The Tea Party, Racism, and USA Economics

Beryl Gorbman

Never in the history of the United States have we had a situation where congressmen and “grass roots” (aka astroturf) ignorant rabblerousers have been so out and out disrespectful of a president of the United States as they are to Barack Obama.

What do they suppose gives them license to act in such a rude, ill-bred, destructive manner?

We all remember when North Carolina Republican representative Joe Wilson yelled “liar” at President Obama during the President’s address to a joint session of congress in 2009. Behavior worthy of a governmental gathering in a new, struggling third-world country where emotions are uncontrollable and dangerous.

A new, institutionalized racism is emerging in the United States, with the election of President Obama as the catalyst. All of the historic racial sickness that has been bottled up by civil rights laws and socially correct politeness, is now being let loose, much to the detriment of the the United States.

The Tea Party, formed in 2009, has institutionalized the hatred against this president and against ethnic minorities in the US. The Tea Party men dressed in suits with loud ties and the women with beehive hairdos, carry a unified vitriolic message, sacrificing the national good for their own racism and for what they call their conservatism – their determination to make life for the middle class American close to impossible.

Queen of the Tea Party

And by the way, they don’t believe global warming is a reality.

Rep Wilson calling the president a liar

Views on the Tea Party

On April 19, 2009, Senior White House Adviser David Axelrod, when asked about the Tea Party protests on CBS News, said, “I think any time that you have severe economic conditions, there is always an element of disaffection that can mutate into something that’s unhealthy.” He also noted, “The thing that bewilders me is this President just cut taxes for ninety-five percent of the American people. So I think the tea bags should be directed elsewhere, because he certainly understands the burden that people face.”

In a September 2010 piece for Rolling Stone, journalist Matt Taibbi wrote in regard to the Tea Party: “I’ve concluded that the whole miserable narrative boils down to one stark fact: They’re full of shit. … The Tea Party is a movement that purports to be furious about government spending — only the reality is that the vast majority of its members are former Bush supporters who yawned through two terms of record deficits … The average Tea Partier is sincerely against government spending — with the exception of the money spent on them. In fact, their lack of embarrassment when it comes to collecting government largesse is key to understanding what this movement is all about …”

Taibbi concluded, “This, then, is the future of the Republican Party: Angry white voters hovering over their cash-stuffed mattresses with their kerosene lanterns, peering through the blinds at the oncoming hordes of suburban soccer moms they’ve mistaken for death-panel bureaucrats bent on exterminating anyone who isn’t an illegal alien or a Kenyan anti-colonialist.”

Observers have compared the Tea Party movement to others in U.S. history, finding commonalities with previous populist movements and third parties, such as the Know Nothing party, the John Birch Society, and the campaigns of Huey Long, Barry Goldwater, George Wallace, and Ross Perot.

Two historians, Steve Fraser and Joshua B. Freeman, have written in that the Tea Party movement and anti-immigration movements share a “fear of displacement.” Historian Jill Lepore has described the movement as a form of “historical fundamentalism.” U.S. Senator Chris Dodd compared the Tea Party movement to the Know Nothings, saying it seeks to “roll the clock back to a point in time which they’ve sort of idealized in their own minds as being a better time in America.”

This blogger’s view on the Tea Party is that they are embarassing idiots. But then, many Americans are embarassing idiots, who vote for legislation that directly harms their own well-being. They deserve each other. We can only pray that they slowly die off (politically, that is).

Bold Racism

Marilyn Davenport, a member of the Republican Central Committee of Orange County, sent an e-mail to a few fellow conservatives with what was meant to be a family photo of the president and his parents. Obama’s face is superimposed over a baby ape’s. As if that weren’t bad enough, the caption above the photo in the email read, “Now you know why no birth certificate.”

