Friday, April 17, 2009

appreciate opportunities to release their repressed racism in public

(Huffington Post; if you don't get
the reference, click here)

A lot of white Americans just can't swallow the idea of a black president. Especially one with Islamic something-or-other in his background, a supposedly uncertain place of birth, and a name that's so un-American it rhymes with that of a world-famous terrorist.

Now that Sarah Palin is no longer winking her way through racist innuendos at Klan campaign rallies, public expressions of white resentment are by and large verboten. Aside from muffled conversations with co-workers, and frustrated rants behind the closed doors of their homes, these people have had few chances to get together with others of their own kind and publicly unleash their white resentment.

But then this week, along came a chance for the repressed to return, in the form of nation-wide Teabagging Parties. Thousands of right-wing protesters turned out to (cluelessly) protest high taxes, in crowds that were at least 99% white. Not all of them could be fairly called "racists," but such homogeneous gatherings certainly attracted those who proudly wear that label.

"Stand idly by while some Kenyan tries to destroy
America? WAP!! I don't think so!!!

As some intrepid reporters noted beforehand, white supremacists made plans to seize this day. Stephen Lemons of the Phoenix New Times quotes the following note of encouragement, which appeared on a white nationalist web site:

"I think every [White Nationalist] needs to not only attend the April 15th Tea Party nearest you," writes one online boot boy, "but then stay involved and help provide leadership to this movement."

He continues, stating, "I believe that this is the white revolution we've been waiting for. It doesn't look what we expected but this is it...For the first time, white people (a.k.a. the lemmings) are finally awake and taking to the streets...Right now the movement is about taxes . . . but with leadership and guidance we can help turn this movement into a lot more.

"So turn off the computer. Take off the red laces and fold your jeans over your Doc Martins [sic]. Hang the storm trooper uniform in the closet. Take off the robe. Reverently fold your Confederate flag and put it away for now. Become one of them. Join the marches and help organize future events in your neighborhood. Go slow . . . don't hit people with WN philosophy all at once."

Clearly, most of the protesters were not hardcore white nationalists. Indeed, much of the racism on display was rather muted; most participants seemed to know that if what they had to say was to be taken at all seriously, they had to downplay the racist elements of their ostensibly anti-taxation message.

Then there were the tone-deaf, ahistorical trivializers of an earlier outbreak of virulent racism, the Holocaust:

When white protesters happened upon the jarring sight of a rare, conspicuous negro in the crowd, most of them probably flashed an approving grin of surprised delight. And then kept moving, of course.

The Tea Party protests got plenty of corporate media coverage--far more, it seems, than the millions more who protested the impending invasion of Iraq, such a long time ago.

Remember those protests, and how little coverage they got? Why did these people think that their protests would get much attention? Oh, wait, they did get attention, a lot of attention . . .

But what didn't get covered much at all was the white elephant in the room, or rather, out on the street. Did you hear any mention on TV--let alone any analysis--of the overwhelming whiteness of these crowds, and of their varied expressions of white racism?

Unfortunately, that's a rhetorical question, since I'm pretty sure you didn't.

And that's sad, and frightening. The racism of the Tea Party "Movement," such as it is, deserves extensive coverage, because it's not a merely marginal phenomenon. And it's not a declining one either. As a recent Department of Homeland Security report notes, "the economic downturn [is] invigorating rightwing extremist activity, specifically the white supremacist and militia movements."

We shouldn't let the anti-taxation message of these protesters override the other forms of resentment they feel. When these folks say they're "not going to take it anymore," some of what they're referring to is their trumped-up, racist fear, of supposedly invading hordes of people with non-white skin.

I'll leave the final word to Jill Tubman, who writes over at Jack and Jill Politics,

My main concern here is that the heated rhetoric around the protests could lead to violence against African-Americans, Jews and Latinos if some Tea Party recruits go from non-violent to violent. That’s why it’s important to drag the masked racism here out into the daylight, so we can deal with it and force denials from their movement leaders before certain elements become more brazen and people start getting hurt.

Most of the images above are from here; more documented atrocities here and here (actually, the supply is virtually unlimited).

UPDATE--A couple of gutsy white folks who also attended the protests--race traitors?


Regarding the whole "Obama's a tax-and-spend Socialist!" canard:


  1. wow..i started crying while reading this. how can people be such hateful, selfish, uncaring creatures? & im blood related to some of them.

  2. mj, it is easier to confront the hate when it is done out in the open.

  3. Scary. I agree, we need sane people out there confronting this stuff.

  4. Did you hear any mention on TV--let alone any analysis--of the overwhelming whiteness of these crowds, and of their varied expressions of white racism?No, I did not. But then, I am on a self-imposed media hiatus. I did see a clip of Janeane Garafalo on Keith Olbermann where she called it just like that: racism. I was surprised and somewhat disturbed that he did not seem to want to follow up or focus on that. (But I did just see the one clip so maybe I missed something.)

  5. Macon D,

    Once again you display exactly what I said your ideology would MAKE you display. Your liberalism demands that you envelope more and more human interaction with a whole new meaning. So now, wanting to keep your hard-earned money, recognizing that you consitute the brunt of the taxes paid and peacefully protesting a rising tax burden becomes "racism."

    IOW, whites who don't voluntarily and without complaint give up more of their earned money to the "other" are now really "racists."

    Do you have the guts to confront this sick frame of mind? Do you have the guts to have someone on here that will challenge you like no "other?"

    In the end, aren't you just sick of having so much responsibility because of your white skin and you just want to quit?

  6. Thordaddy, it's not because I lack "guts" that I'm publishing fewer and fewer of your comments. It's because you consistently fail to read my posts and other people's comments carefully, and as a result, your comments are usually way off-topic (as well as ironically arrogant and condescending).

    For example, you just wrote,

    So now, wanting to keep your hard-earned money, recognizing that you consitute the brunt of the taxes paid and peacefully protesting a rising tax burden becomes "racism."Did you even look at the photos in this post? It's not the act of protesting taxes that I'm identifying as racist. As the words in the post about the photos point out, it's what appears on some people's signs that racist--words and images that mostly have nothing to do with taxes, and everything to do with race, nationality, and religion, mostly those of Obama. It's the outbreak of racism and xenophobia in a protest that supposed to be about taxes that the post is about, not the protesting of taxes. If you still can't see that, then there's simply no hope that you can contribute usefully to this comment thread.

    Also, you really should check out the web site linked to in the post with the word "cluelessly." It might improve your understanding of the lack of understanding that these people (and apparently you) have of what sort of tax changes the Obama administration is bringing about, and especially of what a fake, diversionary, corporate-sponsored charade this whole "tea party" scam actually is.

    As for your claim that you "challenge [me] like no 'other,'" you don't challenge me--you'd have to read and actually understand my posts to do that. What you're challenging is a "liberal" ghost that only exists in your own fevered imagination.

  7. Macon D,

    Do you really think I didn't read your entry and then all the comments as well?

    Why do you do what you do and then act as though the rest of us can't see exactly what your doing?

    You're a white liberal "anti-racist." This in turn has you exposing the "subtle" and "invisible" racism of white people. This is what you do.

    In this case, you took a tax protest and highlighted the "racists" amongst the protestors. You also noted the "whiteness" of the crowd. And then you called it all a "sham."

    In essence, you take the non-story and elevate it to prove your white racism theory and you take the real story and call it an illusion.

    Are these tax protests just subtle and invisible racism or not?

  8. I don't mind paying more taxes if it means better social welfare for the needy, better health services, better infrastructure (fix them road pot holes!), better public transport services... better public life. Why are people complaining? If you put in nothing, you will get nothing.

  9. i don't know about other white people, but when i see white people gathering and spouting racism, i feel something inside me cry out in astounding fear and dread.

    macon d, i think that just the fact that you're posting about this constitutes a confrontation of sorts. that being said, thank you for posting it.

