Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Oh no, somebody was rude to the Tea Party
So I hear that people are upset with Alan Grayson for characterizing the Tea Party as racist and comparing it to the KKK. It's very rude, dontcha know, to compare a far right group of the present to another far right group of the past and especially the Tea Party who've never shown the slightest bit of racist behavior that might make the comparison apt.
Well, not much:
I'm sure people will shriek that the Tea Party is not a violent group and so just because they show a teensy bit of racial intolerance there's no reason to compare them to a violent group like the KKK for goodness sakes. So, I hesitate to mention this because it's so very impolite, but there's actually been quite a bit of right wing violence in recent years, much of which is based on the kind of slogans and rhetoric you commonly see and hear at Tea Party rallies. This list is incomplete and only goes up to 2011, but it gives a pretty good picture of what's been going on:
-- July 2008: A gunman named Jim David Adkisson, agitated at how "liberals" are "destroying America," walks into a Unitarian Church and opens fire, killing two churchgoers and wounding four others.
-- October 2008: Two neo-Nazis are arrested in Tennessee in a plot to murder dozens of African-Americans, culminating in the assassination of President Obama.
-- December 2008: A pair of "Patriot" movement radicals -- the father-son team of Bruce and Joshua Turnidge, who wanted "to attack the political infrastructure" -- threaten a bank in Woodburn, Oregon, with a bomb in the hopes of extorting money that would end their financial difficulties, for which they blamed the government. Instead, the bomb goes off and kills two police officers. The men eventually are convicted and sentenced to death for the crime.
-- December 2008: In Belfast, Maine, police discover the makings of a nuclear "dirty bomb" in the basement of a white supremacist shot dead by his wife. The man, who was independently wealthy, reportedly was agitated about the election of President Obama and was crafting a plan to set off the bomb.
-- January 2009: A white supremacist named Keith Luke embarks on a killing rampagein Brockton, Mass., raping and wounding a black woman and killing her sister, then killing a homeless man before being captured by police as he is en route to a Jewish community center.
-- February 2009: A Marine named Kody Brittingham is arrested and charged with plotting to assassinate President Obama. Brittingham also collected white-supremacist material.
-- February 2009: A 60-year-old former Republican Party campaign volunteer opens fire on a gathering of Chilena exchange students in an apartment complex in Miramar Beach, Fla., after telling a neighbor he wanted to start a "revolution" against Latino immigrants.
-- April 2009: A white supremacist named Richard Poplawski opens fire on three Pittsburgh police officers who come to his house on a domestic-violence call and kills all three, because he believed President Obama intended to take away the guns of white citizens like himself. Poplawski is currently awaiting trial.
-- April 2009: Another gunman in Okaloosa County, Florida, similarly fearful of Obama's purported gun-grabbing plans, kills two deputies when they come to arrest him in a domestic-violence matter, then is killed himself in a shootout with police.
-- May 2009: A "sovereign citizen" named Scott Roeder walks into a church in Wichita, Kansas, and assassinates abortion provider Dr. George Tiller.
-- June 2009: A Holocaust denier and right-wing tax protester named James Von Brunn opens fire at the Holocaust Museum, killing a security guard.
-- February 2010: An angry tax protester named Joseph Ray Stack flies an airplane into the building housing IRS offices in Austin, Texas. (Media are reluctant to label this one "domestic terrorism" too.)
-- March 2010: Seven militiamen from the Hutaree Militia in Michigan and Ohio are arrested and charged with plotting to assassinate local police officers with the intent of sparking a new civil war.
-- March 2010: An anti-government extremist named John Patrick Bedell walks into the Pentagon and opens fire, wounding two officers before he is himself shot dead.
-- May 2010: A "sovereign citizen" from Georgia is arrested in Tennessee and charged with plotting the violent takeover of a local county courthouse.
-- May 2010: A still-unidentified white man walks into a Jacksonville, Fla., mosque and sets it afire, simultaneously setting off a pipe bomb.
