Tuesday, May 11, 2010

DCotE: Racism in America.


“Things in this monologue are going to be taken out of context and, you know, I'm going to be deemed a racist, and I don't care anymore.”
- Glenn Beck, Is Massive Health Care Reparations? (July 22/23, 2009.)

“We've already donated to Haiti. It's called the U.S. income tax.”
- Rush Limbaugh.


Know Thy Enemy.”
This entry is going to really, really unnerve some people and falls outside my usual scope of commentaries; and because it sits beyond the scope of my usual commentaries, and I've actually tried to write it four or five times. Every single time I've ended up feeling physically ill, and forced myself to do something else.

The only real precursor toward what I'm about to say sits deep in the back of this blog, under the title “Know Thy Enemy.” I'd posted a video of an ignorant, Southern, white woman discussing how Obama couldn't be our next president... 'cuz, well, he pretty much wasn't white enough. At the time RO had responded that I ought to find better enemies. And at the time, I largely agreed. That has changed. Even if I need better enemies, there's still a point at which you have to point at something and say: “I will not be associated with that, and here's why.”

I wrestled with this entry until last night when my friend, Z. E. Accordino, got into an argument on Facebook with a fairly idiotic fellow that defaulted to ad hominem attacks. In the course of reading the argument I realized: “This is what's being peddled everywhere.”

At this point, if you speak out against the Arizona Immigration Reform, or the backing of the Tea Party movement by white supremacist groups, you become an “unthinking liberal.” Very well, if Unthinking Liberal I must be, then Unthinking Liberal it is. Except that I have some fucking thoughts, and I can write them down for critical reception. So here you have the words of an Unthinking Liberal who actually knows how to read a fucking book. I'm told that skill-set is disappearing, which may explain the state of this country more than anything else.


Back on the Ranch.”
From the founding of the nation we live in, there have been what can be best described as 'racial tensions' at best, and flagrant bigotry at worst. One should take into account both the slave trade – and its use for economic gain in early America – and the actions of some of the founding fathers against the indigenous North American population. We should, for example, carefully consider what George Washington's plans for the Native American population were:

In his last days as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army, Washington discussed his ideas regarding western expansion. He believed that many of the soldiers of his army should be granted western lands so that the new nation would have in place: a brave, a hardy and respectable Race of People, as our advanced Post, who would be always ready and willing (in case of hostility) to combat the Savages, and check their incursions. He asserted that the idea alone of such a settlement would awe and frighten the Indians, and it would protect future settlers from “savage barbarity.” He wished to buy Indian lands fairly, and to induce them to relinquish our Territories, and to remove into the illimitable regions of the West....”


Unfortunately, the Americans' view towards the Indians had not changed much since the days of the French and Indian War. They were not seen as the proprietors of the land, but rather as creatures not very different than animals, selfishly holding onto lands that white settlers desired. The merciless way the Indians often treated white captives, along with their totally alien religious beliefs did nothing to improve the settlers' opinions of Indians. An early observer wrote that
[the Indians are] more brutish than the beasts they hunt, more wild and unmanly than that unmanned country which they range rather than inhabit.

There is no amount of distasteful irony here, as the 'savages' had been around long before the so-called “civilized” white Europeans arrived. While plenty of people tend to make comments about how “that's all in the past,” I've often discovered that when asked if they've visited a Native American reservation recently, they conveniently decline to answer. The last time I visited Wyoming, in 2002, my family and I made several trips to reservations across the mid-west and West Coast. Nearly all of them were dismal, grotesque monstrosities that left one feeling as though they'd somehow slipped a hundred years backward in time. After the Trail of Tears, we stuffed the Native Americans into every bleak, broken nook and cranny that no one else in America wanted, and promptly did our best to forget about what we'd done. And to put it bluntly before the readers of this blog: that hasn't changed in most places in the country we live in.



Simon Legree's White Hood.”
Following the end of the Civil War, which was (contrary to popular belief) not fought to free slaves but to maintain the integrity of the fairly new nation, the 13th Amendment was passed. This officially freed any African Americans who had been slaves in the Southern States during the Civil War; in response, a series of laws were passed.

These laws have come to be collectively known as Jim Crow Laws. The basic premise of the laws was that of racial segregation and with it came the use of the phrase: “Separate but equal.”


As it turns out, there was no equality; African Americans were driven en-mass into scenarios where they had to continue doing the work they'd done before (manual labor for farming). Most often those who found themselves forced to do this work also discovered that sharecropping came with certain issues: such as being taken advantage of by the white landowners, and still living in dismal poverty. Almost simultaneous with this was the rise of the Klu Klux Klan. I could, honestly, discuss the KKK for... well, for a very long time. But I'm not going to do that. Three things come to mind:

  1. At some point I read that the KKK began as a 'folkish' movement that was co-opted by White Supremacists. However, their 1868 charter reveals otherwise. As one might note question five at the bottom: “Are you opposed to Negro equality both social and political?
  2. The KKK constituted a secretive, and vindictive, movement by the secessionists and was most often pioneered by former Confederate soldiers.
  3. The legal apparatus in the 1800s that actually aided and abetted Southern (and elsewhere) violence and oppression against African Americans was the Democratic Party. This weirds me the fuck out, because to this day we seem to have just switched the terms we're using to describe the war against bigotry. Today “Conservative Republicans” are feeling threatened and donning hoods – one hundred and some years ago it was Southern Democrats. Take a moment to think about that. Nothing has changed, except how we see the respective parties. But the same debate is still raging even now.

