The Tea Party is Not a Racist Organization

I don't know if this particular type of debate is still a part of your life, but I recently enjoyed a rant from one of my crazier liberal friends who unfortunately got derailed for a good 20 minutes on everybody's favorite red herring. So I'm here to remind you that, when trashing the Tea Party--an essential American pastime--it's important not lose traction in the very tempting rhetorical quicksand of accusing them of racism.

Every time you accuse the Tea Party of racism, you are Fox News.

Are the members of the tea party general racist on average? Who knows. Probably. It's really nobody's business.

Are YOU a racist for equating small-government, anti-immigrant, anti-welfare policy with being antagonistic of racial minorities? Yes, definitely.

When you move the argument towards the subtext of racism, what you are really saying is, "The arguments of the Tea Party cannot be defeated outright, so therefore..." And the rest doesn't matter. If you don't like the Tea Party, you have to debate them on the issues, not on the baggage. Imagine Al Gore and the most outspoken proponents of climate-change awareness happen to be racists. Does that make the content of their message invalid? Hell, let's say their climate change advocacy was FUELED by their racism! Let's pretend the changing climate happens to be beneficial for the health of African Americans, and vocal proponents of climate change awareness simply don't want African Americans to have these health advantages. 

Does this shitty attitude nullify the general importance of the climate change issue? Of course not.

Let's take a look at the About Us page on TeaParty.org. There are 15 Core Beliefs of the Tea Party.

1. Illegal aliens are here illegally.

*yawn*

2. Pro-domestic employment is indispensable.

K...

3. A strong military is essential.

Fuck you.

4. Special interests must be eliminated.

What does that even mean?

5. Gun ownership is sacred.

Wow... okay...

6. Government must be downsized.

Fucking duh. This should be the main thing you dudes should push.

7. The national budget must be balanced.

Fair enough.

8. Deficit spending must end.

Okay, we get it.
.
9. Bailout and stimulus plans are illegal.

Fine.

10. Reducing personal income taxes is a must.

Tricky, but arguable.

11. Reducing business income taxes is mandatory.

You should just combine these.

12. Political offices must be available to average citizens.

Hmmm... as long as these average citizens know a shit ton about public policy...

13. Intrusive government must be stopped.

K...

14. English as our core language is required.

It's already our official language. Stop making yourselves look racist.

15. Traditional family values are encouraged.

"Encouraged" is not a strong enough word for your core believes. Shit or get off the pot. (And stop trying to make yourselves look homophobic.)

Okay, so these beliefs are clearly bitchy and perhaps thinly veiled in their racism, but they still must be addressed head on and literally. Even blatantly racist behavior must be dealt with for its legal and policy transgression first, and its assholery second. Don't let your sense of decency get in the way of being a cold, calculating logic machine. Focusing on racism in the Tea Party is the liberal version of being a birther. Just say no!

No comments: