TEA PARTY RALLIES BECKON TO EXCLUSIVE TENT

With the exception of a couple of speakers, the recent Tea Party tent was noticeably devoid of diversity at Saturday’s rally.  The planners had every right to hold the Rally on the very same day and the very same spot where Martin Luther King, Jr. made his “I Have a Dream” speech.

Why,  shucks, a niece of Dr. King was present to provide a certain amount of legitimacy – albeit almost non-existent – to the notion that the Tea Party has a big tent of diversity.  Here is a snippet from Alveda King, Dr. King’s niece, as she explains why she chose to speak at the Rally:

“I will talk about honor and character and sacrifice. I will be joined by those who represent the diversity of the human race.”

I have to wonder what she was thinking as she gazed out on a sea of white faces.  Did she mean that she would be joined in spirit?  Did she mean a diversity of opinion from the rally goers?  For, connection by the physical presence of a diverse crowd was painfully lacking.

Yet, the lack of diversity really shouldn’t surprise anyone.  The demographics of the Tea Party reflect a make-up of Republican, white, older, educated, higher-income males.  While women and youngsters are members, they are outnumbered by the vociferous males who despise President Obama and his policies.

The Tea Party will continue to hold rallies to stir up anger and angst at the current president.  No amount of rhetoric and double-speak will cover its true agenda.  The Tea Party is about despising Barack Obama and his policies – nothing more, nothing less.

When the economy picks up – and it will – when the health care bill benefits become apparent – and they will – when all is said and done – the Tea Party will slowly fade into history just as so many other flash-in-the-pan movements have done – or perhaps it will hang around on the fringes and cause some uproar every now and then.

But the Tea Party movement will never rise beyond that of being a movement.  It will not become a party with which to reckon – no candidates, no platform, no ideas – only anger.  Its role in the current political climate simply is to agitate and drive the Republican party father and farther to the right until the edge of the cliff looms in the Republican Party’s  future.

Political parties need diversity, and, they ultimately need moderation.  As Alveda King scanned the crowd at the rally, how could she be so blind as to not see the Tea Party’s inability to understand and its complete disregard for the demographics of our Nation – a disregard that will make the Tea Party a virtual loser in the long run.

Diversity - a casualty of the Tea Party movement? April 2010

Same demographics - August 2010

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About Charlotte A. Weybright

I own a home in the historical West Central Neighborhood of Fort Wayne, Indiana. I have four grown sons and nine grandchildren - four grandsons and five granddaughters. I love to work on my home, and I enjoy crafts of all types. But, most of all, I enjoy being involved in political and community issues.
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23 Responses to TEA PARTY RALLIES BECKON TO EXCLUSIVE TENT

  1. john b. kalb says:

    Charlotte – Just where in the present federal administration and congress do you see any of the diversity that you are crowing about? Do you think that the “do it our way – or else we will find a way around you” attitude in DC exhibits ANY POSSIBLE diverse political action? I sure don’t see it! And the tea party movement is going to bury those with your short-sightedness both this November AND in November (maybe even at the jackass convention)of 2012. As I have promised, and have done recently, I will follow up to say, “I TOLD YOU SO!!” after November 2, 2010.

  2. John:

    Movements/parties that do not moderate end up fading away entirely or playing a minimal role that diverts voters from the major parties – spoilers. They should be called “boutique” parties.

    The Tea Party will be no different and, to think differently, is simply short-sighted on your part as well as any members. The Tea Party movement may have an impact for a cycle or two – heck maybe even three cycles. It may be a force in unseating some politicians, but the replacements are so far right-wing with such far-out ideas that they will drive the average Republican voter to make a difficult choice.

    The Tea Party’s primary focus is its loathing and disdain for President Obama and his policies with no solutions other than opposition.

    The movement has no platform, no ideas, no candidates, no leaders, and no focus other than to attack Obama. You know as well as I do that to survive, it will need to moderate to reach a broader base.

    I expect the Dems to lose some seats in the House and in the Senate as has occurred to the party in power on a regular basis since 1934. So your “I told you so” really has no meaning, and you are more than welcome to say it.

    Sarah Palin is a retread from the 2008 campaign. Then she was a “pitbull with lipstick” – now she has morphed into a “mama grizzly.” The message is the same, old, tired rhetoric.

    You mention diverse political action – that was not the point of my post.

  3. tim zank says:

    Your next to the last sentence “As Alveda King scanned the crowd at the rally, how could she be so blind as to not see the Tea Party’s inability to understand and its complete disregard for the demographics of our Nation – a disregard that will make the Tea Party a virtual loser in the long run.”

    Maybe she actually believes the words of her uncle and judges the crowd not by the color of their skin but by the content of the character.

