I had previously posted a statement on Keith Olbermann’s latest commentary about the Tea Party movement. Although I felt my basic criticism of his stand was fair I also thought some of the language was less than precise so I am offering this newer and somewhat broader version.
Just to make my own views clear, I have both agreements and disagreements with the movement. I think they are on many levels too conservative and that in other areas they press the idealistic over the practical. But I also think they have legitimate concerns about the growth of government.
The basic thrust of his commentary was that while there might well be minorties who were supportive of some or all of the goals of the movement, it was too racist for them to join.
On that subject, I would suggest to Mr. Olbermann look to some of the videos from his own network which has shown that there are in fact non white members of the movement.
But a deeper theme of his statement was the idea that somehow people who are opposed to bigger government are really upset that we have a *gasp* black President.
The whole of the “anger at government” movement is predicated on this. Times are tough, the future is confusing, the threat from those who would dismantle our way of life is real (as if we weren’t to some extent doing it for them). And the president is black. But you can’t come out and say that’s why you are scared.
I find this general theme to be both confusing and insulting, that only someone who is dumb or racist can possibly oppose the administration and/or be concerned about these issues. If the goal is a color blind society then does that not mean that someone can oppose the President without being racist ?
Or if Mr. Olbermann admits that there are Black, Hispanic or Asian citizens who could agree with the concerns of the movement then are they racist for those views ?
The main charge of racism in the movement seems to be that many support the idea of requiring people to speak English in the United States. Does this mean that anyone who requires a person to speak French in France is a racist ? Does it mean that the previously mentioned minorities who also support such these kinds of goals are somehow biased too ?
Are there racist members of the movement ? Of course there are, just as there are racist members of the Democratic party, the Republican party, etc. But to say that because some people in a movement are racist means the entire movement is prejudiced is simply wrong.
Furthermore, if there are people of all colors, all genders and all economic strata who have similar concerns does that not mean their views have the right to be heard without the scream of racist ?
Keith does not think that any of the things that the movement is concerned about are valid and he is certainly entitled to his views and even to his thinly veiled contempt for anyone with an opposing opinion. But those with different viewpoints are also entitled to their opinions, even if he doesn’t like that.
Seems to me when you can’t answer a question with anything but name calling that it suggests you don’t want to respond to the question itself