On December 16, 1773, a group of fired-up colonists in Boston went down to Griffins Wharf, boarded 3 Vessels, and spent the next 3 hours tossing 342 chests of British Tea overboard into The Atlantic Ocean. There were anywhere from 30 to 130 men involved, some disguised as Mohawk Indians. Part of the reason for the Tea-Party dumping was due to the fact that the colonists had no representation in the British Parliment, which felt it wasn’t neccessary because they “owned” the Colonies, and could levy whatever duties and taxes it wanted. It was a little more complicated than that, as it always is, but that’s the summary of what happened.
Can someone please tell me how this has any relationship to the so-called “Tea-Party” following?
Having grown up in Massachusetts, I have a hard time believing the good citizens of Boston, circa 1773 would be happy that that some 237 years later, their heroic act of defiance against the British would be hijacked by an almost exclusively white, male, right-wing off-shoot of what we would call Conservative Republicans. Now, let’s give these folks their due. They would tell you it’s not all white people. That’s true. Only about 89% are white. And yes, they aren’t all racists, or calling for violence or the overthrow of our duly elected officials. But here is where I part ways with these people. The problem, as I see it, is that the Tea-Party has been acting as a magnet, attracting idealogue extremists of all kinds, who set-up shop under their umbrella. This of course is the classic turn-your-head, tacit-approval that I’m speaking of. While on the one hand they claim to be a non-discriminitory party, they allow the unhinged-fringe to set up shop at their gatherings. There is no way to have any dialogue or reasonable debate with these dangerous loose-cannons. Some are rooted in racism against our president, others in religious or lifestyle racism. Their back-wards and often angry outbursts are seen everyday on the news. And to be fair, these types of people have been around at least since the original Tea-Party. Unfortunately, many of these far-right lunatics become emboldened and feel that their un-hinged, often violent rhetoric is justified, thru the likes of Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Fox News.
Recently, I spoke with a couple of people who were proud Tea-Party members. They claimed their party is made up of hard-working, decent Americans who, among other things, are fed-up with all the money the Government is spending. They claim they are not racist, are inclusive of others,and that there are other people besides just white folks who are members. They went on to say that it takes a lot of courage for black members to join, so some of them don’t want to be seen in public for fear of being attacked, either verbally or physically. One member even tried to tell me that during the Tea-Party rally in Washington, D.C. last March, there were 1.2 to 2 million people in attendance, including himself. He went on to claim the BBC took photos from the air proving there were at least a million people in attendance, and that it was purposely being downplayed by the mainstream media. After some research of my own, I found Boston University professor and crowd estimate expert (yes, they actually have those!) Farouk El-Baz, who estimated peak attendance at 75,000. Figures for the Metro train ridership that day show 87,000 more riders than average. There were also reports that NO aerial photos were taken, and that the ones shown were of different rallies. Additional research by me could not find any aerial photos as well. I asked him what his ethnicity was, and he was, hold-on, here it comes, a white male! Big surprise….He then went on to say he met 15 blacks, 11 hispanics and 5 Gay people. (Not sure how he knew they were gay, unless they were carrying signs or kissing in public). Sort of reminded me of Ronald Reagan’s Secretary of the Interior, James Watt. Remember what he said about the diversity of his staff ? “We have a black, 2 cripples and a Jew”. I said wow, out of the millions of people you claim were there, including you, and you met only 31 people of other ethnic backgrounds or lifestyles ? That’s your proof of being inclusive?
So, after listening to them, this was my response: I said that if the Tea-Party wants to have any semblance of respect, or believe that what they say has even a morsel of truth to it, then they need to come out publicly with a document or statement, that basically says they denounce all forms of racial intolerance, whether it’s skin prejudice, intolerance of religious or other lifestyle choices. They should say that any extremist views towards that end, or advocating violence are not welcome, and should be made to leave if they show up. They should ask for all people of all backgrounds who believe in their ideals to join. They should publicly ask that all members respect their duly elected President, even if they disagree with his policies. They should state that all Americans are equal, and must be afforded the same respect and rights. Otherwise they will continue to be on the outer fringes of politics, and will be seen as nothing more than a mob of angry, sore losers. This is the only way they would be seen as more inclusive of all Americans.
Want to know what their response was?
-“We don’t need to comply with any affirmative action rules.” Huh?
Doesn’t that say it all? I rest my case.