Thank you Marilyn Davenport (R- Tea Party)

Davenport commented, “I’m sorry if my email offended anyone, I simply found it amusing regarding the character of Obama and all the questions surrounding his origin of birth. In no way did I even consider the fact he’s half black when I sent out the email. In fact, the thought never entered my mind until one or two other people tried to make this about race.”

While at a Tea Party event on February 27, 2009, a photo was taken of founder and president Dale Robertson with a sign that said “Congress = Slaveowner, Taxpayer = Niggar”. Robertson was ejected from the event because of the offensive nature of the sign, and Houston Tea Party Society leaders ousted him from the society shortly after. As of May 2011 Robertson is still listed as “President & Founder” on the “Founder” section.

Tea Part founder Robertson with racist sign

Rick Ungar, political observer says, “Kicking off their controversial national convention in Nashville last night, Tom Tancredo, the one time GOP Congressman, presidential candidate and confirmed wing-nut, presented the opening speech. To make certain that the event got off to the right start, Tancredo proceeded to give the most racist speech I can recall since David Duke, the Ku Klux Klan leader turned politician, amazed us with his vile dribble.

Unger says, “Ripping into Obama, Tancredo announced that the president had won his office because “we do not have a civics, literacy test before people can vote in this country.”

This was no accidental choice of words. In the Jim Crow south, literacy tests were used to prevent the majority of African Americans from voting. This practice continued into 1960s when it was mercifully ended by The Voting Rights Act of 1965. The literacy tests, graded arbitrarily by people of dubious literacy accomplishment, were one of the most shameful acts in our nation’s past.

But Tancredo was just getting warmed up, says Ungar.

“People who could not spell the word vote or say it in English put a committed socialist ideologue in the White House — name is Barack Hussein Obama.”

And there it is, ladies and gentlemen, the root of the problem. The voice of the Tea Party says that it is the illiterate black masses that voted in this travesty, this muslim, this abominable black man.

Screwing Things Up

Tea Party activists claim that their movement is focused on tax reform and knocking down the deficit. Where were they during the Bush administration when the deficit was escalating at an unheard-of rate due to two huge wars justified by complete lies? Does it not occur to them that these illegal wars, not Medicare, are the root of the deficit problems? The wars carried on, uncriticized, sacrificing the lives of thousands of American soldiers as well as billions of dollars. Big corporations, many with financial ties to the Bush families, continue to score massive profits.

They would rather cut Medicare and Medicaid, which benefit virtually every older American. Not to mention union busting, cutting back essential services like police and firefighters, letting the infrastructure go to shit, etc. I would bet that the so-called “entitlement programs” benefit families of Tea Partiers along with everyone else. What possible logical reason can they have for giving tax breaks to the wealthiest at the cost of these programs.

The economic issue is a foil for the racists of the USA, who have come out of the closet (the door never having completely closed) under the guise of crusading for the little guy, when they themselves are backed by corporate interests that strongly oppose changes in corporate tax privilege.

Now we are all paying the price. The Tea Party snagged the congressional debates on the national budget to such an extent, that to avoid bankruptcy of the government, congress was forced to approve a “compromise” that completely bowed to the Tea Party platform. The Tea Party refused to give an inch, and took it right up until the 11th hour, proving that their agenda was more important to them than the general good of the country.

Well, say what you will about the intelligence of the analysts at Standard & Poors, they did study the situation and they did downgrade the American credit rating, carefully stating that their move was based on their mistrust of congress’ ability to function effectively, not in American’s ability to pay their bills. Great.

From British blog of Sabina Becker, thanks Debi

Pictures and info from various web sources. And some of it from the author.

