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.