    @thordaddy: macon d doesn't owe you anything. this is his space, he's read what you've had to say and respectfully responded even though you've not afforded him the same amount of respect. this is his space, and if he doesn't want to publish some hateful ignorant thing you've written, then he doesn't have to.

  10. The funny part about the tax element of these tax protests is that the taxes that hey are protesting are ones created by Bush. The Obama tax policy doesn't go into effect until next year.


    And the taxes they're protesting? A Cut for anyone making less then a quarter million and raising the taxes of millionaires to 10% LESS then they were under Reagan. Horror! (faints with fear of the tax burden placed on the aristocracy).

  11. Fantastic post. Luckily, those that harbor these racist sentiments are doomed to repeat them, making it easier to point them out. I think we are actually in an enlightened age (or at least approaching it) where this type of vitriol will only burn itself out, not catch on. Love your blog!

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. Thordaddy wrote,

    Do you really think I didn't read your entry and then all the comments as well?You may have read them, but as I also wrote, you clearly didn't understand them.

    As for the term "liberal," it has so many meanings and connotations that I don't know if it applies to me or not. In terms of race, I hope not, because many of my posts point out the subtle, unconscious racism of people most would label "white liberals." These are the people who tend to claim, for instance, that they just love black people, but then have little interest in or understanding of the many ways that ongoing white supremacy continues to impinge on black and other non-white lives. I consider "liberals" people who think of racism as an individual thing, and rarely if ever acknowledge, let alone try to combat, institutional racism. They also like to claim that they're "colorblind," that they don't care whether a person is "black, yellow, red, green, or whatever," without admitting that they certainly do see and react to race, and they certainly do care whether others are white or not. If a non-white person points out that an incident probably involved racism, the white liberal will often rush in to assure the non-white person that it must, surely, have been something else, and then think, rather idiotically, that what they're doing is somehow comforting to the non-white person. White liberals often compliment black people for being articulate, instead of actually listening to what they have to say, failing to see the racism in such compliments. White liberals sometimes express their fantasized, romanticized appreciation for other cultures, often by appropriating elements of those cultures (or supposed cultures) for self-adornment, failing to realize how insulting that can actually be. White liberals often say racist things, speak in mock accents, and tell racist jokes, but all with an ironic, winking twist that's supposed to signal that they don't really mean it, and failing to see as they do so that what they're doing is, nevertheless, still racist.

    I've repeatedly pointed out these and other forms of subtle racism on this blog that white liberals often enact (which is not to say that the common ways of liberal white folks are the only common white-folk ways I write about). I do my best in my own daily life not to enact these common modes of white liberal racism. So in these and many other ways, I don't consider myself a "liberal" anti-racist. And so, as I've said, enough with your insistence on combating here some "liberal" ghost, which only exists in your own fevered imagination.

    Are these tax protests just subtle and invisible racism or not?You're still reading at a third-grade level. Go back and read the post more carefully, and then the comment here where I provided once again an answer to this question. I'm tired of repeating myself for you.

  14. Good one Macon,

    And you are very tolerant of your trolls.

    Re: your most prominent misanthrope, I always wonder why the "good" teabaggers (and others) in this situation, i.e akin to the moment with the character who had the Obama monkey stuffed animal during the campaign, don't correct the outliers aka racists and disown them. Hell, take their signs and say that you don't speak for us. Tell reporters that these folks are embarrassing. You rarely see that behavior, no?

    Grounding this observation in some recent research, do you recall the experiment with the two white people in the room with a third person of color? the black person (I believe in this case) leaves, and the provocateur says something obvious and quite racist--the other person either agrees or acts sheepishly. This experiment is so poignant because it demonstrates how White supremacy works through both active and tacit consent.

    And to that point, it really is the story of how white supremacy operates in this country at present--a silent, and cowardly White majority that had to be shamed into following the more "moral" and self-interested actions of their elites.

    keep em coming, Macon.

    chauncey devega

  15. Macon D,

    Could you go through each photo you've posted in this entry and explain how they constitute racism? It seems to me that your definition of racism is quite broad and ambiguous. Is this done purposely?