  4. Tim:

    Of course, I would imagine she believes her uncle’s words. Doesn’t everyone?

    Any explanation as to why the demographics and the Tea Party photos are literally devoid of minorities?

    Could it be because the Tea Party does not judge them by the content of their character but only by the color of their skin?

    Only time will tell with the Tea Party. I may very well be wrong, but I believe it will go the way of other pop-up groups – a short period of impact triggered by a unifying focus of anger, and, in some cases, downright hatred for Barack Obama.

  5. tim zank says:

    Charlotte, in r/e “Any explanation as to why the demographics and the Tea Party photos are literally devoid of minorities?”

    Considering African-Americans comprise only 14% of the population and 90% of African-Americans support Barack Obama, it seems rather simple why they would not be found in large numbers at a tea-party function.

    Most assuredly the tea party is strongly opposed to Barack Obama, but it’s because of his actions not his skin color. I can assure you the tea party would have been formed had Hillary, John Edwards or anyone else elected undertaken the massive social changes that Obama has.

    That’s not indicative of the tea party being racist, or even “non-inclusive”. Anybody and everybody is welcome, and no policies espoused by the tea party, or Glen Beck have a darn thing to do with race. The media and the liberal left dems are crying foul on race when there is no exclusion, other than voluntary. You have some notion that all groups must have a certain % of “ethnic diversity” to be valid. That is preposterous.

    The race issue and the diversity meme are tired. We are all Americans, some like a smaller representative democracy, others like a big over-reaching socialist style government. Obviously I prefer the former, you the latter but the color of your skin has nothing to do with that.

  6. Darren Fykke says:

    Odd that you’re not applying the same measure of diversity to the “other” rally which took place just down the street at the very same time. Don’t look now, but it looked pretty dark to me in front your pal Al Sharpton. $100 says you’re wrong about the tea party fading away. I think you know it too. Why else would you have launched this hack job against the Beck rally? Running scared?

  7. Tim:

    So you admit that the Tea Party focus is Obama? A single focus party? Where are the ideas, the solutions? Where was the Tea Party when Bush was running up trillions of dollars in debt?

    You addressed only the African-American percentage. I asked where minorities were – that would include Hispanics, Asians, etc.

    Hispanics comprise about 15% of the population, so with the African-American percentage and the Hispanic percentage, you would have a total close to 30% of the population. Please address the entire issue of minorities, not just African-Americans.

    Again, the rally was devoid of minorities.

    As to your slanted statement “some like a smaller representative democracy, others like a big over-reaching socialist style government”, you are misstating the nature of our government. Republicans and right-wingers like to confuse the public about socialism, capitalism, and communism.

    Socialism is common or public ownership of the means of production and distribution – we are nowhere near that point. But the fear factor used by Republicans and those who want to see wealth remain concentrated in a small percentage of the population and who believe pure capitalism is the only salvation available attempt to distort and manipulate situations to instill fear in the general populace.

    European countries are democracies – we have a democracy. Democracy is distinct from socialism – don’t confuse the two – of course, that may be your goal.

    All that has to be done is breathe “that’s socialist” and you have citizens shivering in their boots. Never mind that most don’t even bother to understand the terms.

    You are correct – the color of skin should have nothing to do with opportunity, advancement, or access to the necessities of life. If you truly believe that we have completely moved past discrimination and that we are all Americans with prejudice and discrimination forever absent from our shores, then I am sure I will not convince you otherwise.

  8. Darren:

    Hack job? Really? I wrote a blog piece about my observations. Now, if you disagree with my observations that the rally was devoid of minorities, then please provide evidence otherwise.

    As I responded to Tim, minorities make up about 30+% of our population.

    As to the Tea Party’s future, as I said, I believe it will have impact for a period of time. Now does that statement reflect fear? Am I scared? Absolutely not. I acknowledge the reality that the Tea Party formed to oppose President Obama as can be seen by its almost instantaneous formation after his election.

    The first rallies were held in February 2009; only a month after Obama’s inauguration – not even long enough to see what Obama would do. The Tea Party is a reactionary party based on the members’ views of Barack Obama. If you believe otherwise, you are only kidding yourself and trying to hide the real nature of the Tea Party.

    Sure, the protesters may carry signs, jump up and down, and carry on about the now-existing policies, but the formation began long before Obama was successful in implementing the health care bill or other policies disagreeable to the Tea Party.

    The Tea Party may even be successful in placing a member or two in Congress. While thousands may make a difference in the streets and in the voting booth, a couple of Tea Party members in Congress will find very quickly that they will have minimal impact.