In the 1998 movie American History X, the character of Derek Vinyard makes a comment that actually underpins the importance of what I'm writing about, he states: “We're so hung up on this notion that we have some obligation to help the struggling black man, you know. Cut him some slack until he can overcome these historical injustices. It's crap. I mean, Christ, Lincoln freed the slaves, like, what? 130 years ago. How long does it take to get your act together?”

This is exactly the attitude that certain members of the media – from Rush Limbaugh to Glenn Beck – tend to take when they begin throwing out their bigotry filled remarks. It undermines the actual history of events that have taken place; the emergence of the KKK, their use of fear, the use of violence to keep an American minority from voting... All of these are very real issues, and at present we are seeing something that could set the stage for the re-emergence of just those things. The problem is that many common individuals hold just such opinions. It should be noted that the KKK is the easiest symbol of the things above to point to. However, they were aided and abetted by officials, and even the average American in the process of degrading fellow Americans and keeping their voices from being heard. How can you 'get your act together' if you're living in poverty, forced into ghettos, and silenced utterly by the “powers that be”?



Tea Bagging: What Halo Players and Conservatives Have in Common.”
In 2008, Barak Obama became the first African American president. To many this heralded the potential dawn of a 'New Age' – a time when even minorities could have a voice and lead the people. To others, it appears to have been a “last straw” situation where their white privileged status was at last threatened. (I'm not biased. Really.)

In 2009 the “Tea Party” movement began to sweep through the nation as a form of backlash against the last election; for some it represents a conservative movement toward balancing out what they feel is the power of “big government” and “big spending.” For others it means something else entirely.

On January 11th, 2010 the liberal watch-dog media group Democracy Now produced the following report that the Tea Party movement was being solidly interfaced with by a wide range of white supremacist and racial separatist movements. While I've seen a few people deny that there such a thing is happening, comments by “Tea Party” movers and shakers would pretty much indicate otherwise. Indeed, the entire undertone to conservative protests against Obama's choices has often been riddled with racist bigotry.

The passage of the recent Arizona 'Immigration Reform' conforms pretty solidly with these conclusions, as well. When the ACLU and others worry openly that the new law – which is a travesty to consider imposing on any American citizen – they make an excellent point. Not only can the law be used for racial profiling, I believe that's exactly why it's actually been put in place.

Consider for a movement a recent post to a conspiracy website, and consider that the events in the video and what is being reported do not actually conform to one another, indicating the author's bigoted cognitive bias. Now consider that it was the act of posting this link, and my friend's argument with a chest thumpin' “Good Ol' Boy” that caused this blog entry to be written.

Non Serviam: Latin for Don't be a Tool.”

At a point of economic crisis, when the future of the nation hangs uncertainly before us, we should take a moment to step back and consider the situation as it stands. On one end are those who feel threatened, and it's been made all the worse by loss of jobs, homes, rising unemployment...

Who do we turn to? What do we do? Is there anyone to save us? The answer is no. No one is coming to save us. We have to fix all of this – all of it – ourselves. As such I would propose the following points of consideration to anyone seeking to take political action:

  1. Don't get overly emotional unless you must.

Take a step back. Look at as many angles on the situation that you can. Watch Fox News and CNN if you can stomach it, read up on the Internet from both sides of the 'liberal/conservative' divide and take that into account when voting. There is a time and place for anger. The voting booth is not that place.

  1. Don't make Charles Manson the head of your political party.

This has always seemed fairly obvious to me, however it seems that some people just don't get it. Listen: if someone wants to start a Race War don't vote for them or give them power. When the “Tea Party” folks start ranting about rising up with guns, we should become seriously concerned because it's a very small step away from violence enacted against innocent individuals. These people are not your friends. You don't want their votes. They want to incite hatred, and turn us against one another. They want to harm people who have never done them wrong. Calling such remarks evil is not a fallacy.

  1. Sarah Palin is too fucking stupid to save you, people.

Seriously. I won't even bother going on.

  1. At a time of economic crisis, take the poor into consideration if you're well off.

We're talking about human fucking decency. And lately it's been sorely lacking. Comments like this don't take into account the reality of the situation. One more thing: white supremacist groups don't give a fuck about white, poor people. They'll never, ever be your allies.

If you've been reading this, and find yourself suspecting that I'm your enemy? I probably am. And honestly? I'm fucking proud of it.

Flags, Flax, & Fodder,

Jack Faust.

P.S.: The image of the girl in that... getup was so disturbing to me I had to use it just to make my feelings absolutely clear. That evil shit gets taught to kids. Evil fucks indoctrinate their children. And it's not okay.

PPS: Further reading brought to you by Kenaz. Any other entries I see will be linked here as well. Drop a line if you discuss it, so I can be sure to make a link.


47 comments:

Eldritch said...

Very good post, however to be fair the USA's fascists are a mocked minority. In other nations such as Serbia or the UK, they're a f*cking institution (there's a street in Belgrade named after Ratko Mladic). Also the idea of helping the "poor Black man" is racist; it's a modern version of the White man's burden.

