, and here is the corner of our society in which we’ll let you play them.  You don’t get to trample over the whole of who we are just to get what you want.  We can’t rely on you to have a heart, corporate world; we know you don’t.  That’s okay.  But we want a society ruled by compassion, and that’s why we have to keep you in your place.   Don’t take it personally.

Get Your Hands Off My Darjeeling

Tomorrow I go to the post office to put a very large check into the mail made out to the IRS.  Meanwhile, a bunch of Republicans are staging “tea party” demonstrations across the nation for lower taxes.   (And isn’t their W-onder Boy the one who grossly increased the national debt, increased the size of government, put us into an endless war with a seemingly limitless price tag, and left us in our current economic shit-hole?)

Here are my three thoughts about this tea party:

1.  Why do you try to prove you’re more fiscally responsible by wasting a precious commodity?  The original tea party was to protest against taxes on tea by a government that offered the colonists no representation.  So, a) why don’t you bring your income or capital gains to dump tomorrow as those are the taxes you are protesting, and b) our votes are now our primary voices of protest, and more of those “voices” were (and still are) in support of the change President Obama brings.

2.  As an avid tea drinker and, dare I say, afficionado, tomorrow’s demonstration is practically akin to burning books to me.  I would almost approve your ignorance if your plan was to donate the tea brought to the demonstration to people who have lost their jobs . . . because of the economy W-onder Boy helped bring about.

3.  When I put that check in the mail tomorrow, with it will go the power of my intentions that my widow’s mite will go forth into the coffers of our government to do good work . . . help someone get a job rebuilding our roads or a child get healthcare.

And after I mail it, I think I’ll go home and have a cup of tea.