About BG

Beryl Gorbman is a writer and private investigator who divides her time between Seattle WA and Merida Yucatan Mexico. She has published two works of fiction, 2012: Deadly Awakening, and Madrugada. They are both available on Amazon and other outlets. Also at Amate Books, and Casa Catherwood in Merida. You can read about them in various articles on this site.
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25 Responses to The Tea Party, Racism, and USA Economics

  1. The Tea Baggers were originally funded by coal baron David Koch.

    SourceWatch says:
    “Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is a group fronting special interests started by oil billionaire David Koch and Richard Fink (a member of the board of directors of Koch Industries). AFP has been accused of funding astroturf operations but also has been fueling the “Tea Party” efforts. AFP’s messages are in sync with those of other groups funded by the Koch Family Foundations and the Koch’s other special interest groups that work against progressive or Democratic initiatives and protections for workers and the environment. Accordingly, AFP opposes labor unions, health care reform, stimulus spending, and cap-and-trade legislation, which is aimed at making industries pay for the air pollution that they create. AFP was also involved in the attacks on Obama’s “green jobs” czar, Van Jones, and has crusaded against international climate talks. According to an article in the August 30, 2010 issue of The New Yorker, the Kochs are known for “creating slippery organizations with generic-sounding names,” that “make it difficult to ascertain the extent of their influence in Washington.” AFP’s budget surged from $7 million in 2007 to $40 million in 2010, an election year. “

  2. George O'Brian says:

    We have plenty of Confidence in this country, but we are a little short of good men to place our Confidence in. ~Will Rogers

  3. Norm Roberts says:

    Obama’s problem is two-fold. First , he was elected into the biggest mess any President has been elected into, except for Lincoln. It’s a relatively slow moving mess, and the end game will occur during the next administration. Whoever wins the presidency in 2012 will probably head a party going to the woodshed for a prolonged period of time. As a nation we no longer have the wherewithal to deal with our problems in the short-run. I am still optimistic that we can deal with the longer term problems. However anything that can be done now inflicts pain in the short run. So Obama inherited the problem, but now it is his, and I give him average to poor marks for dealing with it.

    The second part of Obama’s problem is that he is governing from the center. The only difficulty with that is that there is no one in the center; the left-leaning Democrats are furious with Obama; and obviously the Republicans have their their undies in a tither. Fortunately for Obama, there does not appear to be anyone on the left that has sufficient stature to challenge him. The healthcare fiasco is a result of trying to incorporate market based solutions into the healthcare system; this has left us with a system that will be too complicated to work.

    Obama needs to find a way to tell the American people the truth, which is that we are broke. However truth, when unpleasant, never goes over well. We need to find a way to regauge the system that’s fair. Needless to say, we probably won’t, and the issues of liquidity and solvency will be resolved in the heat of crisis – the worst possible time. Obama needs to study Franklin Roosevelt to figure out how Roosevelt was able to inspire a nation in depression even as solutions to the problem remained elusive. Then Obama needs to apply those lessons. We are in a long-term economic contraction and if we aren’t in a depression, we soon will be.

    • BG says:

      Interesting points. Given the situation President Obama has inherited, I can’t see how he could have reacted much differently. He is hog-tied by a conservative congress. I think he has been quite explicit about the American financial catastrophe, and has politely put the blame squarely where it belongs – on illicit wars on foreign soil.
      However, my fancy was caught by your last paragraph. Roosevelt galvanized the country and the economy with his jobs programs. Of course, President Obama would have hard time implementing that because it would cost money, even though it would create millions of jobs. Too bad about those tunnel vision assholes.

  4. Estela K says:

    I agree with your comments 100%…if Obama were an upper class white anglo saxon…the Washington rabble rousers wouldn´t DARE address him and criticize him in such an ignominious fashion. As you point out, these are American racists at their worst, emboldened by the erroneous belief that their target is an inferior human being. All decent Americans, not to mention all minorities, should take note and go against these creeps with the most powerful weapon they have: their vote against anyone who supports Tea Party members in any way.

    Racism is an insidious thing. I remember shortly after the last presidential election a member of our expat community saying to me: “I didn´t vote for Obama but I´m glad we have a black president”. To which I replied: “Black? I don´t see the black man. I see a distinguished Harvard Law School graduate with a fine political track record.” We must stop thinking in color.