Briging up info wars was a very good choice; alex jones and his herd are a another modern version of an ideological cancer. Conspiracy theories have fueled virtually every fascist movement; just look at what the fascists of the 1940s said about Freemasons and Jews. Of course it isn't as if the left is any better; they spent the 90s supporting Milosevic's death squads and now they spend their time supporting islamism.

Personally I think it's better to reject sides and develop your own ideals; like the code of Doc Savage (see below).

"Let me strive, every moment of my life, to make myself better and better, to the best of my ability, that all may profit by it.

Let me think of the right, and lend all my assistance to those who need it, with no regard for anything but justice.

Let me take what comes with a smile, without loss of courage.

Let me be considerate of my country, of my fellow citizens and my associates in everything I say and do.

Let me do right to all, and wrong no man."

Lavanah said...

A good post, and actually restrained in wording. Two points to add, though. The economically comfortable white supremists NEVER cared about poor white people-who the hell do you think the cannon fodder of the South was, at the start of the Civil War? As for your reaction at the realization that it was the Democratic Party that was responsible for Jim Crow and the Republicans for emancipation, and the switch, since then, well it wasn't all that long ago that the Republicans were all for changing the Constitution so that someone not born in this country and not born of citizen parents could run for president. How quickly things change...

Oh, and while I am on the subject-our borders were never secure in the way that certain people wish to believe they were. That's all part of the "once upon a time" fairy tale past, where everyone was middle class, had household help, and dammit a man was respected (women? don't start me on that rant.)

Z. E. Accordino said...

Thank you for posting this. I always love the historical perspective you put on things. I wish I was better at retaining historical accounts. They sure do come in handy.

Racism in this country has been building to a scary level since the 9-11 attacks. Not that it wasn't scary before, but it seemed like we were working towards a brighter future back then. Now, we've entered the downward spiral.

As I said in my personal blog (in that massive, massive rant), the citizens of this country can't seem to tell the difference between their brother & sisters and the enemy. Rather than lumping criminals with criminals and hard working American citizens with themselves, they mentally divide everyone by race and appearance.

The video of the Mexican-American students being harassed really struck a chord with me. I'm only a 3rd or 4th generation American (depending on which relative you talk to). My entire family on both sides has only been in this country for less than a century. Go back a few decades and my Italian brethren were the ones being harassed and told to go home. Hard working individuals just trying to make a better life for their family, legal American citizens, law-abiding productive members of the community... and they were harassed, told to go home, and had their culture ripped to shreds by ignorant, insensitive bigots. This conflict illuminates with disturbing clarity how history is repeating itself. And even, if by some strange coincidence, all those kids happened to be illegal immigrants (not like their attackers would know anyway), there is still absolutely no justification to treat a bunch of innocent children with such disrespect and contempt. I just get sick every time I think about it.

The whole Tea Party thing has also been worrisome. On the surface there's quite a few good things they stand for. Unfortunately, a lot of racists do appear to be (attempting to) co-opting the movement. And I'm not talking about individual Joe-Schmoes as my one friend accused. I'm talking about the public speakers/politicians they hire for their rallies. My friends that consider themselves part of the movement obviously want to distance themselves from the racists, but *some* are in such complete denial that I can't even talk to them about my concerns. If the Tea Party doesn't wake up and take back the reigns, I'm afraid to what ends it could be used in the future.

Eldritch said...

While I sincerely believe that a government's power should be limited as much as possible the tea baggers give people who oppose authority a bad image. Besides the tea baggers (or as Colbert called them guy fawkers) are not really opposed to government power; they are totalitarians. They want the government to have more authority to harass Hispanics (a poor's man ethnic cleansing) they want the government to dictate who can and cannot be married. The tea baggers and the right in general are authoritarians who exploit the idea of liberty for their own totalitarian means. The quote below sums up my feelings about governments in general.

"The truth is that the State is a conspiracy designed not only to exploit, but above all to corrupt its citizens ... Henceforth, I shall never serve any government anywhere."
-Leo Tolstoy

Z. E. Accordino said...

Eldritch, I both agree and slightly disagree. While the Tea Party tries to purport itself as this grass roots movement by the people, I believe it has more of a hierarchy than it wishes to acknowledge. Those at the top of the chain and some at the bottom are just as you describe. But there's quite a few average folk at the bottom that believe only in its more noble goals of lower taxes, reducing the role of government, cutting down on wasteful government spending, and creating more jobs (without a racist or homophobic bent to their arguments). It's been my personal experience that these people are either completely blind to what's really going on or consider themselves the *real tea party* and those other people as "extreme radicals that do not represent the movement." Of course, these idealists are not likely to be the voices that will win out at the end of the day which is why I dread the continuation of this movement. But of course this is all merely based on what little I've been personally exposed to.

Eldritch said...

"But there's quite a few average folk at the bottom"

You mean the same people who support anti-Hispanic laws and want to dictate who can and cannot get married? Someone who holds such views obviously doesn't value liberte egalite fraternite which makes them authoritarian (who exploits the word freedom).

"without a racist or homophobic bent to their arguments"

So show me a tea bagger who supports marriage equality; good luck with that you'll need it. I'm sure there are some good people in that twisted movement, but it doesn't change the fact that it's a hate group; a hate group with extremely annoying ideology. Timothy McVeigh would have been right at home with them.

the Hellfires said...

I am a Canadian .. who has been to Europe and no one in the West can hold a candle to America for bigotry. Its like a national past time here. Sides have to be taken .. they just fucking have to be.