  9. Dave MacDonald says:

    You’ve reached a new low, Charlotte. Counting the number of minority faces in the crowd? C’mon. You obviously missed the point of Dr. King’s message. You state this non-violent gathering of individuals is “devoid of diversity,” thus implying they are racist. I believe Dr. King would take exception with your labling his daughter and niece “racist” for associating with this group. They chose to honor the memory of their father & uncle by attending this gathering.

    Who appointed you judge and jury for acceptable diversity? Do you know how many in the above photos are minorities or do you assume they are “white” because they don’t look dark enough to you? Must we now genetically-test attendees for diversity to meet your approval?

    Most Americans heeded Dr. King’s wisdom. How sad that some continue to cry racism to stifle debate when they lack better ideas.

  10. Dave:

    It really is sad when an observation draws so much defensiveness. Perhaps the reaction is because those who react realize that the observations are accurate and do not like to think that there is still racism in this country.

    As to “judge and jury”, I provided a link to show the demographics and a couple of photos. You can accept the info or not.

    Devoid of diversity is not the same thing as racist. For some reason, minorities apparently did not feel they would be welcome at the rally. I wonder why that is? Could it be the downright open hostility and vindictiveness to President Obama exhibited by Tea Party members?

    As to Alveda King, she is a niece to Dr. King, and the daughter of another King – not Martin Luther King, Jr. MLK’s daughter did not appear at the rally.

    Are you going to tell me that racism is dead and gone from America? Wasn’t it Glenn Beck who called Obama a racist and said Obama had a deep-seeded hatred of white people? Or did you forget that?

    As to your implication that I have not heeded Dr. King’s wisdom, you totally have missed the point. And, when you say “most” Americans, would you care to give a number?

    Here are some articles which demonstrate that we have a long way to go before we can say we have honored Dr. King’s vision:

    http://www.blackvoicenews.com/news/news-wire/44915-fortune-500-lacking-women-minorities-according-to-new-study.html

    http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Does_the_proportion_of_minorities_in_the_US_Congress_match_the_proportion_of_minorities_in_the_general_US_society

  11. Dave MacDonald says:

    Your comments were race baiting. I stand by my original post.

  12. Dave:

    You are certainly entitled to your opinion. I stand by my observations and the demographics of the Tea Party movement.

  13. tim zank says:

    Charlotte, you are correct in that we are all entitled to our own opinion. That being said, I think it’s become increasingly obvious that (try as you leftists might) labeling conservatives and tea party participants (or anybody not a leftist liberal) as staunch opponents to “diversity” isn’t really working.

    The only people that bring up, point out, or dwell on the ethnicity of anyone are liberals, democrats, progressives and of course the main stream media. The rest of us pretty much go through our daily lives inter-acting with people of all creeds and colors and never giving it a 2nd thought. It’s 2010 in The United States Of America for God’s sake, quit dwelling on every possible disagreement through the prism of skin color, it’s like junior high school.

    If there were 30% minorities in that crowd, would that somehow magically make their message of small government more palatable to you? Or would it need to be 35%? Or 38%? Just how many “minorities” in a group do you require for the group to have a valid opinion?

    I stand by my statements as well, if it was Hillary, John Edwards or Bozo The Clown that just shoved a 13 trillion dollar tab on my grandkids, I’d want them the hell out of office as well, regardless of their skin color.

    You and your colleagues ranted and raved and voiced real true hatred for the last guy in office, which is fine,it’s America, but when we voice our discontent (not anywhere near as vocal or vile as it was with you guys and Bush) and provide real reasons for that discontent (it’s the economy stupid) and the over-reach of government & regulation suddenly we are racists.

    That is totally bullsh*t.

  14. tim zank says:

    “Socialism is common or public ownership of the means of production and distribution – we are nowhere near that point {except the government owned banks, car companies, health care, education, student loans, federal land, etc}. But the fear factor used by Republicans and those who want to see wealth {EARNED NOT STOLEN} remain concentrated in a small percentage of the population and who believe pure capitalism is the only salvation available attempt to distort and manipulate situations to instill fear in the general populace.{We prefer each person generate his own wealth without giving it to someone else by force}

    European countries are {socialist} democracies – we have a {DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC}democracy. Democracy is distinct from socialism – don’t confuse the two – of course, that may be your goal. {When 47% of the work force pays no federal income tax, the feds tell gm & chrysler what cars they are gonna build, the feds tell banks who they will lend too, the feds create their own loan guarunty company fannie & freddie and about a 3rd of the country is dependent on government coffers and handouts, and your national debt has surpassed 13 trillion dollars which can NEVER be paid back, you have the beginnings of a socialist democracy.}

    Just wanted to fix a couple things for you.

