The Tea Party, Racism And Antisemites.
It is very easy to criticise the Tea Party for putting up or backing some plainly idiotic candidates, Christine O’Donnell and Rich Iott are just two examples. But the Tea Party’s problems extend slightly further than a one time Witch and a Republican candidate that likes to dress up in an SS uniform.
It is the Tea Party movement’s association with the fringes of the American Far Right and active antisemites that illuminates these issues.
There is a marvellous report by the Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights on Tea Party Nationalism.
Here are two extracts from the section dealing with the Tea Parties – Racism, Anti-Semitism and the Militia Impulse:
“Tea Party leaders have promoted and provided a platform to known racists and anti-Semites on multiple occasions. Dale Robertson, the chairman of the 1776 who displayed the infamous “n****r sign,” for example, brought Martin “Red” Beckman on as a guest to the Tea Party Radio hour that he co-hosts with Washington state talk show host Dr. Laurie Roth. Beckman has been known for over twenty-five years for his anti-Semitic writings and his defense of militias. In 1994, Beckman was evicted from his property in Montana by the IRS for refusing to pay taxes. He now resides in southwestern Washington State.
In a separate incident, Robertson endorsed Pastor John Weaver on the 1776 Tea Party Meet Up website. According to Robertson, “John Weaver is a very knowledgeable Christian leader who presents scriptural basis for Constitutional Rights. The Church has not exercised these rights and consequently is in decline. The Constitution is founded on the principal of God and a moral people, without either then the Church and the people of this land will fall victim to an oppressive government.” Robertson also used this Meetup site to advertise an August 29, 2009 “family retreat” with Pastor Weaver in Magnolia, Texas. The site also indicates that Robertson attended that retreat.
Weaver, of Fitzgerald, Georgia, has a sprawling set of connections to neo-Confederates and those preaching the so-called Christian Identity doctrine. He is the former Chaplain in Chief of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. He has spoken at “Christian Identity” gatherings in Branson, Missouri in 1998 and 1999. According to this particular theology, Jews are considered a satanic force (or the incarnation of Satan himself), and people of color are considered less than fully human. By contrast, the white people of northern Europe are considered racial descendants of the Biblical tribes of Israel, and the United States of America is considered their “promised land;” a theory descended from a theology known as British-Israelism. Although Weaver describes his particular outlook as a variant of “Dominionism,” his essay, “The Sovereignty of God and Civil Government” was listed in a book catalogue published by the British-Israel World Federation. As such, this would place Weaver just one step to the right of the most radical forms of Christian fundamentalism. “