Friday, April 2, 2010

Tea Party Racism: What would Martin Luther King say?

You've probably heard about the so-called Tea Party Movement in the U.S., haven't you? I'm not very familiar with the movement, but I see it as a right-wing blatantly racist political movement. The debate surrounding the health care reform bill (which is now law) in the U.S. has been highly polarized, uncivil and disturbingly racist - especially in Tea Parties. Recent Tea Party demonstrations are a grim reminder of the civil unrest that accompanied the Civil Rights Movement in 1960. As I watch Tea Party demonstrations all across America, I can't help but wonder - what would Martin Luther King say? How would Dr. King address Tea Party racism in the U.S., 50 years after the Civil Rights Movement?

On Saturday, March 20, according to the Associate Press, Tea Party demonstrators shouted "nigger" at civil rights hero and congressman - John Lewis. When I heard the news, I was taken aback because the racist chants were directed at a man who was nearly beaten to death in the 60s because of the color of his skin. Asked about the incident, Lewis said, "... it's okay. I've faced this before. It reminded me of the 60s..."

On that fateful day, other lawmakers were also harassed, including Emanuel Cleaver, who was spat upon by the Tea Party protesters. He said he clearly heard chants of the word "nigger" echoing from the crowd. The crowd did not stop short of uttering homophobic slurs. Barney Frank - an openly gay congressman was called "homo" and "faggot" by the angry crowd.

Another civil rights leader - James Clyburn, in response to a question from Huffington Post said, "...I heard people saying things that I've not heard since March 15, 1960 when I was marching to try and get off the back of the bus."

The aforementioned incident was quite disturbing, but luckily, this time around, the racist taunting was not backed by policemen and wild dogs.

During Tea Party demonstrations, protesters carry blatantly divisive and somewhat racist signs that read:
  • "Racists Here!"
  • "Impeach the Kenyan"
  • "Obama Nomics: Monkey See, Monkey Spend!"
  • "The Zoo has an African and the White House has a Lyin' African
  • The American Tax Payers are the Jews for Obama's Ovens
  • Speak for yourself Obama - We are a Christian Nation
  • Congress = Slave Owner. Tax Payer = Niggar
  • Save White America!
  • Wake up America; You Muslim President! Bowed to his Muslim King!!
  • We Need A Christian President
  • Impeach Osama Obama Aka Hussein
The racist and hate-mongering list goes on!

While I was watching some of the demonstrations, a photo depicting President Barack Obama hanging from a noose was particularly disturbing; not forgetting a photo depicting the President as an African witch doctor. The truth is - Tea Party protesters make no secret of their racist views.

You've heard what civil rights icon - John Lewis and other Congressmen had to say about a recent Tea Party demonstration. Now, if you were having a conversation on this subject with Martin Luther King - what do you think he would say?

The resistance and disrespect President Obama has to endure in America today is clearly not because of the content of his character. It is because he is different from the many [presidents] who came before him - Obama is black and answers a Muslim name. Consequently, he is regarded as "unqualified" and a potential "threat." Believe it or not!

I don't remember the last time a U.S. President was treated with so much contempt by fellow Americans - even the very unpopular George W. Bush failed to spark such hatred and disgust.

When was the last time a U.S president was dreaded at home and loved abroad? Can you remember?

Many Americans are yet to come to terms with having an African-American in the White House. Regardless, there's no denying - CHANGE has come to America.

In my opinion, irrespective of what happens in Tea Parties nowadays, Dr. King would be impressed by the progress America has made so far - we have an African-American with a Muslim name, in the White House.

Dr. King saw worst times in America, hence, like John Lewis, he won't dwell too much on Tea Party racism and disrespect directed at Congressmen and America's first black President. There are more important things to worry about - the economy, wars and armed conflicts, nuclear weapons, Guantanamo, climate change, you name it.

Here is what Dr. King would say - Mr. President, Tea Party demonstrations are simply a distraction! Focus on what really matters. I'm glad the formal health care debate is over. This is truly what change looks like! What's next, Mr. President?

However, I must add that Dr. King would be appalled by the fact that many Americans are yet to master the "art" of engaging in civil and constructive dialogue.

What do you think? What would Martin Luther King say?


  1. Hi Zuzeeko, you have a neat blog. Congratulations. Martin Luther King was one of the great men of our times. What is the most striking aspect of this message was that the laws of the land should also apply to blacks.
    Just like Rosa Parks and other great civil rights leaders, Martin Luther King would have asked for restraint and united with his charisma Americans of all backgrounds.

  2. Nemoo, from MIGRANT TALES, right? Thanks for the compliment. You have a neat and reader-friendly blog as well.

    I agree with you on the subject - Dr. King, would try to unit than further divid the nation. But I must say he'd be disappointed by the display of blatant racism in America in 2010. Americans know better!

  3. Masterpiece. This article is very thought provoking. I haven't been paying much attention to the 'dirty' politics out here, but I have gotten alot out of this. Thanks for keeping it real always.

  4. "I'm not very familiar with the movement, but I see it as a right-wing blatantly racist political movement."

    So you are not very familiar with the movement but yet you have no problem generalizing the whole group and brand them racists. Quite interesting... I wonder how many times you have heard or read some Swedish skinhead using a general term like Africans when talking about crimes committed by some Africans in Sweden.

    If you are not very familiar with the movement shouldn’t you first investigate a bit deeper before blame the whole group? Anyway I collect a few videos that could give you a bit more info about the Tea Party movement. I hope it helps.

    Best Wishes

    Tony Garcia.

    1. I'm not familiar with the movement because its objective is blurred by hateful behavior and racially derogatory signs during protests. You don't have to be familiar with a movement before you form an opinion about it - based on the signs, posters or placards displayed during its gatherings.

  5. And if you pardon me, let me give same more “racists” people in America.

    Here another interesting “racist” who challenges Obama nationality and his legitimacy to be president of US.

    And talking about racism, there is someone, a racist obliviously, who has an interesting opinion about racism in America.

  6. I read your review of a "recent Tea Party Event". I feel, as you pointed out, that there were a lot of signs that were displayed by the people there, were racist. I think that you saying that the whole movement is racist, is incorrect. The ten core beliefs of the modern "Tea Party" movement are not racist by any means. The first quote that is displayed on their official site is by Abraham Lincoln and states, "Be sure to put your feet in the right place, and then stand firm." I'm not a Tea Party member, I'm not a Republican (any more). I consider myself an independent person (not party member) as I vote as my heart and clear mind directs. As you know, the core values of any movement can and always do get corrupted by the 'free radicals' that are present in any group of citizens. My point is that to label the movement as racist based because a few (I want to use the word I really feel to pre text the word I'm about to use, I won't because it would be used by those displaying those 'signs') morons, who thought they were both intelligent and cute and aren't, is short sighted. I do think that the "Tea Party" leaders should condemn those individuals and eliminate those type people from using anything racist in representation of their part or their functions. I am truly ashamed, as a person who isn't African-American, that anyone who displayed that type of racism was comfortable doing so. Thank You, sincerely, Jim Morris.


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