  5. Kinbote says:

    And Michelle Bachmann, whose obviously gay husband runs a clinic to help gays not be gay anymore, has won the Iowa straw poll.

    But personally, I’m not too worried about how the election is going to end up. The way I see it, there will be a split amongst conservatives. We will either have a Republican candidate and a Tea Party candidate and neither will win, or the Republicans will choose a complete clown like Bachmann or Palin and every serious conservative in the nation will vote Democrat.

    Hopefully I’m not jinxing things by saying this.

    But yes, the world is full of stupid, racist people, and a lot more of them are being given voice now than would have been even twenty years ago.

    Sadly, many of the people on our side aren’t a whole lot smarter. Not too long ago I was at a dinner party during which an environmentalist tried to convince me that Pittsburgh was named Pittsburgh because of all the coal pits there.

    Are you familiar with the facepalm? It’s a move I like to do when people try to tell me really stupid things:


    Anyhoo, right now the world is in desperate need of intelligent people on both sides. Idiocy on the correct side is still idiocy nonetheless, and it only serves to embolden the opponent. Unfortunately, both sides have been whipped up into a frenzy by social networking and the 24-hour news cycle. Were it not for those things, the Bachmanns and the "Pittsburgh is named after coal pits" people of the world would not be given such a voice.

    Of course, usually when I say these things, people accuse me of being a right-winger who hates the environment. I love the environment. And at times I have been known to make even the most staunch liberal look like Strom Thurmond.

    I just hate idiocy. For some reason, people feel more comfortable now than ever speaking about things they don't know the first thing about. And because of this, people like Michelle Bachmann and Sarah Palin have gotten where they are.

    Which is why, personally, I think all these people commenting on politics on the internet should put the computer away and pick up a book. Which is what I think I'll do right now.

  6. Sean O'Neill says:

    Oh Beryl, what a wonderful article. Not sure I like the comments, but I guess you can’t control them. I am sick about this country. Michelle Bachman scares the hell out of me. She is worse than Palin by miles.

    Obama is still my hero. I still have my shrine up. He should say “Fuck You” to all of them and walk away with that darling family of his. Let those ass-holes, those right wing evangelical idiots fix what Bush did.

    You are wonderful for having the courage to write this…

  7. John S says:

    Excellent, Send the elephants back to the circus, where they belong

  8. mexicano says:

    This article is so all-over-the-place that it’s going to be difficult to address the points in a structured and logical manner, but here goes -

    1. WILSON. While Rep Wilson’s behaviour may have been discourteous, he was only pointing out that Obama was lying when he said illegal aliens would not benefit from Obamacare. This may have been contentious at the time – after all no-one had seen the bill when it was passed – but we now know this to be the case ( If you dan’t like people being disrespectful to the President, then maybe you might start by asking that he is honest with them in the first place.

    2. RACISM. It may come as a surprise to you, but racism is not a ‘sickness’ in any meaningful sense of the word. Since the dawn of man, individuals have favoured their own kind over other kinds, whether for reasons of culture, skin colour, religion or even aesthetics (see you recent article on the research by that Japanese professor). Often this is based on sound historical, survival-oriented logic and it holds true of every single society on the face of the earth. The Japs hate the Chinese; the Arabs hate the Jews: the Northern Irish Protestants hate the Northern Irish Catholics; the Hindus hate the Muslims; and everybody hates the French. And vice versa … The list is literally endless.

    So, to then single out and accuse the Tea Party of racism is disingenuous – your two feeble attempts at ‘proving’ their guilt with pictures, notwithstanding. In the first we have a white woman (Dunham), a black man (Obama Sr) and a mulatto child (Obama Jr) represented as chimps. Since the both blacks and whites are represented equally one is hard-pushed to see this as an example of anti-black racism. Besides, I don’t recall any articles by you condemning the equally widespread depiction of Bush Jr as a chimp back when he was POTUS. In the other photo, a man uses the N-word to show just how abused the tax payer feels at the hands of politicians. He is not using it to with reference to the black race per se, merely to the economics of the slave-master relationship. Insensitive? Maybe. Racist? Hardly.

