Examining the Tea Party

October 28, 2010 

The NAACP in collaboration with the Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights recently released its report exposing the Tea Party, its racism, antisemitism, xenophobia, islamophobia, nativism and its militia impulse. The various Tea Party factions (Freedom Works Tea Party, Tea Party Nation, 1776 Tea Party, ResistNet Tea Party, Tea Party Patriots, and The Tea Party Express) all make up an umbrella of spoke like organizations serving as radial limbs.  At its core the central shaft comprises disaffected white leaders espousing racist ideas and advocating violence and many of whom are formally associated with white supremacist organizations. This well researched documented report is a sobering read.

The Tea Party is not a political party rather a movement that emerged through a series of locally and nationally coordinated protests in response to several Federal laws: the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, and the health care reform bill.  The movement’s primary concerns, leaders of the movement claim, are cutting back on the size of government, lowering taxes, reducing wasteful spending, and reducing the national debt and federal budget deficit.

“Take America Back” is the Tea Party mantra directed at the African American President and clearly meant to address the nation’s growing population of people of color:  Latinos, Asians, and African Americans. Essence Magazine reveals what is meant in an article written by Gini Sikes, a white journalist, who was hired to go undercover and report on the 2010 convention of the Council of Conservative Citizens who kept their meetings secret from the media. “As a White journalist hired by Essence to tell this story, I’m able to mingle with them,” wrote Sikes. “I discovered they have widely varying agendas, but two things clearly unite the majority: unyielding loyalty to their race and a hatred for President Obama.”

The leaders have a hidden unspeakable agenda with goals directed toward the social realm. The movement claims not to be Republican, but embraces Republican political philosophy to which opportunistic Republicans attempted to control, advising Tea baggers to disrupt and essentially break up town-hall meetings. This attempt at capturing and channeling this new found energy, seems to have failed with the rise of little known Tea party candidates, Sharon Angle, Joe Miller, Christine O’Donnell and Rand Paul, upsetting the establishment in race after race only to later stumble because of their inexperience is delivering their extreme message and dealing with the media.

The Tea Party is like an escaped circus chimp reeking havoc and danger on to all around. The question is will the American electorate wise up and push back on this extremist movement? Voting is the only way to sedate the creature and put it back in its cage.

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