What If the Tea-Party Was Black?

Jacky Beda :: Monday, July 19th, 2010 4:15 pm

The Tea Party movement has prided itself with expressing values of freedom and protesting a government agenda corrupting peoples rights. They have been portrayed by many as a patriotic group standing up for their beliefs and for the unalienable rights given by the constitution.

The Tea Party has been accused of a racist element in their movement lately. The hesitation to repudiate (or “refudiate” as the case may be)  forms of racism in the movement by Tea Party leaders has surmounted a new discussion of the Tea-Party, and the portraying of race in America.

An armed group of angry civilians with militant ideologies, protesting in the streets with violent signs, shouting racist and homophobic slurs would never gain so much popularity if its constituents were “colored folks,” as Tea Party Express leader Mark Williams referred to African Americans in his recent blog post. In fact, they would be designated as terrorists. Any form of a radical black movement would be viewed as detrimental to American society, and branded as terrorist by the CIA and FBI.
However when a group of “Good Old Americans” begin to wave their guns in protest, words such as “patriotic,” “revolutionary,” “founding fathers,” and “freedom” have a way of sticking and staying put.

When The Black Panther Party marched with their radical views the public sentiment was a little different, and so was the reaction by authority  figures. The FBI called the party “the greatest threat to the internal security of this country” as well as using  a laundry list of tactics, from eavesdropping to police harassment, to incriminate members of the party and to cut the organization’s resources as much as possible.

The blatant disparity in reactions to two these movements isn’t surprising. Inequity runs deep in the blood and hearts of many white Americans. For example, the rocker Ted Nudget said about President Obama, “He is a piece of shit and I told him to suck on my machine gun.” If that were a rapper referring to President Bush, the country would be in outrage and Fox News would have a field day discrediting black culture.

What if black people stood near by Capitol Hill and taunted white Congressman, spit on them, and claimed to be prepared for a political revolution? That is exactly what many of these so called “patriots” from the Tea Party did. Not only did they spit at the black Congressman but they shouted the N-word at Rep. John Lewis, a democrat from Georgia and a Civil Rights hero. They collectively laughed when one of their confederate mates yelled “Barney you Faggot!” at Barney Frank, an openly gay member of congress.

If the Tea Party was black, the government would swiftly suspend habeas corpus and enforce the Patriot Act for black Americans in the same way it is used against Muslim-Americans.

If the Tea Party was black the government would use its resources to crush the movement—it’d be the 60s all over again. Is there a difference between “patriots” and “dangerous revolutionaries”? Maybe it’s time we take a closer look.