Is the Tea Party the new Black Panther movement?

Is the Tea Party movement the new Black Panther movement?

According to the Root, that just might be the case:

They were armed to the teeth. They were mad. They gathered at public buildings, guns tucked into their waistlines, demanding limited governmental authority and the right to self-determination. They believed the Democratic White House to be an untrustworthy, imperialistic power, one that “robbed” them under spurious circumstances. They were wary of the “Zionist media,” and they loved to quote at length from America’s founding documents, specifically violent, revolutionary passages like, “it is their duty, to throw off [an abusive] Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.” They were members of one of the most fringe political organizations in modern American history.

They were the Black Panthers. Had you anticipated Tea Partiers?

As the Tea Party movement continues its steady ascent toward the mainstream, it has also begun filling out its ranks with a small but vocal cadre of African Americans. To many outsiders, this is unconscionable; how could any person of color align himself with a group whose protest signs frequently depict President Obama morphed into a primate? And yet in some ways, the coupling makes perfect sense.

In January, political philosopher Noam Chomsky said in an interview about the Tea Party, “These are people with real grievances. For the past 30 years of neo-liberalism, wages for the majority have stagnated; benefits, which were never very great, have declined; working hours have shot way up; they’ve gone way into debt to try and preserve the consumerist lifestyle that’s been rammed down their throats by the advertising industry. They’re in bad shape — not Third World-style bad shape — but bad shape by the standards of a rich industrial country.” Assuming that the Tea Party is not an inherently racist entity, as every black Tea Partier says it isn’t, is it so hard to imagine that African Americans might be attracted to a group whose underlying gripe is a broken government that doesn’t accurately represent its people?

Go read the entire article for yourself; it’s worth a read.


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1 thought on “Is the Tea Party the new Black Panther movement?

  1. I said something similar back in January in this post and in the comments:

    I think there are definite parallels. When I first saw the satirical blog post that made the rounds about the African American community joining a 2nd Amendment rally alongside Tea Partiers, I thought it might have been serious. Nothing would undermine the liberal stereotype of Tea Parties faster. The fact that, several months later, nothing of the sort has happened makes me think that the Tea Party movement is not interested in denying the stereotype.

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