Teabagger Rally, Circa 1960

Notice how pro-Black = Communism in 1960? Now we have a proud pro-Black Black man in the Presidency in 2010, and pro-Black = Communism once again.

Same people, different decade.

Via this excellent, but very long, post at Daily Kos. The post is very long, but you might want to look through it. The liberals there are actually debating what role racism plays in the Teabaggers. It’s not an entirely unreasonable argument.

Honestly, it’s hard to say what role racism plays in the Teabaggers.

Sure, there is a Black Agenda and a White Agenda in the US. The Teabaggers are for the White Agenda and against the Black Agenda. They see this President as a “traitor” President. Not one of us – not an American, not a citizen, a Muslim, get it? Not one of us – he’s not White! However, most Teabaggers are more sophisticated than most White nationalists.

WN’s in general oppose Obama because he is, as they put it, “the latest outrage, a Negro President.” Most WN’s will not accept any Black as President, no matter his politics or agenda.

The Teabaggers in general are much more sophisticated than that. American White racism is subtle and hard to pick up on unless you are used to the code words.

The Teabaggers will use any Black who is anti-Black agenda and pro-White agenda. That is, Black traitors and sell-outs to Whitey are A-OK with most tea partiers. This is why the Teabaggers are so hard to figure out. The Teabaggers will gladly support any Black pol who backs their agenda and supports White America against his people.

So their opposition to Obama is not “based on the fact that he is Black.” He’s a Black who’s working for the Blacks, and in US White America, that’s called working for the enemy .

There is much discussion in the thread about whether or not Teabaggers have it in for poor Whites too. No one knows.

The Right in the US, from the KKK all the way down, always feared that low-income Whites would unite with low-income Blacks on class terms, and they’ve always sought to throw a wedge between that incipient alliance. They succeeded very well.

There is a good argument that Prohibition was a WASP project by WASP’s outraged at the drunkenness and Underclass behavior of “non-Whites” such as the Irish and the Italians. Prohibition was really a White Supremacy project.

When Prohibition ended, it was replaced immediately with marijuana prohibition. This was sold to frightened Whites on the basis that Underclass Mexicans and Blacks were smoking weed, getting horny and screwing White girls or killing White people. Worse, they were corrupting Whites with Underclass Black and Brown values. Marijuana Prohibition was a White Supremacy project.

Under FDR, Whites were adamant that they be allowed to discriminate for WPA jobs. And they did discriminate a lot. FDR tried to stop it by forcing WPA projects in the South to hire both Blacks and Whites, but it was a tough haul.

Notably, Social Security and other social protections were initially denied to farm workers and domestic workers . In the 1930’s, these classes of employees were for the most part Black. The sentiment at the time was the same as now – Whites saying, “I don’t want my tax dollars going to those people.” It was Tea Party 1934.

When Reagan came in, poverty was rewritten to mean “Black.” The phony and nonexistent welfare queen was created. I see this backlash as a reaction against the Civil Rights Liberation of the 1960’s. It was another Reconstruction reactionary backlash, the 2nd or 3rd Reconstruction if you will. Every time Blacks get some rights, there’s a White backlash to withdraw many of the rights newly granted.

There have always been plenty of White poor. Go to West Virginia sometime and look around. But for the last 30 years at least, poverty has been rewritten to mean “Black.” Poor = Black and increasingly Brown. When Teabaggers say that Obama is for the poor and against them, they mean he is for the Blacks and the Browns and against the Whites.

The problem in the US is that racism is all tied up in issues of class. Class and race are mingled in America for so long now that it’s hard to tell where one starts and the other ends. That’s why discussions about whether or not the Teabaggers are racist are ultimately futile. Until you understand the American race-class marriage and the decades-long use of code words for racialized projects, the discussion isn’t going anywhere.

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8 thoughts on “Teabagger Rally, Circa 1960”

  1. What do you make of the fact that Nazi Germany supported Arab nationalist movements against British imperialism in the Middle East in the early 1940s? Doesn’t that make them somewhat progressive? The most reactionary forces in modern history were British and American imperialism, not National Socialist Germany.

  2. To Rob:

    Notably, Social Security and other social protections were initially denied to farm workers and domestic workers. In the 1930’s, these classes of employees were for the most part Black.

    No the majority of farm workers in the 1930s were White, however the domestic laborers were predominantly Black. Here are the segments of the population that were excluded:

    “Job categories that were not covered by the act included workers in agricultural labor, domestic service, government employees, and many teachers, nurses, hospital employees, librarians, and social workers.”

  3. Robert, England has a socialized medical system known as the NHS, funded by general taxation.
    Oftentimes an industrious woker who over a liftetim has contributed massively to NHS funds finds that when he falls ill his requisite treatment is delayed or denied due to funding shortages.
    By contrast, many third-world immigrants who wash up on British shores, but who have never contributed a single penny to NHS funds come, ready-made, with very serious health conditions (eg kidney dialysis), which is extremely expensive to fund, but in medical terms they have priority over the English contributor.
    Stories like this are an every day occurence in the NHS.
    Now, Robert, I am a passionate believer and supporter of the NHS, but I well realise that any socialised medical system can only survive in a racially homogenous society in which individuals willingly make sacrifices for their fellow man.

    1. As some who generally takes liberal positions as long as they pass the test of economic and ethno-racial realism, this is pretty much what bothers me about HRC. I’d support it strongly in a more homogeneous America. (13% blacks and 2% Asians and Natives would fit fine.) But a nationally mandated HRC is going to turn into an endless barrage of requirements that everyone be covered, but not have to pay.

  4. It’s fun to do posts setting up straw men.

    Firstly, only the minority Buchananite tea party segment, and much of the Ron Paulite are acting with ample racial instincts to qualify as such.

    Those who support anti-Islamic Mideast foreign intervention are acting as raceless capitalist imperialists.

    If this was only theoretical, we could quiuckly move to discussing your domestically related
    comments. As two economically debilitating foreign quagmires are underway, going further is a waste, particularly as there is no known state or other tea party grouping which has come out against the wars.

  5. This is very insightful, Robert, and you know that I’m no fan of the Tea Baggers.

    I remember my very first comment pointing out the need for whites to protest things that are actually worth protesting against.

    However, rather than demonize the “Tea Baggers,” the left needs to change its tactics. These people are not hopeless, but alienated and frustrated.

    One of the problems is that they perceive leftists as elitists (of course, I know that many conservatives are also elitist pigs who don’t give two craps about most people, but their rage isn’t focused on conservatives, unfortunately).

    The leftists always bemoan the fact that working class and poor whites vote against their interests, yet they spend their time collecting speaking fees at college campuses and writing provocative articles.

    All I know is that the left is utterly clueless when it comes to reaching out to the common white person.

  6. “… Nazi Germany supported Arab nationalist movements against British imperialism in the Middle East in the early 1940s? Doesn’t that make them somewhat progressive? The most reactionary forces in modern history were British and American imperialism, not National Socialist Germany.
    1) When Germany lost ww1, they lost their colonies.


    2) Did those Progressive Nazis free any German colonies? It’s pretty obvious that the Nazis’ main intent in ww2 was to *gain* colonies, not free colonies, else the Nazis would have abandoned Poland, France, etc to local Resistance. 😉

    So undoubtedly, causing trouble in any Allied sphere of influence was the goal behind ‘supporting’ Arab nationalists (in Allied colonies)

    Btw, the use of the word “socialism” in mid 20th century West was popular, therefore political marketers labeled things with socialist*. Similarly in current USA politics, “liberty” and “freedom” are reliable longterm huckster catchwords. “Socialism” is now a reliable *negative* huckster word.


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