    I never demanded nor would I claim some "right" to be published on Macon D's blog. But clearly, I've broken none of Macon's posting rules either.

  16. I find all of this interesting but not surprising. I've told friends for months that all the signs of unchecked racist populism would manifest as this administration began its work. The latest tip-off to me was skyrocketing earnings projections for Smith and Wesson -- you know, the gun company. Now, these anti-tax tea parties (Klan rallies) are yet another step. The "RAHOWA" crowd is salivating at the prospect of inserting itself into the civil commons by tapping into Americans' deepest fears and prejudices, just like Hitler and the Nazis in Germany. Unfortunately, neither the Obama administration or congressional Democrats, or the GOP for that matter, can afford to be tone deaf to this din, because it's quite obvious that Faux News, Sean Hannity, and all other slimy opportunists are going to milk it for all they can, and then skip off to their gated villas.

    And what was that about Gov. Rick Perry talking of Texans possibly being angered to the point of "secession." Really? As a black person, I'll tell you my first thought about Perry's little dog whistle: "Take weapons training, because you never know what may happen." Folks have rioted, harmed, and disenfranchised people of color in earlier periods of economic uncertainty, and I'm not fool enough to believe it can't happen again, even with a black president.

    That being said, I fully understand the angry public sentiment about taxation. Too much U.S. taxpayer money is wasted in all respects, either through contracts for private-sector clients with the federal government, or through government agencies (state, federal, local) that have overlapping, redundant, or just plain ineffective functions. Of course, there's that little "Pork" issue that neither party is willing to confront, too.

    We also have a Byzantine tax code run by an agency that often pursues the lowest-hanging fruit to make its books. This needs to change. Like now. People will always find an "other" to scapegoat for problems that seem beyond their control, but good lawd, let's not give them ample ammunition.

  17. rac-ism   /ˈreɪsɪzəm/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [rey-siz-uhm] Show IPA
    –noun 1. a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule others.
    2. a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination.
    3. hatred or intolerance of another race or other races

    All those signs are commenting not just on tax policy, but Obama's blackness.

    Plus, either the people are protesting Bush tax policy or protesting against tax cuts? Part of the way racism operates is to ignore facts and blame the relevant person(s) of color for whatever supposed offense has/has not taken place. In this case, the offense is being overtaxed and the relevant person of color is Obama.

  18. No1KState, I'm going to make a general statement about the dictionary definition of racism that doesn't necessarily apply to your use of the definition here.

    It's pretty clear that the definition that equates racism with a belief in racial superiority was a response to the historical place and time when those beliefs were espoused openly. It seems to me that such a definition isn't as useful or accurate now that we live in a place and time when those beliefs aren't espoused as openly to some degree because they aren't as socially acceptable which is something Macon's idea about "appreciating opportunities to release repressed racism in public" touches on.

    What I'm saying is such an outmoded definition has limited usage in contemporary times. The old racism the first definition refers to associated "inherent differences" to supposed biological differences which serves as a poor litmus test for whether something/someone is racist or not.

    It's like the discussion we had on Racism Review about "intent." Whether someone consciously believes in [biological] racial superiority/inferiority is irrelevant and don't make their actions any less racist when the effect ("stepping on someone's foot") is racist. Plus there was always a cultural component (i.e. an argument of cultural superiority/inferiority) to the racist pseudo-science that sought to cement the idea of biological racial superiority/inferiority.

    The reason why I feel its important to make this point is because of the way some people will try to say, "I don't believe one race is superior to the other, therefore I'm not (or that's not) racist." I recently viewed a YouTube clip of a Hannity/Colmes episode where Hannity did just that. The irony of it all is that the very people who use that strategy invariably will rush to call something POC do "racist" even when it doesn't fit the racial supremacy idea (e.g. Hannity's campaign against Rev. Wright and Trinity, Obama's former church.)

