Elements of Racism and the Arc of Hate
Even as the Tea Party's media representatives were denying the charge leveled by the long-standing civil rights organization, its own members seemed to be working at cross purposes to the benignly non-racist image Palin and others were trying to set forth. The Right-wing Washington Times, owned and controlled by the shadowy ex-convict Sun Myung Moon, founder and head of the global cult known as the Unification Church, headlined an editorial attacking the NAACP with the title, "Kill the Crackers," apparently accusing the NAACP of trying to incite murderous violence against Whites. Further depleting the credibility of denials from Tea Party officials, White supremacy Websites quickly published their own attacks on the NAACP in particular and, in some cases, Black activists more generally. A number of Right-wing commentators and officials brought up a case of voter intimidation by the New Black Panther Party as exemplary of African-American racism targeting Whites.
As if the rank-and-file factions had not already offered troubling evidence contrary to denials of racism within the Tea Party, the seemingly official "North Iowa Tea Party" bought ad space on a billboard in Mason City, Iowa, and posted an appalling sign associating U.S. President Barack Obama with Adolf Hitler and Vladimir Lenin.
Despite the claim by North Iowa Tea Party founder Ben Johnson that the sign would 'remain up for a month,' it was hauled down within a day as national Tea Party personnel scrambled to distance the movement from a (quite literally) towering example of its members' troubled mentality and outrageously preposterous hyperbole.
The NAACP accused the Tea Party of having racist elements in its ranks. Notwithstanding the furious denials of this allegation by Sarah Palin and other inspirational forces within the movement, the actions, words, and behavior of Tea Party members provide ample evidence that the Tea Party, for all its apparent lack of central command and control, does in fact have powerful undercurrents not only of racism, but also of nativism and generalized vitriol.
From the daily, appalling statementsboth direct and in coded languageof Right-wing extremists like radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh to the vile racial epithets hurled at Congressmen of color during last year's run-up to passage of national health care legislation (with the Tea Party claiming that these distinguished men were lying about the ugly incident), from gun owners openly parading firearms outside buildings where President Obama was speaking to racist diatribes published on Websites of White supremacists and their militias, the hate directed against Blacks, against immigrants, and against the United States government, itself, is palpable.
To the extent that the Tea Party cannot meaningfully change the values of its membership, the movement has yet to demonstrate its fitness to assume national power, given that it has not yet summoned the courage to openly embrace its character.
Mel Gibson and Benjamin Franklin
"You look like a f***ing pig in heat, and if you get raped by a pack of n***ers, it will be your fault."
Oral statement to ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva, 2010
"[Y]our persons, fortunes, wives, and daughters, shall be subject to the wanton and unbridled rage, rapine, and lust of Negroes, mulattos and others, the vilest and most abandoned of mankind."
Plain Truth, 1747
Readers interested in Mr. Franklin's race-bating about Negroes and claims about Jews, Swedes, Germans, and others of "swarthy" skin or other suspect features diminishing the Anglo-Saxon nature of the emerging American society can read Chapter 12 of the Vernon Johns Society's analysis of structural racism in America or go to the relevant referential material in Franklin of Philadelphia, by Edmond Wright (1986: Harvard University Press).
Readers interested in Mr. Gibson's race-bating, misogyny, anti-Semitism, and other distasteful leanings can find references in a July 1, 2010, radaronline.com article and may listen to the two-minute audio recording of his offending conversation with Ms. Grigorieva in a subsequent, July 11, 2010, article.
Notwithstanding the possibility that civilizations can evolve deepening understandings of rightful thought and action, the people of the present era should not be held to a standard of enlightenment any more refined than the people of the past, certainly not within the cabin of the broad and long-lived arc of Western Civilization. Cruelty, inhumanity, hate, and injustice swiftly emerged as undesirable and were understood as such well before the time of our Founding Fathers. Hate to advance personal will, Mel Gibson's choice, is no different in dimension than hate to promote political agenda, Benjamin Franklin's choice, although the scope of damage wrought by the latter can be staggering, especially to the extent that it allows for those of generations long afterward to believe that a place for intolerance exists within a society that poses otherwise to be kind, humane, good, and just.
The great and venerated are no less immune than the small and vile to the blackness of hate, be it for private injury or public consumption. Station in life and time of word and deed make no exception and, far more importantly, provide no excuse.
Rightly, loudly, and unrelentingly condemn and ostracize the hateful little men of our dayeach in his own way, the Mel Gibsons, the Glenn Becks, the Rush Limbaughs, and their equally ugly kindbut at considerable peril ignore the venerated leaders who spoke and wrote with equal brutishness: the future will be no better if we seek unflinching inspiration from those who chose to lead by reprehensible words in the time when words were not merely expressive of sentiments, but formative of a nascent country.
Sarah Palin for Republican National Committee Chairwoman
Recent discontent among GOP loyalists with Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele has led to rumors of a palace coup to install Sarah Palin as RNC head. While at least some of the reporting about the idea is no doubt trial balloon material hoisted by her backers (possibly against her wishes to remain in the financially lucrative private sector), party insiders do seem to be taking the idea seriously enough not to categorically and openly repudiate the proposal to make Palin the RNC Chairwoman in order to officially recognize the GOP's energetic Right-wing faction that has coalesced under the "Tea Party" banner.
Dark Wraith Publishing, which provides news, editorials, and entertainment via The Dark Wraith Forums, Big Brass Blog, and other online properties, herewith endorses former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin to replace Michael Steele as Chair of the Republican National Committee. Dark Wraith Publishing further encourages the leadership of the GOP to install Sarah Palin forthwith and without delay in this responsible and high-profile position.
Open Thread for Early July 2010
The title of this landscape photograph of mine is, "Prairie Ghosts."
Sometimes, the old die not because of age, but instead because they are no longer needed. Time leaves us behind even as it carries us forward. Some can fight for their right to continue, either by changing and adapting or by keeping the present from becoming too unlike the past.
I try to do both. My strength is in the former; my heart is in the latter. One day, both my body and my spirit will wane. That, I know.
Not today, but someday. That's why I took this photograph for you to see. It is what remains for a while of the past as the future issues forth to make the strong weak, the hearty abandoned, the loud silent, the productive useless, and the living ghosts.
Still, this day, we fight; and perhaps we hope that someday, a long time from now, someone will see the ghosts of us and stop long enough to wonder who we were in that day when we had the strength and heart to live.
This is an open thread. Say what you have to say, and I shall do the same.