    Indeed, if there is a widespread problem of institutionalized racism in the west today, then I would suggest it comes from blacks and is aimed against whites, as the recent assaults and riots in a wide variety of locations around the world have illustrated –

    Not to mention in the law courts -

    There are many more such stories, but it seems you prefer to turn a blind eye when the evidence contradicts your case.

    Incidentally, your references to the Jim Crow laws and David Duke to justify your argument is revealing insofar as the first were introduced by the Democrats and the second was originally a Democrat. Go figure.

    3. GLOBAL WARMING. A skepticism with regard to the teachings of the global warming brigade is a sign of sanity (the converse is also true), so why you should choose to highlight this aspect of the Tea Party movement is puzzling.

    4. BLACK ELECTORATE. Sadly, Blacks in the USA have not achieved the same standards of literacy as other races, except where the system has been corrupted in their favour (see recent events in Alabama, for example). If you can find any evidence to the contrary, I will gladly examine it. Given that we also know that they (along with other ethnic groups) voted en masse for Obama is it really that inaccurate to state that they helped install him in the White House?

    5. THE ECONOMY. America is outspending its ability to repay its debts and is threatened with bankruptcy unless stern measures are taken to reverse this trend. The Tea Party understands this. They may not have said so as loudly when Bush was in power, but the threat was not as great then as it has since become under Obama – what with the massive increase in spending under his administration.

    6. WAR. Last time I looked Obama had increased the number of theatres in which the US armed forces are serving and fighting. If you’re going to criticise the wars in which the US is involved you should at least aim some of the criticism where it belongs – with the Commander-in-Chief.

    7. UK CARTOON. Sadly this is a hopelessly inaccurate cartoon. For one thing, the vast majority of the rioters were black. For another, Cameron has not made ANY cuts to UK expenditure – he has only committed to slowing the rate of growth in expenditure, which is something else altogether. In other words, spending will continue to increase overall. Thirdly, the cartoon is misleading in suggesting cuts caused the riots when, as was predicted from the start, they were the inevitable result of mass immigration, reduced policing and a lavish welfare state.

    Hope this helps!

    • BG says:

      This comment is a fabulous illustration of what is wrong with our country. Elitist and racist to the core. Also, the qualifiers are breathtaking – “Sadly, this is a….,” “Last time I looked….,” They may not have said so loudly, but….,” While Rep Wilson’s comments may have been discourteous…,” “It may come as a surprise to you, but…,” etc. Your most out-there statement, however, is #4. In fact, it is so wild, I don’t even know how to address it. But I’m glad to hear that if I find evidence that black people are literate, you “will gladly examine it.” Unbelievable.

      • Kinbote says:

        I vote that we reinstate segregation. I do not want my potential future children going to school with Mexicanos.

      • mexicano says:

        Nothing like tackling your critics head on, is there BG? Why bother when you can just shout ‘elitist and racist’ and pretend you’ve won the argument – works every time in Lala-land. Unfortunately, out here in the real world there are real problems that need to be directly addressed. Many of these have been caused by the pursuit of ‘left-wing’ policies by both Democrats and Republicans over more than 6 decades. If you feel as strongly as you claim to about the current state of the your nation, then it might pay to question whether this has been an unmitigated good. (The problem, of course, is that you don’t care – you actually want things to deteriorate – but that’s a story for another day).

        Incidentally, my reference to the literacy of Blacks was contextual – something you deliberately ignored in your response. What I said was, “Sadly, Blacks in the USA have not achieved the same standards of literacy as other races, except where the system has been corrupted in their favour (see recent events in Alabama, for example). If you can find any evidence to the contrary, I will gladly examine it.” How about looking for some evidence to the contrary instead of declaring me all but insane (“wild”, “out-there”, etc)?

