OPINION: The Tea Party Is Channeling The Confederacy

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There is a good article at the Grio that compares the modern Tea Party movement to the Confederate South rather than the American Revolutionary movement that they draw inspiration from. Author, Melissa Harris-Lacewell writes:

Tea Party activists have asked us to see their movement as akin to the movement of Revolutionary War patriots who were throwing off the bonds of an imperial monarchy. I believe their movement looks much more like the behavior of confederates who seceded from the Union prior to the Civil War and to the behavior of those same defeated Confederates who instigated a reign of terror in the South when they lost the Civil War.

After all, President Barack Obama is no monarch sitting on a throne and taxing hapless colonists. He and the Democratic majority in Congress were duly elected in a democratic election that included one of the largest and most diverse voting public in American history. How exactly is this like the Revolutionary War?

I understand that no one wants to be called a racist. I also believe that we should not use the racism label as a way of refusing to listen to the dissenting interests of political minorities. But let me also say this, if your movement is concentrated in the states of the former confederacy; if your movement uses state’s rights language; if members of your movement hurl racial epithets at black office holders; and if your movement is more than 88 percent white in a country that is increasingly racially and ethnically diverse; then you must expect that some people will charge the movement with racism. And you should also be willing to think about how the movement creates racial bias and unrest even if it does so unwittingly.

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