  19. I agree with Jill's comment about the potential physical violence that could be stirred up by some of the teabaggers' rhetoric against african americans, latinos and jews, but she leaves out muslims, and that is also a real fear with these haters.

  20. I completely see and agree with your point, Nquest. I guess for me, saying "I'm not a racist because . . . " doesn't do the job. It's the same as, "I'm not a racist but . . ."

    So, Nquest, it's not so much that I disagree with you as much as I think the defs still hold once you get people talking. If it would help matters to broaden and contemparize the definition, I have no problems with that. But, when these people cry that they're not racist, then accuse Rev. Wright of racism, it's clear to me they don't know what racism is. They just seem to think it means to "hate" or "express anger" at a particular race or something like that. And of course, expressing anger at white supremacy isn't the same as being angry with white people. So, they don't understand what racism is enough that when they say, "I'm not racist," I take them seriously.

    But, like I said, if it would help discussion and understanding, I have no qualms with broadening and contemparizing the definition and look forward to how that would read.

    By the by, Nquest, you haven't answered my question about Siss. See, I just can't think of the word that would describe her. Enabler. Accomplice. Accessory. Apologist. What?

  21. I've also noticed that when confronted with evidence of
    their racism, conservatives often use the tactic of screaming that the person who commented on their racism is in fact the racist for pointing out his/her racism. This tacitc is quite effective.

  22. "wow..i started crying while reading this. how can people be such hateful, selfish, uncaring creatures? & im blood related to some of them." MJ

    You obviously have never been on a conservative political discussion forum then, these signs were mild in comparison to the hatred and racism that goes on there.

    Sometimes I can't tell the difference between stormfront and
    conservative sites when the issue of race is being discussed

    The comments they make are almost identical.

  23. After spending the past few weeks watching the excellent 1974 BBC series (26 hours, by the way!) on World War Two, "The World at War", I can tell you that the photos with the signs that say, "The American Taxpayers are the Jews for Obama's Ovens," and "Barack Hussein Obama [is the] New Face of Hitler," are WRONG in their analogies. Watch the series if you wish to understand why.

    Some of the whites (probably the majority) who attended those tea bagging rallies are so blinded by their hatred of Obama's [half-] blackness, blinded by their racism, that they do not realise (which is not surprising, given how stupid most Americans are regarding the economic system at whose altar they worship--capitalism) that Obama's solutions to this economic crisis, this entre into a permanent Depression, are a continuation of the white man and former president GW Bush. Actually, you can take this shit all the way back to Reagan (and if you really want to go deep, deep, deep into the history of the USA, you will find out that it began many decades prior to Reagan). So what we have here is white men-- because no one ever questions if they, white men, are truly qualified for the positions of power given to them because of their race and possessing a penis--being let off the hook for running this shit, globally, into the bloody ground. Also, what are all those white folks upset about? The outcome of all these bailouts are only filling the coffers of those whom are already rich--this nation's elite, all of whom are pretty much white boys! Should not those white folks be happy that this bailout money is going safely into the hands of a few select members of the pure white race!

    But, I've got to say, Obama is not the brightest bulb in the batch. I mean, did he not ever know of President Hoover? I saw this global economic collapse coming about two-plus years ago (and told everyone whom I knew to watch their wallets), and I'm not even an Ivy League school graduate! Why the hell did he want the job of president so badly during this time? Oh, I know why, because being the president of the United States is equivalent to being the leader of the free world (although, I would think that the rest of the world does not see our presidents in that light!). And that is one big boost to one's ego, which is what most candidates who run for the presideny already have. It's all about the power; the possession of it. Anyway, Obama's solutions, his advisors' solutions, to this economic collapse will not be successful, and Obama will go down in the history books as Hoover II. As well, his failure will make it that he is the first black person to be elected president of the US and the last black person to be elected president of the US.

  24. Noname, it's the same on liberal sites like

    And the whole reverse psycology "you're racist for pointing out my racism" - that only works with other white people and the MSM. The rest of us are like, "Whatever, racist!"

