Selma Revisited

Representative John Lewis

The Tea Party Unveiled

They say that history often repeats itself and this was never more evident than during the events of this past Saturday. On the 45th Anniversary of the historic successful walk into Selma, US Representative John Lewis found himself face to face with hatred and vile behavior that could only pull him back to the events of the day some 45 years ago. For those of you who are unaware of the Representatives past, he was savagely beaten during the initial walk into Selma only to return and make that gallant successful journey. As he listened to choruses of “Kill the bill nigger” followed by the vile act of spitting on Representative Emanuel Cleaver, The memory of Selma must have rang loudly in his head.

Selma is long gone but it seems much of the racial hatred embodied in those who gallantly threw stones and bottles at little black children is still alive and well in American culture. The Tea Party itself would like to claim these multiple instances of intolerance as isolated occurrences but one must ask this simple question. How many isolated occurrences must one experience before they can be officially declared a pattern? If a man only beats his wife every three months does it count as isolated occurrences making him innocent of being an abuser? When Jeremiah Wrights single sermon was aired, wasn't this proof of racism in the Trinity United Church of Christ, it was even expanded to label racists to include anyone who practices black liberation theology. According to reports of those in attendance “Kill the bill nigger” was not the emotional outburst of a single participant but a song like chorus that echoed throughout the group of protestors.

No matter how often Tea Party members repeat “We are not racist” to the rest of this country and the world, they have proven themselves as a group to be just that. While I do believe that most of those who connect themselves in some fashion truly believe that they as individuals are not racist in their way of thinking, this does not override the intentions and motivations of the group as a whole. You can claim the isolated incident defense but so long before reality intervenes, as it did on March 21, in the year of 1965 and 2010.

The sad thing In all this is that the Tea Party movement in its original form only carried small racial sentiments, sentiments that could be overlooked for the overall message, but once it allowed itself to be high jacked by a desperate Republican party that considered them nothing more than kooks out on the fringe, it was corrupted in order to carry the message of division fueled by racial and ethnic differences. This is not the first time such tactics have been used against the American public and I suggest that it will not be the last; however we must as a people recognize that as a society division is the cause of every dark corner in our past.

As a liberal I believe in many of the things that have drawn so many to the Tea Party movement, most notably over taxation. My problem with this movement is that it seems to have forgotten that we still claim status as the greatest nation on earth. With this comes both the liability of cost needed to maintain the status and the responsibility to provide maintenance. Individual wealth and personal possessions are only a small part of this countries greatness; even greater are its people and its humanity.

 

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Comments 16 comments

JOE BARNETT profile image

JOE BARNETT 6 years ago

this all stems from the republicans. if they had participated and not mis-lead in this bill everything would have been handled.now to them(tea-partiers) things seem out of control and they are trying to help in they're own tobacco chewing way. Like obama says in two months or six months when the only thing different is healthy people the ferver will suspend. great hub!


SOBF profile image

SOBF 6 years ago from New York, NY Author

Joe - You hit the nail on the head. Reagan made the socialism speech during the debate for Medicare and now the Republicans are using cuts in Medicare as point of concern.


SwiftlyClean profile image

SwiftlyClean 6 years ago from Texas

Speak! shout it on the house tops.

Great hub my brother.

Peace:) to you and Blessings

Sharon Smith


SOBF profile image

SOBF 6 years ago from New York, NY Author

SwiftlyClean - Thank you for your kind words.


pmccray profile image

pmccray 6 years ago from Utah

Truth Truth . . .excellent hub. I've written a piece on the simularities, between the 1773 tea party and now. No difference both practiced cowardly racists acts. Why most think the election of President Obama was some type of release value is beyond me. His election brough truth to the fore front ripping off the mask of racial paranoia.

Rated and shared check out www.afrocentrictimes.blogspot.com - The Tea Party then and now.


