Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Is It Still Racism When Andre Does It?

If you ever leaned even a little towards the Tea Party, U.S. Representative The Mr. The Honorable Andre Carson -- my Rep in the House -- thinks you'd like to see him swing from a tree, on the sole basis of the pigmentation of his integument. He's never met you, but he's certain of it. And he's not the least bit ashamed of his prejudice, either.

Me, I'm hardly a true-red-white-and-blue Tea Partier (it's the social conservatism that puts me off, mainly[1]), but I know plenty and they're not the lynchin' sort; vast majority of 'em would spit at anyone who suggested skin color was a good criteria for judging a person's worth.

Now, sadly, some few do think that's a fine, fine yardstick -- but then, so does the Honorable the Mister Andre Carson. Neither one excuses the other.

And I've got no use for either. Grow up, dammit, and start judging people on the content of their character, much as I have you on yours, at least as demonstrated to date.

(Perhaps the saddest part of this mess is that Andre Carson is an immensely likeable man when he's not waving a bloody shirt; if he'd abjure race-baiting and concentrate on reality-based issues, he'd have much to commend him, even for a Democrat. But don't hold your breath waiting for that to happen).
You wanna quote from a great orator? Try this one: "A man's rights rest in three boxes. The ballot box, jury box and the cartridge box. Let no man be kept from the ballot box because of his color. Let no woman be kept from the ballot box because of her sex." I'm not sure if that's the first use of the "boxes" formulation but it's one of the earliest. Who said it? Fredrick Douglass. Some darned big shoes there, for any speaker who follows him.

1. This comment led to a nice little Roseholme argument, with Tam pointing out that "the" Tea party is really a plural and that the movement was, at least originally, single-issue: TEA, Taxed Enough Already. She's right, though I maintain that many "Tea" organizations now find themselves flying the banner of social-conservative chat-show hosts. No matter which of us has the most accurate model of the current state of things, one fact remains: they're not a frikkin' mob of cross-burners, no matter how much the CBC would like for them to be.


BC said...

My desire to see to see him dangling from a tree is due to his status as a member of Congress.

I could care less what color the man's skin is.

Art said...

The mission statement of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc., of which the Hon. Andre Carson is a member ... "Our mission is to advance the global black community by developing leaders, informing policy and educating the public."

It would only be racist if ya'll substituted "white" for "black" ... but I'm sure mine is a minority opinion.

if he'd abjure race-baiting
Ahhh ... If only Don Rickles had gone into politics.

Tam said...

The Tea Party Movement has nothing to do with social conservatism. While it is true that many who would describe themselves as Tea Partiers are social conservatives, the very name is an acronym for "Taxed Enough Already".

Don't let the MSM define the Tea Party for you.

Roberta X said...

Not even Glen Beck? --I think there's been a lot of co-opting and deliberate conflation. It's not even one party, just a whole lot of smaller groups using the same acronym.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

Glen Beck is in the Social Conservative circle of the Venn Diagram. The part he is in also intersects the Tea Party Venn circle.

That's how I see it, at least. Tam might be similar, but I can't speak for her.

Bubblehead Les. said...

You know, if someone came out and said that the Democratic Party can "Go to Hell" a la Maxine Waters, or that the Democrats would like to see a bunch of Right Wing Tea Partyer's "Hung from a Tree", a la Andre Carson, Holder's Civil Rights Division would be on them for Hate Speech so fast, with "Flash Mobs" hitting the Streets....

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

"It's not even one party, just a whole lot of smaller groups using the same acronym."

This. The biggest problem, and the reason the MSM has had such success tarring the TEA Party as a whole with the social conservative brush, is that the social conservatives have co-opted many of the smaller groups. Since the MSM has a great deal of control over the movement's visibility (on the national scale, at least), they focus on these groups to the exclusion of all others, in order to create the perception that they want the public to have.

Thus, the public perception of the TEA Party as 1) a unified political organization like the R's or D's, and b) a concentration of the religious/social conservative extremists that think the R's aren't far enough to the "right".

wv: yogge - The offspring of a particular bear from Jellystone National Park and a shoggoth. It has a habit of driving people mad with its mere presence so that it can steal their picnic basket.

Anonymous said...

What BC said.

With regard to the Tea Party(ies) and "social conservatives", I suggest that is right: the Tea Parties started out pretty much single-issue: fiscal conservatism. That there are many social conservatives in the Tea Parties don't make them social-con in character, however. One doesn't see Tea Party rallies about abortion or gay marriage, but rather about taxes, wasteful government spending, and regulation.

Anonymous said...

Doh! Should have read:

"I suggest that Tam is right."

Sorry. As I get older, I'm really starting to get that whole "proof read" thing Mrs. Blair used to yap about in 8th grade English.

Joanna said...

Mr. Carson is, in a word, tiresome.

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

I think my attitude is pretty much a synthesis between BC and Joanna.

The bottom line, as I told someone earlier today: The acorn didn't fall very far from Grandma.

And the last redistricting means he'll no longer "represent" me after the next election. Which is fine by me.