  25. "Noname, it's the same on liberal sites like"

    I've seen some racism on liberal sites but unlike on conservative sites it was the exception rather than the norm.

  26. redcatbait - what do you not like about Obama's stimulus plan? Do you think it's too much or not enough. He's doing and trying to do much more than Hoover.

    You're right about one thing. You'd think everyone'd be happy that the bailouts were helping people already well off. I mean, isn't that what conservatives argue? Trickle down prosperity?

    It's funny, you know. I saw a sign that argue Obama's econ plan amounted to trickle up proverty. But it should be clear 8 years of tax cuts for the rich didn't help everybody, did it?

    So anyway, redcatbait, what is your specific grievance against Obama. He's quite humble, and projecting an humble US, for someone who's in it just for power and ego.

  27. noname - I actually try not to read the comments of alternet any more. and I def stay away from comments sections of conservative sites. So, i'll take your word for it. I just wanted to point out that there was racism on lib sites, too. I wasn't disagreeing with you. You know?

  28. no1skate,

    I check off that little box to have followup comments sent to my email account, and I was going to take the time to post a comment answering the questions that you asked me in one of your comments for this post. But then I reread that comment and I see that you misspelled my [blogger] name to insult me: Really, how does one misconstrue "bait" for "biker"? Therefore, my answer to you is for you to visualise the image of my up-pointed "middle finger." If anybody here truly wants information on why I "feel" Obama's stimilus plan won't work for the majority of Americans, not the few elite on the top, then feel free to click on my name to contact me by email.

  29. This comment has been removed by the author.

  30. relax
    it was an honest mistake

  31. redcatbiker,
    I highly doubt the insult was at all intentional. However, I am interested in what your analysis of the situation is and I'm sure I'm not the only one. If you'd please post it, I'd like to know.

  32. GO! Tea Parties
    We are tired of this Ultra Liberal Government. "We dont Torture" mentality..Hillary Clinton The US is supplying guns to Mexico.
    Yea sure! Only the ones that were givin to Mexico and then stolen by the Mexican Police..Hillary Please your stupid! OH Bama spending more tax Monies then all of our Presidents combined..Please People wake up and see reality here.
    GO Tea Parties...Vance

  33. no1kstate - From what I've seen alternet comments sections have quite a few conservative, libertarian and ron paul trolls.

    I wasn't disagreeing with you either, I was just saying among conservatives racism is more, prevalent, virulent, and malevolent.

  34. You know, just when you want to give certain people the benefit of the doubt and take them at their word that they are protesting taxes, you get signs like "Obama Bin-Lyin" or "Obama's Plan = White Slavery". What other word, besides "Racist" can you use to describe such sentiments at these "tea parties"?

  35. Macon D :

    Your site is very powerful, it has a great impact with images and texts. Congratulations !

    I take off my hat before this work of art and good, kind and noble journalism.

    I work very similar ideas in my blogs to yours, if not identical, but we humans are all different, so I take refuge and specialization in two branches of Science :

    1)Genetics, Archaeology, Archaeogenetics, ArchaeoMythology, Anthropology, Human Evolution - Science per se disproves all the Racist Myths.

    2) Statistics, Demography, Economics, Cohorts of Youngsters, Millennials and Youth. Study of Schools and Education.

    It is amazing how much you can learn and enjoy studying these two branches of learning, and how much foolishness you can see in these Demonstrations, Rallies, etc .... that you properly show in all their blatant foolishness.

    Vicente Duque

  36. I went to the Tea Party in Fresno, just to see what it was like. I am telling you, I have never, ever seen so many white people gathered together in Fresno. It was about 98% Caucasian, in a county that's 44% Hispanic and 34% white. Creepy as hell.

    "Could you go through each photo you've posted in this entry and explain how they constitute racism? It seems to me that your definition of racism is quite broad and ambiguous. Is this done purposely?"

    It depends on what your definition of "is" is. Could you please waste your time by explaining that to me, so that I can pretend to be even more ignorant than I am? Thanks!


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