Thursday, July 15, 2010

What If the Tea Party Was Black?

No giant essay today; just two (or three, depending) strong recommendations for listening/reading.

Satellite High, the guy behind the awesome diss track of the teaparty rappers Wolverines' track "O.T.P. (One-Term President)," hipped me to a really satisfying video today, entitled "What If the Tea Party Was Black?" For politically oriented hip-hop, it's extremely well done, avoiding ponderous and syllable-choked words, elaborate sentences or the unskilled MC's tendency to run back to a chorus every two lines because he's afraid you won't "get" it. The whole thing is perfectly pitched: fun, catchy and devastatingly on-point when it needs to be:

You may remember the title as the subject of a Tim Wise column linked here in a piece called "The Right Kind of Terrorism," in which I looked at the far right's new self-aggrandizing offenses against history and expanded on Wise's speculation about how whites would respond if people of color behaved exactly like the teaparty. Wise continues to catalog the teaparty's abuse of fact and their entirely fabricated martyrdom in a new and brutally — but enjoyably — thorough essay entitled, "Black Power's Gonna Get You Sucka: Right-Wing Paranoia and the Rhetoric of Modern Racism."

His essay teems with links to studies and news articles on modern white racism against blacks and other minorities, followed by a list of frankly disgusting white claims of "reverse racism." If you know anyone who sincerely uses the term, this is the excellent counterpoint to the racist fantasist trash that they eagerly forward to your email box hours after Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh spontaneously invents it on air.


  1. I appreciate the brevity of this one.

  2. I'm assuming you heard about that guy who retorted the NAACP's claim that the tea party was racist with the not-at-all retarded statement that he shouldn't listen to a group that has "colored" in its name talk about race.

    This guy, Mark Williams, wrote a blog post with a satiric letter where the NAACP's president wrote to Lincoln calling him "the greatest racist ever," among other retarded things. Read it here:

    But like an angel of sanity, Tim Wise appears in the comments section and drops some knowledge on this douchenozzle:

    "As for the NAACP: to call them racist for their name is the height of ignorance, and you must surely know it. The group formed in 1909, at which time that was the term. Now, perhaps they could have changed their name, but for the sake of organizational continuity most groups don’t do that. There is a proud history behind that group, as surely you must recognize. Needless to say, NAACP members don’t go around calling themselves colored or other folks colored in conversation. It is simply the name so as to demonstrate the longevity of one of the nation’s premier civil rights groups.

    Secondly, this letter, as many of your other commenters above have noted is highly insensitive (not just un-PC), and can easily be construed as racist. To begin, you trip every stereotype about black people being lazy, wanting flat screen TVs with taxpayer dollars, and not wanting to work, etc so as to make your point. How is that not racist? (Aside from being inaccurate in terms of what black folks’ values actually are)."

    That's only a snippet, and I highly sugget reading the whole thing.

  3. When caught out being plainly racist, tea baggers and conservatives both seem to play the "only joking" card or the "it was a liberal plant" card. To me, that seems to show that they know how inexcusable this ideology is to the surrounding society. They *know* they're racists, because they scurry to excuse this sort of thing when it's caught out.

    The plainly racist Tea Party Express rant, thinly clothed in satire, is still an openly racist rant. It's not written in a way that mocks racism, or the paranoid delusions of Beck, it's plainly intended to reinforce and further those delusions. So I don't believe it even qualifies as "satire."

    It's like those annoying jackasses who will say something plainly offensive or cruel and then, before you can smack them down, quickly adds "just joking." Clearly they say "just joking" to provide a thin shield of social protection to hide behind.

    The tea bagger or conservative caught out being unacceptable seems to run to the same shelter, "Oh you didn't get the joke..." In both cases it's a cowardly attempt to get away with saying something unacceptable.

    The Tea Bag and conservative movement are based on racism. They both rely on foundational "truths" that are inherently racist from which to build the rest of their ideology.

    The unfunny, non-satirical, "I'm just kidding," letter from the tea party express just provides further proof that racism flows in this movement's veins.

    And I think the fact that they keep using "it's satire" or "it was said by a liberal plant" as defenses, indicates that they know how offensive their core beliefs are.

  4. I have nothing against blacks, but there's an awesome paper from a linguist called "Discourse and the Denial of Racism" which offers an explanation of why ppl even bother to preface their overtly racially prejudiced assertions with such disclaimers as I have done in this very sentence. Reverse racism, as a denial strategy, is actually a very clever idiot's strategy (and a surprisingly common one) because the accuser is forced from an offensive role into a defensive role. It's an application of the maxim "offence is the best defence". Only you can't, say, accuse someone of stealing something from you after you've been accused of being racist, because the success of the reverse racism strategy derives from the illogical but nonetheless commonly held presupposition that when two parties are accusing each other of the same crime (being a racist in this case), then at most one party need be culpable. It's fucking genius if you think about it.

    Anyways, here's my Dropbox link to the paper (


Et tu, Mr. Destructo? is a politics, sports and media blog whose purpose is to tell jokes or be really right about things. All of us have real jobs and don't need the hassle that telling jokes here might occasion, which is why some contributors find it more tasteful to pretend to be dead mass murderers.