Saturday, July 17, 2010

On Race, The Tea Parties And Rand Paul, This Is What Must Be Said

Reader mickst3r wrote a comment to Tom Knighton's piece "NAACP claims tea parties are racist:"

An organization for the “advancement of Colored People” is racist by definition. When the law recognizes color, it is impossible to have an equal society.

Michael, by recognizing a difference between depicting Obama as a chimp and Bush as a chimp means, you perpetuate the very racist ideology you claim to condemn.

It seems that you believe that when a group is forcefully separated by a larger group, you expect them to denounce that identity completely. The only way to be fully consistent in this criticism, which isn't without merit on its face, is to live a life in which you yourself have been free of all racial generalizations. Can you say that you have done that?

You are effectively advocating the eradication of history, at least as it is related to this particular case. To be fully consistent, do you seek to eradicate history and its meaning and lessons from other issues as well? Do you believe the world started yesterday?

From personal experience, those that most frequently tout to be "color-blind" and not recognize race are the most prone to such mischaracterization based on pigment. That itself could be a mischaracterization, but for the sake of avoiding hypocrisy and being able to be taken seriously one would have to not be dismissing obvious racism while actively touting colorblindness.

It's also worth adding that the depiction of Bush, Obama or Prince Charles is protected speech but is not by any means valid speech. Such cartoon characterizations are the act of those who cannot argue in the form of literary demonstration.

There is overt racism within the tea party. Here are some quick examples.

Even if the majority of tea partiers are not racist, by not addressing the issue and calling those who bring it up racists themselves, they are at best tolerating this very serious problem. Any cause that does so invalidates itself morally and shows itself to find such moral rejectionists a vital demographic that they are apparently frightened to lose.

It goes beyond simple signs. Whether or not you agree with what Rand Paul said about the 1964 Civil Rights Act, anyone who actually cares about racial harmony in the United States - a vital segment of our country becoming prosperous, free and something to be proud of - has to wonder about his bringing it up for revision forty plus years later while the first black president is in office.

While in Washington D.C., I had lunch with Caleb Brown, the host of the podcast at the Cato Institute and who happened to be from Kentucky. I asked him about Rand Paul and he said, in his own words: "There is alot of racism in Kentucky, and he's running by promising not to work with Obama." Like the other crap that I heard, this made me want to leave Washington D.C. I asked him about it later and he told me, "You just have to visit Lexington, Kentucky. Racism is still alive in America."

While criticizing his primary opponent Trey Grayson for taking money from companies that benefitted from the bailouts, Rand Paul received and accepted donations from the skinhead group Stormfront. Sure, Paul can't help who donates to him but he can help what he accepts.

We apparently live in an Orwellian world where depicting black men as chimps and using the n-word is no longer racist, but the people who call out such things are racists themselves, so I pretty much am expecting to receive comments that Stormfront isn't a racist organization. Oh, and that I am a racist and hateful for thinking that skinheads are racist. It's probably also racist to think that those who accept money from skinhead groups are acting with dubious morality as well.

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