  15. tim zank says:

    This is a great read on the difference between a Republic and a Democracy….for those of you that think we have pure democracy here.

    http://www.lexrex.com/enlightened/AmericanIdeal/aspects/demrep.html

  16. Arthur Lewis says:

    Zank’s rantings show that some people have no idea of what socialism is. He would be against federal land, like the national parks. Oh yeah, a lot of wingnuts criticized Teddy Roosevelt for just that reason. Imagine a USA without Yosemite. That’s where we’d be today if the cons had their way. And they worship Sarah Palin, former governor of a state that distributes the wealth of their land among all of their citizens. And without the auto bailouts, which Obama, despite what his critics assert, was not thrilled to do, the economy of the midwest, if not the entire nation, would have surely collapsed. The tea party ‘patriots’ are nothing but a bunch of fear-mongering, racist, media whores.

  17. john b. kalb says:

    For a look at how the thread of this post might just be the answer to our desires, see Gary Hubbell: The Redneck Tree Hugger at http://www.aspentimes.com/article/20100228/ASPENWEEKLY/100229854

  18. Marymary says:

    Charlotte: You are amazingly patient, intelligent, and respectful of people who make comments on your blog–most of whom are lacking in every one of those virtues, if their comments are any indication of the “content of their character.” While I admire you for your well-written posts and patient comments, the posts of the conserva-trolls remind me why I rarely come by here. There is no reasoning with people such as most who comment here. I remember when conservatives prided themselves on their intellect, education, and critical thinking skills. I once had conservative friends with whom I disagreed. We could still be cordial and have intersting conversations. I have lost touch with those friends over the years, but I’d like to think that they would have nothing to do with the likes of Tim Zank, Iceironman, and the other regulars who come here to spew venom not engage in reasonable debate.

  19. iceironman says:

    I dont think there are alot of minorities at Conservative events because they are uneducated on facts thanks to an education system that is horrible.

    Go ask a random Black guy when the first black man was elected to congress and as speaker of the house. 1868 for the rest of you public school people and he was a republican! Thats 4 years after the civil war.

    Go ask a woman what party favored womans rights to vote? Ask Susan B Anthony who on November 18, 1872,was arrested by a U.S. Deputy Marshal for voting illegally in the 1872 Presidential Election two weeks earlier. She had written to Stanton on the night of the election that she had “positively voted the Republican ticket—straight…”.

    But somehow Charlotte thinks Republicans are evil??

    Go ask a black man if the Radicle Republicans pushed Lincoln to free the slaves and give them repros

    Go ask a black man if he knows that the first 21 african American congress members were black? That lead up to the propaganda era of the progressives changing the history of America and saying the Dems are the ones who care, because they will take from the rich and give to them.

    There has been a smear campaign for 100 years by progressives to change history and give handouts for votes. Because I as a conservative dont want govt housing Im a racist, nope, I just know giving a man everything breaks his spirit and the poor should be made uncomfortable in their poverty. Dont care what color.

    It is sad that you think the tea party started in Obamas 1st term you are flat wrong. The local parties started under Bush because of Tarp etc. Enough was enough.

    We dont loath Obama, we loath socialism and communism.
    Becks day was nothing more than singing, and recognizing the potential we all have to be great. It recognized excellence in charity and our soldiers. It was not a hate fest like Eds rally that bused in minorities, communists, socialists, union thugs, and homosexuals. They ranted and raved on hate speach and beating and hanging in effiegy of Bush and Cheney (who are gone??) It was pure hate, and that is why we will win in the end, I wouldnt drive to DC and spend 1000 bucks because of hate, I did it for love of country. The radicles on the left are showing their colors, they are not afraid to pass out communist, marxist, or socialist propaganda at their rallies. It is who they are. They will also be violent soon, and that is where they messed up in the sixties, no one wants to associate with a movement that is violent and hateful, and liars.
    The radicle leftist from the sixties traded in their peace shirts for suits and ties, but they cant contain themselves for much longer.

    You may at this time want to redefine that you are a progressive liberal. This stance is putting you in company of these folks. It is not a scare tactic, its truth. You may want to look inward and either say I am a socialist, I believe in forcefully taking at the barrel of a gun money from one group and giving it to another. You may want to say that it is ok to discriminate, as long as it is for the collective good. It is one thing to try to educate you to the errors of your parties way, it is another is you are a willing particiapant in the socialist agenda. You cant claim to be on the sidelines, we all have to chose. Either a govt that discriminates or does not. We should all be treated the same, no social justice, no redistribution.

  20. iceironman says:

    Last post should read that the first 21 african Americans were REPUBLICAN, typo

  21. Jim Stanley says:

    Charlotte, please delete my prior comment — i couldn’t get html to work and as printed it makes no sense. I hate word press! LOL

    Thanks for all your good work

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