Whether they are incoherently screaming racial slurs or packing some incredibly racist signs for their trip to their local
Klan rally protest, the “not-racists” of the Tea Party want to fundamentally transform America–not for the better, of course, but to better match their theocratic, jingoistic world view.
It seems like you can’t swing a cat without slamming into yet another example of bigotry in the Jesus-loving, ‘Murika-stroking, “patriot” crowd. Whether you are Hispanic, black, a Muslim, gay, or a woman, the Tea Party doesn’t feel that you deserve the same rights as the almighty white, Christian male.
Proudly waving their Gadsden flags, pretending that their views belong anywhere but our country’s shameful past, the Tea Party works tirelessly to advance the “religious rights” of corporations as it ignores those of anyone who does not fit within the preferred demographic.
Multiple studies have linked extreme conservatism to low I.Q. and racism, and the Tea Party perfectly exemplifies both–but, unfortunately, they lack the self-awareness to realize that their horrid and bigoted actions are actually horrid and bigoted.
I was reminded of the time I went from merely disliking the Tea Party to completely abhorring them when I ran across this video on YouTube. This footage is from a 2009 Tea Party near the bank of the Ohio River in Wheeling, West Virginia.
I was walking around Heritage Port to kill time and noticed the gathering (yes, there were tricorn hats) of Tea Partiers. As with any political gathering, I stood to listen to what they had to say. At the time, I knew that the Tea Party was full of ideologies with which I did not agree, but did not realize quite how vile they could be.
This video, preserved by Buckeye State Blog, highlights the moment that my dislike turned to furor. The speaker claimed that our government is raising taxes “to help 12 million illegal immigrants and unemployed minorities so ‘these people’ can have a better life.” The crowd enthusiastically booed as she reminded them exactly how black and brown people are taking their 401Ks and social security away.
While it is not audible in the video, a man in the back of the crowd near where I was standing turned to a friend and said “We’d be better off just killing all of those b*aners and n*ggers anyway.” When I saw his face, it was a co-worker of mine–someone I sat next to on a daily basis, someone I called a friend up until that very moment.
I have never had an issue with people holding conflicting views. That’s part of what makes this country great–but when a speaker at a political rally publicly blames certain races and ethnicities for America’s problems, encouraging listeners to erupt into calls for mass extermination–that’s where I draw the line. My great grandmother came to America from Poland to escape the Holocaust, after all.
I left in disgust after hearing this statement, but I am told that the hate rally devolved into further bigotry–and I am glad I did not stick around. Wheeling, WV is a city of roughly 30,000 people. The racial makeup of Wheeling is approximately 92% white, 5% African-American, less than a percent Hispanic, but much of the black community lives within a few miles of where that hateful harpy was standing.
I think that hearing that woman speak those words in my city was the moment I realized that the Tea Party was not a political movement. It was the beginning of a rebirth of something my great grandmother risked her life to escape–bigotry wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross. Until we, as a society denounce anything associated with this hateful and divisive “movement,” it represents not a political danger–but a danger to anyone who is not white, “Christian,” and wealthy.
The unfortunate reality of living in a heavily conservative area is dealing with people like “Psychic Bob,” a Tea Partier whose only defenses are “Read the Constitution” and idiotic claims that he possesses psychic powers that allow him to know when a person is a liberal know-nothing. Or the Overpassers AATTP encountered in nearby St. Clairsville Ohio, who feel Obama should be impeached because of “The Benghazi” and “all of his lies,” including his “uh, failure to provide proof of his birth certificate on-up.” More recently, we encountered a group in Bridgeport, Ohio, led by Psychic Bob, that “dropped dox” on our own Jason Troyan, publishing and disseminating his personal information in their online circles–with one Teabagger reminding him, “All of us know where you live, boy” and threatening to ‘visit’ Troyan at home.
I do want to be clear that this crowd is not in any way representative of the majority in my area–but there is heavy Tea Party support and–yes–those who support the Tea Party largely fall into this mindset. It makes me ashamed of my home, which is a feeling I did not have before the Tea Party infected my neighbors.