They are bulldozing the shrines of Santa Muerta along the border and passing racial profiling laws. At what point do you grow a fuckin pair? Must be nice to be white .. no sides required I guess.

And really, it don't matter how bad they have it in the UK or whatever ... you are passing laws in America that not only violate the basic human rights of your citizens, your making excuses for them. Shameful.

Nice one Jer.

Eldritch said...

"I am a Canadian"

So that explains the snide sense of moral superiorty!

"who has been to Europe and no one in the West can hold a candle to America for bigotry."

Are you familiar with how many votes the Serbian radical party has recieved? Or how much support the BNP has? By contrast the tea baggers are objects of mockery over here.

"Sides have to be taken they just fucking have to be."

Why on earth should I take a side in the liberals vs. conservatives wankfest? I loathe both sides.

"They are bulldozing the shrines of Santa Muerta along the border and passing racial profiling laws. At what point do you grow a fuckin pair? Must be nice to be white .. no sides required I guess."

Why do I have to pick one of the banal and moronic political viewpoints just to oppose that? There's no reason to it; I can oppose such actions just as easily without parroting vile liberal or conservative bilge. Apart from the fact that the term "white" (and the label 'Black') is a meaningless and dehumanizing label your statement is the worst guilt trip ever.

Also what do you mean by 'white'? Lebanese? Irish? Kurdish? Cornish? Do you also call Japanese and Korean people "yellows"?

"And really, it don't matter how bad they have it in the UK or whatever"

"Or whatever?" I take it you're not very familiar with Balkan politics are you?

"you are passing laws in America that not only violate the basic human rights of your citizens"

Oh I see it's my fault now!

"your making excuses for them. Shameful."

This song goes out to you:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MEOJP3UtaLQ

Second of all I'm not excusing anything, merely pointing out that the US is far more sane than countries like serbia or a certain apartheid state named republika srpska built on the bones of Srebrenica genocide victims.

V.V.F. said...

Even if you believe, for whatever reason, that the US is generally more "sane" than other countries when it comes to racial politics, the fact of the matter is that the tea party movement is invading mainstream public discourse more and more, and it is advocating violence. I don't know about you, but that's sounds like some heavy stuff to me.

If you a love a person, you tell them when they're fucking up. The same goes for your country. It doesn't matter whether other nations are better or worse, because we live on THIS soil, and we are responsible for it, like a brother.

Eldritch said...

I think my posts clearly show that I'm anything but a tea bagger apologist. I was merely pointing out that the US as a whole isn't nearly as messed up as this:

http://srebrenica-genocide.blogspot.com/2010/02/overwhelming-majority-of-serbs-deny.html

http://srebrenica-genocide.blogspot.com/2010/03/revival-of-serbian-neo-fascism-in.html

http://newsblaze.com/story/20091024153203ianb.nb/topstory.html

Jack Faust said...

Okay. Let's, honestly, leave the comparisons to other countries aside. This blog entry wasn't about genocide and evil elsewhere, it was about evil in our own backyard and recognizing it for what it was. Bringing up other countries to counter-balance how we look does nothing but detract from the conversation.

Now:
1. "White Guilt"?

This is a blind to the reality of the situation. Are there some people who feel guilty due to their ancestors actions? Sure. But they aren't people we're addressing or discussing, and I assure you most readers of this blog are highly unlikely to suffer from 'white guilt.'

Injustice is injustice. Who gives a shit about whether guilt spurs one's notions, or whether it is the dawning realizing that something is not right and must be fixed? I certainly don't. Vote for what matters, fight injustice, and don't let someone's labels of "guilt" blind you to what is being said.

2. Labels/Race

Not interested. Race exists. Some people cannot fit in easily because their skin color is different and white supremacists and prejudiced individuals treat them poorly due to it. This has not faded. When my mother was a child in Georgia, she made friends with a black child. When other people on the naval base found out - some of whom had white hoods in their closet - she was quietly told she could not be friends with said child. When I was 16, I had a neo-Nazi fuck call my mother and sister "race traitors" for existing or marrying a Hispanic male. I very seriously considered killing said fuckwit. In the end, I simply decided to "rat him out," but as per usual: nothing came of it. The experience was far more jarring than most can imagine. Imagine someone wanting to induce violence to your family for their choice in a partner, and their partner's skin color.

3. Taking sides?
As long as you are willing to address the problem, how you label yourself or don't is none of my concern. The point is that you care enough to consider taking action.

Eldritch said...

"Bringing up other countries to counter-balance how we look does nothing but detract from the conversation."

I thought it would be relevant to contrast the US to a truly fascist nation and I think there's an obvious parallel between tea bagger and chetnik ideologies.

Jack Faust said...

@Eldritch: I grok that, man. Really. It's cool. I just figured I'd step in before the blog became a flame war rather than what I intended: a warning to those who had not considered history and what's happening.

Eldritch said...

Understood, also interesting that all this talk about justice is taking place on the same day Kammael initated me into the Mars sphere....

Eldritch said...

Oh yeah, I just remembered what the tea baggers remind me of:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYWRu8uT8z8

Rufus Opus said...

