The Tea Party Express rolled into the District of Corruption earlier this morning. A rally that drew a couple thousand angry conservatives (mostly from the Red States) was held in Freedom Plaza off the Washington Metro. We didn’t have much to do at OD headquarters in Charlottesville today. So we decided to ride up to DC to check out all the action ourselves.
Just how “implicitly White” is the Tea Party crowd? I have speculated about this for a long time. We have all read the news reports. We have seen the photos and read the scathing editorials in liberal newspapers about the Tea Party movement and its appalling “lack of diversity.” Will this anachronistic demographic who say they “want their country back” ever summon the courage to fight back?
I have a mixed verdict. The political hacks we saw on the huge video screen (presumably, the leadership) decried “racism” and whined about fringe rightwing extremists and leftist infiltrators who intend to discredit the Tea Party. These people can be written off as useless. A small segment of the Tea Party crowd were carrying signs that said absurd things like “opposing Obama doesn’t make me a racist” and “truth shouldn’t be confused with hate.” I only saw a few of these. Let’s write them off as unreachable too.
The larger section of the crowd struck me as ambiguous. These people have an inchoate set of beliefs: Obama is a Communist, Obama is a Marxist, Obama is a traitor, Obama is not an American, Obama is a bloodsucking leftist vampire, Americans are taxed to much, the federal government should be smaller, the borders should be secured, the MSM is a domestic enemy, Jesus Christ should play a larger role in our culture, the Antichrist walks the Earth, this world will soon come to a fiery end. A Christian gentleman on the scene gave us a pamphlet that said Doomsday was May 11, 2011. Be prepared!
I saw a lot of things I liked: the crowd was almost exclusively White, the few blacks on the scene (who were not antis) were making a buck selling Tea Party paraphernalia, it was a crowd of healthy, ordinary, middle class people, most of the protesters were from the Red States (we saw South Carolina, Tennessee, Arizona and Kansas flags), the Gadsden Flag and Give Me Liberty or Death Flags were more ubiquitous than the American flag, Colonial Flags were on sale, one protester had the 1st Confederate National Flag on a poster, several Whites were dressed as Colonial soldiers, the anti-Obama rhetoric was more scathing than I expected.
The Tea Party protesters are not bad people. They are certainly nothing like the National Socialist Movement or World Church of the Creator. The idea that the Tea Party Express is the reincarnation of Hitler’s Brownshirts is such a crude distortion that it would ruin the credibility of any journalist who uttered it in saner times. I will say this though: there is a common thread that unites the Tea Party protesters with the militias and gun enthusiasts (and the White Nationalists) we saw in Kentucky. All of these groups are starting to rally around a common anti-government symbol: the Gadsden flag.
Where there is smoke, there is fire. There were a lot of posters there that just left me wondering. I saw one that said “A Village in Africa is Missing its Idiot.” Another said, “I wish Obama was an American.” Several of the Tea Party signs were caricatures of Obama that struck me as mildly negrophobic. They had slightly exaggerated racial features that brought to mind the Jim Crow minstrel show cartoons that I collect back home. The punchline: this man in the White House, the bloodsucking illegitimate thief stealing our money, is a sort of absurd African foreigner. This type of milquetoast racial humor seemed to be quite popular among the crowd.
The Tea Party protesters also hate the media. This is another trait they have in common with us. I saw multiple signs that more or less condemned the media as a treasonous arm of the Obama administration. White Nationalists call it the “Jewsmedia.” Tea Party conservatives have different names (lap dog media) for the same phenomena. ABC, NBC, and CBS were condemned as the “Axis of Evil.”
Carl Cameron of FOX News made an appearance. I stood less than five feet away from him waving the Gadsden flag in the background of the U.S. Capitol. I don’t know if any of this was on television. There were other “Alternative Right” commentators on the ground in DC. We saw someone from The Political Cesspool walking among the crowd. Stuff Black People Don’t Like was on the scene and chatted with us. The racialist alternative media has grown by leaps and bounds over the past year.
White Nationalists aren’t walking yet. We are starting to crawl though. We are showing up in greater numbers at other rightwing events and producing original coverage and analysis for our expanding online media presence. This portends further positive developments down the road.
Update: The photos we shot will be uploaded to the OD Facebook group.