-- May 2010: Two "sovereign citizens" named Jerry and Joe Kane gun down two police officers who pull them over for a traffic violation, and then wound two more officers in a shootout in which both of them are eventually killed.
-- July 2010: An agitated right-winger and convict named Byron Williams loads up on weapons and drives to the Bay Area intent on attacking the offices of the Tides Foundation and the ACLU, but is intercepted by state patrolmen and engages them in a shootout and armed standoff in which two officers and Williams are wounded.
-- September 2010: A Concord, N.C., man is arrested and charged with plotting to blow up a North Carolina abortion clinic. The man, 26-year--old Justin Carl Moose, referred to himself as the "Christian counterpart to (Osama) bin Laden” in a taped undercover meeting with a federal informant.
-- January 2011: A 22-year-old gunman named Jared Lee Loughner with a long grudge against Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and a paranoid hatred of the government walks into a public Giffords event and shoots her in the head, then keeps firing, killing six people and wounding 14 more. Gifford miraculously survives.
-- January 2011: A backpack bomb with the potential of killing or injuring dozens of people is found along the route of a Martin Luther King Day “unity march” in downtown Spokane.
-- January 31, 2011: An Army veteran from California with a previous arrest record for making threats against President Bush is arrested for making terrorist outside a mosque in Michigan inside a car whose trunk was filled with Class C explosives.
-- March 2011: Five people in the Fairbanks area are arrested on charges of plotting to kidnap or kill state troopers and a Fairbanks judge. All five are self-proclaimed "sovereign citizens," including local militia leader Schaeffer Cox.
-- March 2011: A man from Madera, CA, named Donny Eugene Mower is arrested for the firebombing of a Planned Parenthood clinic and the vandalization of a local Islamic religious center. The crimes were committed in the name of Mower's one-man hate group, the American Nationalist Brotherhood. His 'manifesto' asked: 'Isn't it time that someone hit back?'
Tea Partiers will say they have nothing to do with any of that. But they do have quite a history of welcoming individuals and members of groups that espouse violence to the stage with them. This report documented Tea Party rallies featuring violent right wing extremists in their midst.
So yeah, the Tea Party isn't violent like the KKK. It just has a tremendous tolerance for people who are.
Look, it's always been considered incendiary to call it like it is when it comes to the Tea Party. For some reason, despite the clear evidence that they are a revanchist, white minority that sees its hold on political and cultural power slipping away (and is deeply offended by the election of an African American to the presidency) liberals start screaming "ACORN" and hide under the bed whenever anyone has the temerity to bring it up. I guess they think it's morally wrong to point out how the Tea Party movement tracks with America's long history with white supremacy. But it doesn't change the fact that it does.
Update: Here you have a bunch of villagers saying that what Grayson said was "wrong".
And yet he's right. Here's a Confederate flag flying at the anti-Obamacare Tea Party rally just last week:
I'm sure all those Tea partiers asked those who were flying such flags in front of the White House to please put them away right after that picture was taken. They would never stand for anything that looks like it might be racist.
Here's featured speaker Larry Klayman, who spoke along with Tea Party politicians Senator Ted Cruz, Senator Mike Lee and former Governor Sarah Palin:
“We are now ruled by a President who bows down to Allah…this President is not a President of “we the people.” He’s the President of his people. He needs to be the President of all of us….I call upon all of you to wage a second American nonviolent revolution– To use civil disobedience, and to demand that this President leave town–to get out, to put the Quran down, to get up off his knees, and to figuratively come up with his hands up.“
Well, he did say "non-violent" and "figuratively" so he's not really comparable to someone who is calling for violence. Certainly the sorts who fly confederate flags and carry guns everywhere and think the government is communist because it wants people to have affordable health insurance would never take such words the wrong way.
The Tea Party is extremist. Calling the Tea Party what it is, is not extremist. But by all means, liberals, clutch your pearls and start screaming "Betrayus" because it's always gotten you so very far before.
digby 10/22/2013 02:30:00 PM