        Ultimately the problem is that you and your kind have brought about the current state of affairs – a fact that is becoming increasing obvious with every day, whether in the fields of education or race relations or the economy. Yet even as the flames leap around you – consuming real people in the process – all you can do is scream for more petrol to be poured on the fire and for the fire brigade itself to get lost. Well, good luck with that!

        • BG says:

          Well, “Mexicano,” you are a good writer – I have to give you that. But that’s all I give you.

        • Kinbote says:

          Mexicano, you can’t spew a bunch of ridiculous, intellectually dishonest garbage and then expect people to entertain you. If you want an honest debate, then it starts with you, pal. I feel no obligation to refute your points, because your points are bogus from the very get-go, and anyone with a brain knows this. I can show up here and claim that the White House was built by female reptilian aliens from the planet Boobulon, but it’s quite another thing for me to expect everyone to debate me on it.

  9. Howard McAskill says:

    Must say I love your blog for the insights to Merida, etc., but I’m not with you at all on this attack on the Tea Party and the political right. And why would you berate the use of a photoshopped image of Obama, then take a cheap shot via a photoshopped image of Sarah Palin? Not feeling you at all with this one, but looking forward to expanding my understanding of Mexico through your future efforts on that theme.


  11. lynne says:

    I think racism and our sensitivity to it is so ingrained in the older generations that they have a really hard time understanding and or seeing it. I’m not sure you can effectively blame the blacks for their lack of education when you enslaved them for hundreds of years, raped their women and strung up their men to hang from trees like “strange fruit”. You cannot beat a person down for that long and then turn on the lights one day and say “guess what you can vote and you have all the same rights as your white neighbor so get out their and kick ass”. I think we have proven that in this country. We will continue to pay as country for all our wrongs and especially our wrongs to the black people in this country. I think it’s almost impossible to get certain people to understand that on every level in this country the deck is still stacked against people of color. Until you’ve walked a mile in those shoes you really don’t have any idea what it’s like. Also, racism is more than using this word or that word it’s a mindset and so much a part of some people it literally emanates from them even when they’re trying to be clever or smart.

    • BG says:

      You’re right, Lynne. When you are white, it is impossible to know what it’s like to be black. And the racism is so ingrained, it evidences itself all the time, sometimes in big ways, sometimes in small ways. If you are black, and you see a couple of white people staring at you, you can assume they are not admiring your shirt. I think black people in the USA need to look over their shoulders all the time. I’ve heard friends say that when they travel to another country, almost any other country, and that hatred is not prevalent, it is like a burden lifting.
      It is similar to men refusing to acknowledge the rights of women unless they are pushed to the edge and have to bow to legislation. People operate out of their own perspectives on every level.

  12. lynne says:


  13. mexicano says:

    You guys get better and better with every comment, little realizing how detached you make yourself look with your accusations of ‘racism’ and ‘hatred’, and your references to ‘neo-Nazis’, ‘Adolph’ and ‘Satan’.

    You probably won’t believe it, but it needs saying anyway: my criticism of Obama is not based on his skin colour. It is based on his policies and hapless performance in office. Apparently I am not alone – these guys seem to agree with me, but then I guess you’ll just say they’re racists too …

  14. mexicanuck says:

    “Americans will generally do the right thing, but only after exhausting all available alternatives” (or something like that) Winston Churchill

  15. mexicano says:

    Hey, BG, care to comment on the fact that Herman Cain, a candidate for the Republican nomination, has just won a straw vote at CPAC Florida, scoring 37.1% over distant runners-up, Rick Perry at 15.4# and Mitt Romney at 14%. Did I mention that Cain is a Tea Party candidate? Or that he is the only black man running against eight white candidates? Maybe you can tell us how you square it with the Tea Party hating BO because they’re all bigots and racists and stuff …

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