The Return of the Tea-Party-is-Racist Smear
Our friends at the New York Times did a retrospective piece August 28, 2019 on the tenth anniversary of the Tea Party that emerged in 2009 after the election of Barack Obama, the nation’s First Black President. But, according to Tyler O’Neil, the NYT got into trouble because the article did not accuse the Tea Party of racism. So, in due course, Times amended the article to add a retrospective accusation of racism as demanded by the critics.
When the Tea Party emerged in the spring of 2009 it represented itself as a political movement in the grand old tradition of American politics, like the folks that staged the Boston Tea Party of 1773. The simplest way of describing the Tea Party’s birth, from the perspective of the post-2016 world, would be that it represented a #Resistance against the results of the presidential election of 2008. Just as lefty Americans were devastated by the Trump ascendancy of 2016 and were moved to protest it, the Tea Partiers felt that the sharp left turn of 2008 represented a threat to their kind of America.
May we be permitted to suggest to our liberal friends, ever so gently, that the good-fellowship and tricorn hats of the Tea Party were rather less “divisive” than the threats and “mostly peaceful protests” of the #Resistance and its iconic AntiFa protesters and feminist pussy-hatters.
The accusation of racism against the Tea Party started early, as I recall. I felt at the time that the accusation was, as the postmodernists say, “overdetermined.” If you believe that any political speech that opposes the liberal Narrative is racist, and if you think that white middle class Americans are crypto-racists, and if you think that anyone that opposes any black elected official is racist, and if you think that the white working class are all Archie Bunkers, well, of course you think that the Tea Party was racist. Racist, racist, racist.
My most vivid recollection of the great Tea Party’s Taxpayer March on Washington on the National Mall on September 12, 2009 was the white Tea Partiers being overjoyed to meet and greet the few black Americans that turned up at the event. It was even a bit embarrassing to see how pathetically glad they were to see African-Americans joining their parade.
So there you are: if the Tea Partiers were overjoyed to see blacks at their march, that’s racism, straight up!
But hey: If you opposed any of President Obama’s initiatives, they called you a racist.
If you oppose Affirmative Action or “diversity and inclusion” they call you a racist.
If you attack any liberal black politician they call you a racist.
If you oppose any liberal program they call you a racist.
Not to mention that if you disagree with a feminist they call you a sexist, and if you disagree with an LGBT they call you a homophobe.
By the way, dear liberal friends, if you are still wondering what Donald Trump is all about, just remember that he is the first politician to come along and fight back against liberal name-calling instead of turning the other cheek. And the cool thing is that Twitter can’t close the president’s account, because Trump’s the president and the Trust and Safety SJWs don’t get to bully him around like they do ordinary Americans. Talk about presidential privilege!
But here’s a question. Does it matter whether the Tea Party was racist?
We have Civil Rights laws that make it illegal for government and for individuals to commit racist acts. We have judges that, as far as I am aware, are virtually all anti-racist to a woman. We have liberals shining the light of shame on anyone that dares to take a step back to the days of Jim Crow. We have diversity and inclusion administrators all over our education system to winkle out the slightest micro-agression on the race front.
The bigger question is why liberals find it so important to find racists behind every tree. Why is it so important to name and shame the tiki-torch marchers of Charlottesville? Why is it so important to accuse President Trump of being a racist? The answer is pretty simple. Fighting racism is what gives meaning to liberal lives. And that is why I say that lefty activism is neo-knight-errantry, liberals dressing up as knights in shining armor to right wrongs and rescue damsels in distress, long after the wrongs have been righted.
The point about racism is that back in the day, Jim Crow racists were the ruling class in the South. But the Tea Party was a bunch of nobodies. There is no chance of Tea Partiers becoming the ruling class, for good or ill.
So why do liberals obsess about Tea Party racism? Because there is nothing to beat naming and shaming the lower classes.
Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on US government finances, usgovernmentspending.com. Also get his American Manifesto and his Road to the Middle Class.