Presidents Day 2010:
Right Wing, Racism and Reconstruction
In Tennessee, a group of disgruntled white folks held their first national conference with the aim of snatchin' back their country from the undesirables, whom were bringing it to ruin. The conference ended with a roar of applause as the keynote speaker made an impassioned call for a revolution. No, I'm not talking about The National Tea Party Convention of 2010, I'm referring to the first Ku Klux Klan Convention of 1867...
Although, the two events took place almost a century and a half apart, I am sure that the sentiments in the room must have been, pretty much the same; white supremacy must be preserved by any means necessary.
Last weekend, the Tea Party folks held their first national convention, the $100,000 show stopper being Sarah Palin's announcement that "America is ready for another revolution."
Although, most Conservatives would deny it to the bitter end, many of those who hate President Barack Obama's guts do so because (dare I say it ?) he's black! And a black man as head of the free world just doesn't sit well with some folks whose dealings with African Americans are limited to the kid at McDonald's asking them if they want cheese on their Big Macs.
While it may be a tad bit unfair to label everybody who attended the convention as bigots who ritually, relieve themselves on the grave of Thaddeus Stevens, to say that the Tea Party hoedown wasn't the choice vacation spot for racists last weekend is a little naive.
See, when these guys start talking about being "patriots" and "defending the Constitution" you have to understand the code words. They are talking about the original version of the Constitution that referred to a dude like me as only 3/5th of a man. And the "patriot" they talk about rallyin' isn't your friendly neighbor, Mrs. Robertson with the giant American flag hanging over her rose garden. Naw, they are after the dude with the Confederate baseball cap and the gun rack in the back of his pickup blastin' Lynard Skynard.
Although, the Convention got props from the Right Wing media, I wonder what their reaction would have been if a black leader called for the overthrow of the government at the all African American "Black Coffee, No Sugar, No Cream" Convention. You can bet that the talking heads on Fox News would be labeling him a terrorist and calling for a thorough investigation by the Justice Department.
Forgive me if I come off a little presumptuous but we, black folks, have seen this movie before.
Back in 1866, following the end of the Civil War, there was a dramatic surge in African American political power courtesy of a couple of handy amendments added to the Constitution. For the first time African Americans began to hold political offices, at what seemed for some to be an alarming rate.
Needless to say, just like after Obama's historic victory, November '08, some folks weren't exactly jerkin' for joy down Main Street.
Referring to Southern whites, historian Vincent Harding in his book "The Other American Revolution" writes, " by every possible legal and extralegal means they organized to oppose the new developments." Much of the extralegal activity was carried out by the KKK who, ironically, also held their first convention at a Nashville hotel.
Also, in his book "Before the Mayflower," Lerone Bennett wrote, " to justify the revolutionary methods by which these governments were overthrown, Southerners manufactured and perpetrated the twin myths of corruption and ignorance." Negro politicians, so the myths run ,were corrupt or ignorant."
Also, it must be noted that some historians have labeled the Civil Rights Era as the "second Reconstruction Era." The leaders of this era were also demonized; accused of trying to turn America into a Socialist (then the buzz word was "Communist") state.
Funny how the more things change...
While some will argue that it was the Democrats, not the angelic Republicans who were responsible for the end of Reconstruction. The truth is conservative bigotry is nonpartisan and changing a political party is as easy as changing socks. The Dixiecrats of yesterday are the Ultra Right Wing Republicans of today.
The Right Wing media have been riding Obama's back since day one. Ever since he took office he has been the nappy headed step child of American presidents.
The Rodney Dangerfield of DC...
The Charlie Brown of the....
Aw, you get the point.
The movers hadn't even finished unpacking Michelle Obama's shoes before the attacks started coming from the Conservatives.
To borrow from an old joke, if the reporters saw President Obama walking on water, the headlines the next morning would read, "Obama Can't Swim!"
Not only that, but the Right has continued an unrelenting, unmerciful attack on the whole Left Wing, branding them as an Obama inspired environmentalist cult waiting for the second coming of Karl Marx.
Now I'm not an Obama groupie but I, like many other folks, am tired of the Tea Party and the other Conservatives running around like the Broadstreet Bully jackin' nerdy Left wingers for their lunch money.
So, inspired by the success of the Tea Party, this Presidents Day, 2/15, I have decided to start my own political movement, "The Kick Rocks Coalition."
I am asking that those on the Left who don't wet their pants every time they hear the intro to Rush Limbaugh's radio show join me in telling the Right Wingers that we are sick and tired of their ruthless fear tactics.
It is past time to tell the Conservatives to get over it, Obama is the Prez and if you don't like it you can...
Paul Scott is a author of the blog, No Warning Shots Fired.com. He can be reached at (919) 451-8283 or firstname.lastname@example.org