Right Black profile image

Right Black 6 years ago from Huntington Beach, California

SOBF, I'm all for civil rights but I am also for the facts. As a student of Black History I have the utmost respect for Senator Lewis. He wrote a great introduction to the chapter about the speech MLK gave after the march to Selma in the book "A Call to Conscience." But let's get it straight, I have watched the videos and heard no one called anything. Furthermore, why didn't we get at least an arrest and charges filed. I don't condone anyone being mistreated or called racial slurs. I have definitely been called enough myself but the facts are the facts. Someone saying something happened and something actually happening are two different things. With all the cameras at this protest I am sure someone would have caught a good picture and audio of these alleged events. Here are the links I looked at and I heard nothing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uiMFcoTzk2A&feature...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SCs6pSE8_I&feature...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fdaPZx1cpU&feature...

Seeing the historical significance of the date, both now and 45 years ago any opportunist might take advantage of the situation. Things are not always as they seem. I'm just looking for the facts. If you have a better video and something other than hearsay evidence I would like to see and hear it so I can retract this post.


Right Black profile image

Right Black 6 years ago from Huntington Beach, California

SOBF, you may want to watch the following where Rev. Sharpton has to admit there is no tape of the N-word or the F-word being used and the tape of the man who "spit" on Sen. Cleaver was yelling at him and "spittle" got on the Senator.

http://video.foxnews.com/v/4128913/oreilly-vs-shar...


SOBF profile image

SOBF 6 years ago from New York, NY Author

Right Black - There is now way on Gods great earth that you can tell what is being said by the participants in any of those videos.


SOBF profile image

SOBF 6 years ago from New York, NY Author

Right Black - on the claim of spittle, I advise you to go back and watch the video and pay attention to the violent movement of the congressman's head. A little spittle (which I have had in many conversations) does not bring on such an exaggerated response. But then again O'Reilly says different, so I guess it was.


JOE BARNETT profile image

JOE BARNETT 6 years ago

it seams as though he is denying their credibility,the stories validity. he has said it before that he is a republican. Maya angelou says" when someone shows you themselves. . . believe them!


SOBF profile image

SOBF 6 years ago from New York, NY Author

Joe - Right Black is OK, he'll come around when he realizes that everything he believes in is nothing more than rhetoric and group think. Not an attack, just an observation.


SOBF profile image

SOBF 6 years ago from New York, NY Author

Right Black - You did rate this hub "up" right, black.


JOE BARNETT profile image

JOE BARNETT 6 years ago

ha ha ha crazy!


Right Black profile image

Right Black 6 years ago from Huntington Beach, California

SOBF, you're okay, you'll come around. :) Of course, you're a rate up! It's a good hub, just inconclusive.


N.E. Wright profile image

N.E. Wright 6 years ago from Bronx, NY

This is a great and informative Hub, SOBF.

I love your question on isolated occurances, and the comparison to what makes a man a wife beater ...? Perfect!

The Tea Partiers are all over the map in what they want, in my opinion. They just HATE the President for being our President. It is scary.

Obama is a Socialist, the government is too large, and Obama needs to keep his damn hands off their Social Security and Medicare. Social programs, and they want them.

Soon it will be all three. Keep your damn hands off my Social Security, Medicare, and Health Care. Again, social programs that they will want to keep.

No one likes taxes, but I grew up with hearing the mantra, "All I know is I am Black and I pay income tax."

It was funny to me as a kid, but it was told when a person wanted to keep themselves out of a dispute, but used levity to do it.

Still, I grew up not having a problem paying my taxes. I just did not.

Still, I would not want to be over taxed, but I want clean parks, good schools, pot holes filled, etc.

Again, I could agree with somethings, but the hate and racist imagines shown by The Tea Partiers will not stop me from seeing them for what they show themselves to be.

When people call congress people the "N" word, the "F" word, and spit on another congressman -- I saw that on tape. It really happened -- people watching all of this are going to call those people racist.

That is the Tea Partiers fault.

Thank you so much for sharing this excellent article.


SOBF profile image

SOBF 6 years ago from New York, NY Author

N.E. Wright you couldn't be more on point. While the tea party tries to clean up its act those on its fringe will always pull it back. Not because they have the power to direct its focus but because so many in the party want to try and defend their actions rather than simply condemn them.

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