It sometimes startles neo-Pagans when I express the belief that there are dark places on earth. Places touched by old, wild, and mad things. The belief is that you can conveniently ignore them; pretend that the blasted shells of what civilization left behind aren't there. But that doesn't make them go away. Some of us are still born there; some of us leave towns named things like “Hidden Spring,” and later look back and realize that something lives there. Something old, and creepy, and dingy, and that... Well, it (and all its kind) might not just have our best interests in mind. But nonetheless it is there, and we must look it right in the eye. Acknowledge it for what it is.

Z. E. Accordino said...

Eldritch, if you had read my post a little more carefully you would know that I was referencing specific friends of mine. So yes, people as I described do exist. And I know this because I actually know these people. So no, these are not people who are "the same people who support anti-Hispanic laws and want to dictate who can and cannot get married."

If and when the Tea Party (in its entirety) becomes more clear and vocal in stating its nefarious goals, I would expect these people to drop out. I certainly hope they would if they're truly the type of people I think they are. But right now there is still a considerable lack of unity between all the chapters across the U.S. Different Tea Party groups have different goals. Individual members within each group have different goals. Some groups, like Oklahoma for Tea, are downright scary. And there are individuals like my one friend who, even though I don't agree with all her opinions, often make some very good points and stand for noble causes.

I think these distinctions are important because we're in danger of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. I think it's important not to alienate the reasonable people within the movement just as it's important to fight hard against the racists, homophobes, and nutjobs that may very well comprise the majority of it. And well, there's always the sage advice of knowing one's enemy. Is it more effective to fight against the Tea Party movement as a whole or against the specific groups that espouse hatred? Just some food for thought.

Mr VI said...

The BNP does indeed have some support - they have two Members of the European Parliament for Britain.

However, they failed spectacularly at last week's General Election, and their leader made an absolute ass of himself.

However Europe has a long history of racism, and d'ya know why? Because it's the Old World and has had more experience. We are, as such, rather more practiced at it than the US - hell, the town I live in was one of the 3 major ports used in the slavery triangle. People made a bloody mint - many of our finest buildings were built off slave profits.

But it was also the town in which the first Quaker merchants said, hold on, this is bad - and many were instrumental in the eventual banning of the same.

I'm not saying this justifies anything - merely that anywhere people have been for a while, the older deeper and nastier things can run.

People outside of the US look at the country, and sadly, despite a black President, what comes across is moral hypocrisy.

"Give me your poor..." etc just seems like so much bollocks from here.

There is darkness in the human psyche - what J. is doing is pulling it out to look at it.

Image and perception, 'reality' and 'fiction'.

VI, lives on an island and is hence an islander, rather than any race, yes?

Eldritch said...

" So yes, people as I described do exist."

I have no doubt that such rare and magical beings exist; sadly they can only be seen by the pure of heart at exactly midnight.

"So no, these are not people who are "the same people who support anti-Hispanic laws and want to dictate who can and cannot get married."

Then why do they belong to groups who support the Arizona law and oppose marriage equality?

"But right now there is still a considerable lack of unity between all the chapters across the U.S. Different Tea Party groups have different goals."

Have any of these chapters raised opposition to TPer homophobia and anti-Hispanic sentiment?

"And there are individuals like my one friend who, even though I don't agree with all her opinions, often make some very good points and stand for noble causes."

She's probably an excellent person; however political circle je- errr 'movements' are judged by their overall behavior not a few exceptions here and there.

"I think these distinctions are important because we're in danger of throwing the baby out with the bathwater."

Why not? What on earth do they have to offer? What would any sane person miss out on by ignoring their sickening ideology?

Eldritch said...

@Mr VI

I wasn't trying to paint the UK (unlike some of my fellow citizens I do know the difference between the UK and England) as fascist (Serbia however is heavily fascist) my apologies if that's how it looked. I thought it would be helpful to compare the TPers to a successful fascist group. I don't think that Britain's history was one long record of doom, gloom and racism. People who spout such nonsense (such as those terrorist wannabe scumbag Irish republicans) are employing bigoted cherry picking methods.

Z. E. Accordino said...

Eldritch, I really don't find your questions sincere. I believe you're mind is made up quite firmly, without any desire to entertain other possibilities on this subject. You remain fixated on the prejudices of individuals and groups within the movement while ignoring the concepts that supposedly started the movement: lower taxes, less government, and upholding the constitution. If anything, that last one is something we should all be concerned with regardless of affiliation. It's really easy to lump the entire movement as a unified evil entity out to oppress minorities, but it's been my experience that the situation isn't so black and white. Losing sight of the "grey" is what leads to people lumping all Muslisms as terrorists, all Mexicans as illegals and gangbangers, and all sorts of other uninformed stereotypes.

Jhonn Barghest said...

"I think these distinctions are important because we're in danger of throwing the baby out with the bathwater."
- Z

"Why not? What on earth do they have to offer?"
- Eldtritch

@Eldritch: One day down the road, you will learn that throwing out the baby with the bath water isn't a good idea. Because, whether you like it or not, you will be that baby one day, tossed out into the bin with everything else. And you're not going to like it one bit. You will feel abused and maligned and unfairly labeled. And rightfully so.

Frankly, if we were to adopt this whole 'throwing the baby out with the bath' mentality, shouldn't we just toss the entire human race?

You know the answer just as well as I do.

Eldritch said...

"I believe you're mind is made up quite firmly, without any desire to entertain other possibilities on this subject."

