(Dale Robertson, a Tea Party activist, holding his sign at the Feb. 27, 2009 Tea Party in Houston)
The conservatism which took hold in America during the cultural devastation of Ronald Reagan, the Neocons who successfully married the Religious Right, depends on conning the working class to benefit the owning class by actively maintaining or advancing two bedrock values: woman-hating and white supremacy. It's a one-two punch that sucks in otherwise progessive males who are covertly terrified of powerful women and otherwise intelligent women who are covertly terrified of brown folks. (Or not so covertly.)
I agree with Katha Pollitt that I'm personally relieved we are not sitting in the raging floodwaters of woman-hating sewage that would fill all the airwaves if Hillary Clinton had won the Presidency. The backlash would be horrific.
But equally horrific is how white supremacy has come out from under wraps (well. it never was concealed for those of us without privilege or choosing to not accept denial) and has fueled a 250% increase in terrorist organizations whose raison d'etre is race hatred. And make no mistake about it, to quote Bob Cesca's essay at Huffpo today, "The Tea Party is all about race."
I'm going to quote a few sections from his post to whet your appetite but I hope you'll go read it for yourselves. We must continue challenging the media coverage which acts like these people have a rational agenda and force exposure of what actually brings them together -- why separatist, eliminationist Sarah Palin is their darling. Why Rick Perry is running for Governor of Texas with TV spots openly declaring his support for Tenthers, a code for white supremacists who want to roll back federal civil rights protection in "their" states. We have to decode their dogwhistles at every turn and organize that majority of citizens for whom race hatred is un-American. We are the real patriots, and we must not let them steal that term.
From Bob Cesca The Tea Party Is All About Race:
"...when you strip away all of the rage, all of the nonsensical loud noises and all of the contradictions, all that's left is race. The tea party is almost entirely about race, and there's no comparative group on the left that's similarly motivated by bigotry, ignorance and racial hatred.
"...The tea party is an extension of talk radio. It's an extension of Fox News Channel. It's an extension of the southern faction of the Republican Party -- the faction that gave us the Southern Strategy, the Willie Horton ad, the White Hands ad and the racially divisive politics of Lee Atwater and Karl Rove. It's an extension of the race-baiting and, often, the outright racism evident in all of those conservative spheres.
"...In the final analysis, when you boil away all of the weirdness, it becomes clear that the teabaggers are pissed because there isn't yet another doddering old white guy in the White House -- like they're used to. That's what this is all about."
(Hat-tip to Brilliant at Breakfast for pointing me toward the Cesca post.)
[Cross-posted at Group News Blog.]