Sorry, It’s About Racism

(I apologize for the political kick I’ve had lately. The D.C. crisis has just been too engrossing for me)

They’re so angry.

Watching the shutdown and debt ceiling fight unfold it seems to me that the hardest of the hardcore Tea Party members are getting white hot, more so than usual. One of two things is about to happen, either they’re not going to get what they want or they’re going to drag us into our first-ever default.

The first scenario will empower them. The second will be the end of them.

As I sit and absorb all of the political maneuvering and posturing, one question keeps sticking out in my mind. Why are these people so damn angry? Many of the Tea Party politicians and their supporters are more than willing to bankrupt this country and drive it into default rather than give an inch to Obama and his health care law. Why? How can setting up these exchanges, establishing a penalty, requiring people to buy health insurance, draw so much ire from these people? When you ask them why they’re against it, they don’t spout economic statistics or alternatives to dealing with rising health care costs. In fact, they don’t really provide an answer that remotely resembles anything to do with health insurance.

Instead you hear things like, “We’re losing our country” or “Obama’s destroying our freedoms” or “Obamacare’s a train wreck of a law.” But there’s never any specifics about what they don’t like or what they don’t want to change. They only offer a visceral repulsion.

The irony of their position about Obamacare ruining the economy is that in their ridiculous gambit to eliminate it, they will obliterate the economy with a credit default. It’s like telling a hostage-taker, “put down the gun or we’ll launch a nuclear weapon on the hostage.”
Their position reveals exactly what the problem is — they’d rather destroy the country than to give Obama something he already has. It’s about hatred of the president. Pure and simple.

I’m a southerner. I remember the days of Bill Clinton and all the rage he created among the conservatives down here. But even when he was in the middle of an impeachment process, that anger never equaled close to what I see now.

And being from the South, I can tell you that the only true explanation is racism. Are all of the Tea Party folk racist? No, I’m not saying that. But you can’t take away the racial underpinnings of their movement. Many of the things they rant about (unbalanced budget, rising deficit, the bailouts) started under George W. Bush, something that gets glossed over at the rallies I’ve been to. I’ve had to fight the urge several times to say out loud that the last president with a balanced budget was Bill Clinton. But I was afraid that I’d get tarred and feathered.

I’m sorry, it’s simply racism. White’s don’t like to hear the charge, but it’s true whether they want to believe it or not.

Obama represents the very thing that frightens many white Americans — if minorities can win the presidency, what’s to stop them from controlling everything? When he was reelected, that fear gave way to the answer — nothing can stop them, especially as time wears on. Minorities are on the winning side of statistics. Their numbers grow at a time when white numbers are dropping.

With all of this vehemence that you see from the Tea Party throughout the country and from the southerners, I’ve come to the conclusion that they’re not going to let things go so easily. As minorities begin to play a bigger role in national politics, white anger is only going to grow and intensify.

Watching the latest budget/default battle is unnerving because it shows how far some are willing to go to rail against the oncoming tide. If they don’t win this fight over the debt ceiling, they’ll pick a battle somewhere else with the same endgame—borderline anarchy. The anger will continue to boil until they finally achieve some sort of explosive victory, whatever that might be. They’re looking for anything. Like that Republican congressman said, “We have to get something out of this and I don’t know what that even is.”

Very telling.

It leaves me wondering who’s going to suffer more when they finally get the destruction they want, the angry whites or the rest of us.



  1. Wow. I found your post very misinformed. If you’ll go back and look, the President himself said that he will not compromise when it comes to the Affordable Care Act. He said he will not budge, he will not give an inch. Don’t get me wrong, some the tea party folks are as nuts as the President in not wanting to work with him, but the lack of movement is on both sides. That’s why we’re shut down.
    There are many reasons that conservatives don’t like the ACA and there are great bits of information out there on their points. Many politicians started out as businessmen and women and likewise believe that it will have a negative impact on small business and our economy, which is already hurting.
    The ACA was birthed out of a great idea: everyone should have access to healthcare. It’s just a bad plan and should be altered before implemented.
    More than uninformed, I found your post sad. If our president was green, the tea party would still oppose him. He is the most liberal president we have seen in decades. (I see it and I am not a Republican.) Are there petty, racist jerks in the Republican party…yes. But your post proves there is racism on both sides of the aisle.

    1. Calling someone a racist doesn’t make you a racist. Misinformed? I doubt that highly. Again, I’ve lived in the south my entire life. I see it with my own eyes. It exists and it’s no surprise that most of Obama’s detractors are from the south. As I said in my post, white people, young white people especially, want to pretend that racism doesn’t exist anymore and that the mere mention is itself racist. It’s not racist to make an observation.

      This anger, this rage exhibited by some in the GOP, is more than just abhorrence to the policy, (which by the way was created by conservatives to begin with, why are they suddenly against their own idea?).

      One other observation, where is all of the birthing rancor about Ted Cruz, who lived in Canada the first four years of his life? Why isn’t the Tea Party railing against his origin? He ADMITS to being born in Canada and having Canadian citizenship. Yet he’s the Tea Party’s darling. Are they going to launch investigations when he runs for president? Are they going to petition to disqualify him? Why give him a pass when they did everything they could to get Obama disqualified?

      1. Yes, I am a young white person who lives in the south. So I think racism doesn’t exist? I personally could care less what color someone’s skin is. Maybe that’s the impression you are reading from folks such as myself. Many whites like myself grew up with parents who told us to ignore race completely…so we do.
        I know it exists. My husband is not white. Many of my family members are not white. I know racism is alive and well. I experience anti-white racism (which is much more commonly accepted) regularly.
        I think what burns me and so many folks in my tribe is the assumption that I do or do not support someone based on race. I want to believe that you support the ACA and Obama because you are an informed individual who believes that way. I want to believe you didn’t just say, “oh he looks like me, so I’ll support him.” Just as I would like for you to believe that I support those I support based on my personal convictions. When we generalize entire groups of people and make judgements based on the way someone looks, we set ourselves up for a world of conflict.

  2. You’re right. But we perpetuate a world of conflict by pretending that the racism against Obama doesn’t exist. My issue and my whole point is that pretending racism doesn’t exist doesn’t make it magically go away. You have to address it and that starts with admitting it or acknowledging it, not more denial.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s