Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steels is an Uncle Tom. Not because he's a black man who chose to be down with the GOP. Being a Republican or a conservative does not – repeat, does not – automatically make an African-American a sell-out. An Uncle Tom is someone who, when given the choice to either stand up for his people or side with their oppressors, opts to throw in his lot with the oppressors. That's what Michael Steele did when he pretended to be outraged by vile Tea Party protestors who shouted the n-word and spit at three black Congressmen as they entered the House of Representatives to vote on healthcare reform. Sticking closely to the white Republican script, Steele uttered a limp denunciation of the epithet-screaming, saliva-hurling Tea Partiers and claimed that they were part of some tiny, lunatic fringe. But Steele's got to know better.
The black man who runs the Republican Party sat up on "Meet the Press" and downplayed the disgraceful, lynch mob behavior of the Tea Party racists by saying, "What you had out there yesterday were a handful of people who just got stupid and said some very ignorant things...As (House Minority) Leader Boehner said, that's reprehensible. We don't support that." Republicans don't oppose it very strongly, either. Just look at Steele's tepid choice of words. Stupid? Ignorant? Is that the best he could come up with? Repeatedly yelling "nigger" at a black person and then spitting on him is not simply "stupid" or "ignorant." It is deliberately and violently bigoted. So is yelling "faggot" at a gay man, which some other evil-minded Tea Partiers did (two days in a row) when Congressman Barney Frank showed up for the healthcare vote.
Sure, Rep. John Boehner described the Tea Party protestors' behavior as "reprehensible," but his rebuke lost all meaning when he rushed to excuse the anger behind those hateful actions. Appearing on the same "Meet the Press" broadcast as Michael Steele, Boehner rationalized the way so many conservative white men do so often. The top Republican in the House of Representatives said, "Let's not let a few isolated incidents get in the way of the fact that millions of Americans are scared to death. And millions of Americans want no part of this growing size of government here in Washington."
Of course conservative Americans are scared. Republicans on Capitol Hill, right wing media pundits and grassroots organizers have worked overtime for months making sure that their constituents become increasingly terrified – and that they express their terror through rage. That's why a prominent Tea Party leader's reaction to her people's Klan-like treatment of our black and gay Congressmen was impossible laughably transparent. Amy Kremer, a ground level coordinator for the Tea Party Express, told Fox News: "It's disgraceful and the people in this movement won't tolerate it because that's not what we're about." Balderdash! People in the Tea Party movement have been tolerating bigotry from the very beginning. Their movement is defined by rage and that rage is interwoven with racism. When the Tea Partiers marched on Washington a few months ago the Confederate flags, Texas secessionist flags and posters of President Obama as a Tarzan-esque "witch doctor" were in abundance. So, were the "birther" signs and banners falsely claiming that our President is not a U.S. citizen.
Republican leaders may offer mealy-mouthed reprimands of their racist constituents, but they'll never rein them. That's simply because the current Republican strategy depends heavily on keeping white folks scared and mad. For Michael Steele – a black man – to collaborate with such an evil plan is the essence of Uncle Tomism.
Thanks for listening. I'm Cameron Turner and that's my two cents.
THINK! IT AIN'T ILLEGAL...YET!