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Posted by on Jul 18, 2010 in Politics, Society | 0 comments

What If The Tea Party Was Black?

Making its way around the left side of the Internets, in the wake that NAACP resolution, from Pittsburgh’s Jasiri X:

What if the tea party was black
Holding guns like the Black Panther Party was back
If Al was Rush Limbaugh and Jesse was Sean Hannity
And Tavis was Glenn Beck would they harm they families
If Sarah Palin was suddenly Sistah Soaljah
Would they leave it with the votes or go and get the soldiers
Yall know if the tea party was black
The government would have been had the army attack

What if Michael Baisden was on ya FM dial
For 3 hours every day calling the president foul
Would they say free speech or find evidence how
To charge him with treason like see he’s unamerican now
What if Minister Farrakhan prayed for the death
Of the commander in chief that he be laid to rest
Would they treat it as the gravest threat or never make an arrest
Even today he’s still hated for less
What if President Obama would have lost the election
Quit his job so he could go talk to the left and
Bash the government for being off of direction
Fraught with deception
And told black people they want all of our weapons
And we want our own country and called for secession
Would he be arrested and tossed in corrections
For trying to foster aggression
Against the people’s lawful selection
Our questions

What if the tea party was black
Holding guns like the Black Panther Party was back
If Al was Rush Limbaugh and Jesse was Sean Hannity
And Tavis was Glenn Beck would they harm they families
If Sarah Palin was suddenly Sistah Soaljah
Would they leave it with the votes or go and get the soldiers
Yall know if the tea party was black
The government would have been had the army attack

What If black people went on Facebook and made a page
That for the death if the president elect we prayed
Would the creators be tazed and thrown in a cage
We know the page wouldn’t have been displayed all these days
What if Jeremiah Wright said that everybody white
Wasn’t a real America would you feel scared of him
If he had a militia with pictures that depict the president as Hitler
They would kill and bury that
Wait
What if Cynthia McKinney lamented the winning of the new president
And hinted he wasn’t really a true resident
With no proof or evidence
Would the media treat it like a huge press event
They would have attacked whatever group she represents
They would have called her a kook on precedent
And any network that gave her due preference
Would be the laughing stock of the news so our question is

What if the tea party was black
Holding guns like the Black Panther Party was back
If Al was Rush Limbaugh and Jesse was Sean Hannity
And Tavis was Glenn Beck would they harm they families
If Sarah Palin was suddenly Sistah Soaljah
Would they leave it with the votes or go and get the soldiers
Yall know if the tea party was black
The government would have been had the army attack

This morning VP Joe Biden said on ABC’s This Week that he “wouldn’t characterize the Tea Party as racist.”

Me, I’m on the side of those who say the NAACP was right.

With nuance, from John McWhorter:

The idea has been first that America needed not to segregate people; next came that America needs not to be racist in general; and now the idea is that America needs to learn to harbor no negative sentiments about black people even in its heart of hearts. That’s a tough one, but lots of people smarter than me seem to think it’s a worthy quest.

Well, here’s a lesson America also needs to learn, especially those who read a T-shirt and think it’s their responsibility to think of it as a direct descendant of what got John Lewis’ head cracked on the Pettus Bridge in Selma. Maybe this lesson will be as tough a sell as teaching Americans to have no racist sentiments of any kind, ever—but it’s equally worthy of proposal.

Lesson: deep anger at a black person can occur without the root of it being a hatred of black people. Corollary lesson: when said anger is harbored by groups, chance will dictate that some individuals within it will be less decorous than most, and that they will “Go there”—expressing their anger in disrespect, which when aimed at a black person, will logically entail phraseology singling out color. Sometimes the tackiest among them will pop off with, yes, the one that starts with n.

Once it was clear Obama would be elected, I knew that once the honeymoon was over, a hot new issue would be explorations as whether criticisms of Obama were “racial,” and here we are. First off was the Joe Wilson eruption (“You Lie!”), and now the Tea Partiers.

So, Tea Partiers—if you’re really so concerned about the state of the country as a whole, take a time out and help us learn a lesson. Condemn racism and its expressions in your midst. Try this: likely there will be fewer of the T-shirts and envelope-pushing aspersions, which will render your message that much more effective with the media.

In the meantime, you will contribute to the nationwide sea change in the race discussion that has the NAACP approaching this issue so temperately in the first place. This is the most constructive, untheatrical statement that has come from the NAACP in eons—it’s worthy of what they were about a hundred years ago. Let’s go with it.

Rap via Crooks & Liars’ Karoli, who advises, “also highly recommended: Tim Wise’s inspirational essay ‘Imagine if the tea party were black.'”

SEE ALSO: Mark Meckler and Jenny Beth Martin, co-founders of Tea Party Patriots writing in Politico, on being labeled as ‘racist.’

You can find me @jwindish, at my Public Notebook, or email me at joe-AT-joewindish-DOT-com.