Far from it, I'm open minded to the possibility of TP chapters rejecting homophobia and anti-Hispanic prejudice. I can't stand their ideology, I don't like their methods, their leaders or anything they've done.

"You remain fixated on the prejudices of individuals and groups within the movement"

If it's just a few bad apples show me a few chapters who support same sex marriage. Of course no such chapter exists because like all hypocrites they rail against the government while wanting the government to restrict marriage rights.

"lower taxes, less government, and upholding the constitution"

If they honestly support such issues they wouldn't be opposed to gay marriage and supportive of draconian anti-Hispanic laws.

"It's really easy to lump the entire movement as a unified evil entity out to oppress minorities"

I don't think they're evil; being evil requires a sort of intellect that the overall movement lacks. I don't think they're comparable to nazis or anything like that; they're more like the pathetic little fascist wannabes like Oswald Mosley's toadies.

"Losing sight of the "grey" is what leads to people lumping all Muslisms as terrorists, all Mexicans as illegals and gangbangers, and all sorts of other uninformed stereotypes."

An extremely awful comparison, the TPers are not a racial, ethnic or religious group; they are a political movement. And it's perfectly fair to judge a political group by it's overall actions and ideology; a few good people do not change that. If the poor dears want to stop being 'stereotyped' they can develop an intelligent ideology, support LGBT rights, condemn the arizona law and so on. Afterall if a small annoying teen wants to be seen as an adult he or she should start by altering his or her behavior rather than loudingly demanding to be treated as a grown up.

Eldritch said...

@Jhonn

That's a silly argument, there's no reason not to reject the TPers; their ideology is sickening.

Justin said...

I don't usually comment on political issues, but I'd like to point out some of the logical fallacies here.

Eldritch, you say you are open minded to the possibility of there being some chapters that do not support the worst of the Tea Party's ideals... and then in the same thought summarily reject ALL of their ideals and methods... which you've JUST admitted to having a fair bit of variation.

Unfortunately, the asshats have the loudest voices, and I know that's what we all hear about publicly, but do you honestly believe that every person joined the Tea Party for the same reasons, or that they all support the "public ideals" any more than "all Democrats support abortion" or "all Republicans are racist"? Many joined simply because they thought the Tea Party was going to be the new (more sane) face of the Libertarian movement. Sadly, the sane leadership issue doesn't seem to be working out. But that doesn't make them all insane.

Now, I agree with most here that the Tea Party is heading down a bad path, but to come to the generalization that "All Tea Partiers are idiots/racists/asshats/etc", and to reject that any of them have legitimate reasons for their party choice, is EXACTLY the same kind of profiling that leads to racial, religious, economic, and geography-based stereotypes.

Oppose any party or ideal you like, I'm all for that. Just be careful you don't pick up some of the same tendencies yourself.

I know it's happened to me before.

Eldritch said...

"Eldritch, you say you are open minded to the possibility of there being some chapters that do not support the worst of the Tea Party's ideals... and then in the same thought summarily reject ALL of their ideals and methods."

That's because no such chapter currently exists; if there is a chapter that supports LGBT rights I'd really like to hear about it. As for their annoying ideology do you see the hypocrisy is whining about the government and then demanding that the government should dictate who can and cannot be married?

"Unfortunately, the asshats have the loudest voices and I know that's what we all hear about publicly, but do you honestly believe that every person joined the Tea Party for the same reasons"

Of course not, some probably joined because they believe Obama will take away their guns, other joined because of the fear mongering about immigration etc.

"Many joined simply because they thought the Tea Party was going to be the new (more sane) face of the Libertarian movement."

As I pointed out the TPers are very authoritarian.

"But that doesn't make them all insane."

As I stated before a few exceptions doesn't change anything.

"but to come to the generalization that "All Tea Partiers are idiots/racists/asshats/etc", and to reject that any of them have legitimate reasons for their party choice, is EXACTLY the same kind of profiling that leads to racial, religious, economic, and geography-based stereotypes."

Eheheheh, the TPers are not a racial or religious group; it's perfectly fair to generalize about political movements. If it's only a few bad apples then please name at least one chapter that supports LGBT rights and is opposed to anti-Hispanic sentiment. As I posted before if the TPers want to stop being "stereotyped" (or whatever it is that they're whining about) they should start with their own behavior.

Jhonn Barghest said...

@Eldritch:

Gay Tea Partiers:

http://www.gaypatriot.net/2010/04/16/gay-patriots-welcomed-at-la-tea-party/

Eldritch said...

I would have replied sooner but I kind of forgot about this discussion. First off that blog mentions that the LGBT prescence at TP wank fests were described as an 'infiltration'. Second of all allowing gays to participate is not the same thing as supporting LGBT rights. Can you find me even one chapter that supports marriage equality?

That's a rather unique variation of the "I have black friends" argument. That blog also defends right wing homophobia by posting this piece of drivel "then they’ll recognize that some people can oppose same-sex marriage without hating gay people." Perhaps the author also thinks that it isn't racist to oppose the marriages of African-Americans?

Opposition to same sex marriage is blatantly homophobic because it's the desire to deny rights to a minority. It sends a very clear message; "your lives do not matter as much as ours, no relationship you have will ever be good enough for OUR institution of marriage." That blog reminds me of Jasa Almuli; an apologist for Serb fascism who downplays Serbian crimes against Jews all while hyping his alleged Jewishness. Oh yeah he also praised Robert Spencer's work, Spencer is a denier of the Bosniak genocide, so congrats on giving me a link to a hate site.

