"It ain't what they call you, it's what you answer to." - W. C. Fields
I should also mention - and I feel like I've repeated myself too many times on this issue - racism and racial prejudice, these days, mostly occur on a subtle, subconscious level. I'm guilty of it, almost all of us are guilty of it to some extent or another, of pre-judging people based on their skin color, or how they dress, or their appearance, or whatnot. It's simply how the mind works. The problem is that racial prejudice has been reinforced by the media. Gone are the days of Jim Crow, blatant, in-your-face, racism. So people who harbor racially prejudiced attitudes usually don't put them "out there," or worse, might not even be aware that they hold such attitudes. Such is how subtle racism operates; on the subconscious level.
I agree with Perry's bit about the use of labels, and I apologize if you felt that I meant them to have any negative connotation. Saying that Tea Party members hold nativist attitudes is qualitatively and substantively no different than saying liberals generally critical of corporations or concentration of money. They are simply attitudes.You want to have a discussion of what the "Tea Party" is? Fine. Great. having that discussion within a thread where Tea Party members are accused of wanting to see black folks strung up might not be the best venue. But based on what and who I know...Tea Party people believe in LEGAL immigration (and site 20-30 million illegal immigrants, 14 million jobless Americans, etc) and enforcement of laws. They believe in smaller and more fiscally conservative federal government (and use as their justification a 15.5 trillion dollar and climbing debt). Thats pretty much the extent of it. Do YOU believe in legal immigration and enforcement of existing laws? Do YOU believe the government should be fiscally conservative? Good lord, SB...is it possible you are a xenophobe too?
As for my own views - I am a liberal. I believe in an activist government ("big government" if you will). That does not mean that I don't believe in a fiscally prudent government. I think the government should pay its bills and cut deficits. I believe in the role of government as problem-solver. It can't solve all of society's ills, but in many cases it is the institution that is most suited to do so. Some problems are better left to the states, some better left to the federal gov't.
I believe the conversation about illegal immigration to be misguided - the root of the problem lies with the push factors that are causing people to cross our border illegally, and laws that inadequalely take into account the situations of people, who for whatever reason, overstay their visa. Everything else we talk about afterwards is just talking about what the bandaid should look like rather than what the cause of the illness is. Anyway, this is for another discussion.
page 60, post #596 (Andre Carson: Tea party wants blacks 'hanging on a tree') to truly guage where I've been coming from since that post related to the thread topic.
Honest disagreements about fiscal responsibility are not a foundation for racial attacks. I find the congressmans words and actions repugnant and irresponsible. When the nation is facing continued debt, climbing unemployment, and no solutions in site and race rhetoric is all you have...then maybe its time for new representation.
Race baiting happens on both sides. We do more to stop it when ban together and point it out whoever does it than we do by pointing fingers at each other.
I don't disagree.I don't know if MOST Tea Party members exhibit these characteristics, but I believe they exhibit these attitudes more so than the rest of the population.
And obviously, even if we're not talking about the Tea Party, these attitudes still exist at large among the American population - just look at all the comments about Obama not being truly American, etc. This is what I mean by nativism.