Eldritch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eldritch said...

Some rather interesting information about your source.

"Look, y’all. We all know that the writers at GayPatriot are self-loathing, awful people, indeed, embarrassments to LGBT people everywhere. In the past 24 hours, the “Daniel Blatt” one was one of the only wingnuts on the entire internet to have a problem with Obama granting visitation rights to same-sex couples. Indeed, his post on the subject was so grotesque that Tintin at Sadly, No!, usually one of the greatest snark blogs EVER, dispensed with all silliness to throw down one of the most memorable, spot-on smackdowns I’ve seen in recent months. I won’t quote it here because this is a family blog, but suffice it to say that everything he said is true, and then some.

But now, the “ColoradoPatriot” one, who thinks he’s clever when he talks about the “Stalinization of healthcare,” as if that phrase reverberates anywhere except for the hall of mirrors he uses to have circle jerks with himself, has decided that you know what? Constance McMillen sucks:

Okay. So have you heard of this story where the high school girl who wanted to attend the prom with her “lesbian girlfriend” (I use the quotes because, really. Call me an old stick-in-the-mud*, but are high-schoolers self-aware enough to realize they’re lesbians already? And even if so, are we encouraging kids that young to identify themselves sexually? What ever happened to the innocence and beauty of youth? Ugh, but anyway.) was duped into arriving at some sham event while the actual prom was being held somewhere else?

Ugh, but anyway. Apparently Nick is either too old and senile to remember the fact the started getting boners looking at the underpants ads in the Sears Catalog at age twelve, or he’s just so eaten up by guilt that he’s bought into the entire Religious Right garbage about sexual orientation that he actually thinks he chose to be a self-hating faggot at age 25. I honestly don’t know which is the answer, but yes, Nick, high school seniors are more than capable of knowing what gender they’re attracted to."

http://www.truthwinsout.org/blog/2010/04/8239/

This reminds me of anit-zionists/anti-semites bring up neturei karta to prove that they don't the 'good ones'.

"I’ve been sashaying around the right-wing Internutz looking for one of its loonier denizens to get all riled up about how the Negro-in-Chief had the gall to force hospitals to let dykes and fags visit their so-called families. I mean certainly there would be someone out there who couldn’t resist saying, à la John Cornyn, that the order meant that people could have box turtles visit them on their deathbeds and make critical choices for them about their end-of-life care.

But I wasn’t coming up with much. Even at Ace O’Play-Doh and Bacon’s place, one of his substitute blogging minions had to admit that he was “glad” that the President was ending a “bad thing.” I was about to abandon the whole enterprise, head home and curl up with a nice tumbler of 60-year-old MacCutcheon whisky when, lo and behold, B. Daniel Blatt, The World’s Dumbest Homosexual™ (aka The Only Gay Man in Los Angeles Who Hasn’t Had Sex Since He Blew His Best Friend In the Basement In Sixth Grade™ aka The Gay Neville Chamberlain™) brings it home with a post in which he laments Obama’s order as a violation of the right of private hospitals to make their own policies (and, apparently, take gobs of federal funding at the same time.)"

http://www.sadlyno.com/archives/30284.html

Anyone without an apologist agenda can see that that site is a joke.

Z. E. Accordino said...

Eldritch, I couldn't disagree with you more. Firstly, you asked for proof that the Tea Party supports LGBT rights. This already creates a problem because what you're seeking makes no sense. It's like asking for a toy company that makes vacuum cleaners. The Tea Party was created to promote certain goals as I stated in my other response, and LGBT rights was not one of them; however, that does NOT mean they were created to be against LGBT rights either. In fact, Jhonn's link proves quite nicely that many Tea Party-ers welcome homosexuals into their fold, as their all fighting for the same political interests. You condemning these homosexuals for not fitting some gay stereotype you seem to think all homosexuals follow is absolute BULLSHIT.

Eldritch said...

"The Tea Party was created to promote certain goals as I stated in my other response and LGBT rights was not one of them; however, that does NOT mean they were created to be against LGBT rights either."

Oh really?

" Then yesterday I received yet another notice from the American Family Association -- one of several groups organizing the St. Louis tea party next Wednesday (April 15) to protest the Obama administration and its economic stimulus plan. The AFA now boasts -- per its latest news release -- that the number of tea parties it's sponsoring across the nation numbers more than 1,000.

So, who exactly is the AFA? Why, they're those compassionate Christians who've made it their mission to fight the "Homosexual Agenda." You know, that homosexual agenda in which gay folks are asking for equality, civil rights, and -- God-forbid (and apparently he does) -- the right to marry."

http://blogs.riverfronttimes.com/dailyrft/2009/04/tea_party_american_family_
association_homosexual_agenda.php

Plus there's the little fact that prominent people in that twisted movement spew some of the most venomous homophobic bullsh*t. So yes the TP movement is opposed to LGBT rights; which shows how authoritarian they really are, a few gay people at a rally do not change that.

"In fact, Jhonn's link proves quite nicely that many Tea Party-ers welcome homosexuals into their fold"

I already explained why that argument is bogus, reread what I wrote

"You condemning these homosexuals for not fitting some gay stereotype you seem to think all homosexuals follow is absolute BULLSHIT."

No I was condeming the author of that hate blog "gay patriot." Also 'stereotypes' didn't have anything to do with my argument, you are distorting what I posted. If the best he could do was posting a link to the hate blog of a self hating homosexual; it shows how deep homophobia runs in the TP movement. Also check this out:

"We know the Tea Party hates taxes, health care reform, and immigrants. Turns out you can add gay marriage to the list as well. Survey says ...

According to the New York Times and CBS, only about 16 percent of Tea Party activists support same-sex marriage, with a whopping 40 percent saying gays and lesbians should not have the right to marry. That number would certainly match the sentiment of many Tea Party rallies earlier this year.

That also gels well with an article on the Michigan Messenger this week that documented "Straight Pride" T-shirts at a Lansing, Michigan Tea Party rally. Get your Glenn Beck buttons. Get your Sarah Palin merchandise. And apparently, get your homophobic apparel, too.

The Tea Party poll by the New York Times and CBS is also indicative of some other patterns within the Tea Party movement. Most (52 percent) think that the problems of people of color get too much attention. Most (59 percent) think that Glenn Beck is a pretty righteous dude. And a whopping majority (73 percent) say that they are self-identified conservatives."

http://gayrights.change.org/blog/view/the_tea_party_says_no_t
o_gay_marriage

You were saying?

Jhonn Barghest said...

@Eldritch:

It would be in your best interest to actually look at the poles being quoted if you are going to use them for your argument. Yes, while only 16% of TPers support same sex marriage, and 40% are totally against gay and lesbian unions of any type, 41% of TPers are FOR civil unions for same-sex couples. For a bunch of conservatives, that's pretty pro-gay. I know you're going to argue that civil unions are not the same as marriage and that's true, but people who are actually ANTI-GAY would not approve of civil unions either.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/04/14/us/politics/20100414-tea-party-poll-graphic.html?ref=politics#tab=6

Jhonn Barghest said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jhonn Barghest said...

By the way, I am not a Tea Party supporter. Never have been. Never will be. I don't think they're a Totally Cool Group (TM) either. However, I'm not just going to vilify a group of people without getting my facts straight on what I'm actually vilifying them for.

Anyway, I do get where you're coming from and your heart's in the right place, man. It's just that the world isn't so black and white.

Eldritch said...

"41% of TPers are FOR civil unions for same-sex couples."

Watch this video to see why the civil union argument (a very common conservative talking point) is also bigoted:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSTv7Xao93I

"I know you're going to argue that civil unions are not the same as marriage and that's true, but people who are actually ANTI-GAY would not approve of civil unions either."

Except they are anti-gay; if I believed that African-Americans shouldn't be allowed to marry and that the most they should have should be 'civil unions' what would I be a racist? Getting back to the poin the TPers are heavily homophobic and authoritarian your absurd argument only proves my point. It shows that the TPers do not truly value liberty; they whine about the government and yet they want the government to dictate who can and cannot be married.

Eldritch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eldritch said...

"By the way, I am not a Tea Party supporter."

I didn't think you were.

"However, I'm not just going to vilify a group of people without getting my facts straight on what I'm actually vilifying them for."

Criticizing a group isn't vilification; if I was using absurd arguments (for example claiming that they are as bad as stalin) then you'd have a point.

"Anyway, I do get where you're coming from and your heart's in the right place, man."

Why thank you.

"It's just that the world isn't so black and white."

I didn't say it was which is why I posted:

"Personally I think it's better to reject sides and develop your own ideals..."

Criticizing a group is not reducing the world down to black and white. If I was using it to promote the 'liberals vs. conservatives' (two ideologies I find completely repulsive) garbage you would be correct.

Rufus Opus said...

Eldritch: Just fuckin' stop already. Racism is bad. Quit trying to sidetrack the issue with bullshit. Why can't you just let racism have the spotlight instead of trying to piggy back your own agenda and water down the message? I'm fucking sick of it. You LOOK like a racist trying to make people think of something else with all these smoke screens.

Eldritch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eldritch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eldritch said...

I wasn't trying to sidetrack anything; come back when you have an actual argument instead of baseless accusations and character assassination. I would have replied to your rambling sooner, it's just that it took me this long to stop laughing at your pathetic and childish excuse of a post. Would you care to do the polite thing for a change and apologize for insulting me and falsely accusing me of racism?

Rufus Opus said...

No, I'm going to keep doing the honest thing and call it like I see it.

Eldritch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eldritch said...

Accusing someone of racism when there is no evidence to prove that the person in question is a racist is highly dishonest. If anyone has sidetracked this post it's you with your childish and unintelligent personal attacks.

Rufus Opus said...

Observe:

Statement A:

"Eldritch, you're a racist."

Statement B:

"Eldritch, you LOOK like a racist."

Question:

In which statement did I call Eldritch a racist, and in which did I try to warn him about how he may appear?

Did the capital letters help in answering this question?

Bear this little observational exercise in mind as we review what I said originally, shall we?

Was it Statement A, or Statement B? Hmmm? Think about it. Take your time.

And wait to post your comment until you've got it edited this time. Or don't bother cause I'm done with you.

Eldritch said...

Except I don't see how I could have looked like a racist (since none of my posts contained racist content). Besides you accused me of trying to "water down the message" and "trying to make people think of something else " without providing any proof to back up your accusations.