As a black woman who is a conservative, Republican & Tea Party member (Note: I’ll be changing my registration to Independent soon actually & recommend it to everyone), I have endured some very vicious attacks from some on the left, especially from other black people, but also from whites as well. As a conservative with a libertarian lean on some issues I have endured vicious attacks from some on the right as well but I digress. That’s not to say that all black conservatives endure this, but I feel confident in saying that the majority have. That has never deterred me and to be fair, I have met many on the left who have disagreed in a civil manner & even agree with me on some things. All on the left do not attack me for my political affiliation, not by far. Lately though, several on the left have emailed me or sent me messages on social media asking “Why are you a member of the racist Tea Party?” or “How can you be black and be a Tea Party member?” to which I have answered calmly to some, although it really irritated me to be honest. Nonetheless, instead of answering every individual message like this, I decided to share my ranted response on my blog, so that anytime someone asks me this, I can simply share the link & continue the dialogue, if necessary, after they have read this response, so here it goes:
FYI: The “Tea Party” movement was started in 2009. It is only named after the 1773 Boston Tea Party but has not been around that long. It is a grassroots, political movement with no central leadership, not a political party & ANYONE who believes in adherence to the constitution, reducing spending & taxes as well as the national debt & deficit is welcome. Are there racists in the Tea Party? I’m sure there are in some groups, but the same can be said for most, if not all large, grassroots organizations. That’s like walking into a full sports stadium and asking “Is there anyone in here that’s NOT a sports fan?” Well, sure there probably is, but obviously most in attendance are sports fans. Get my drift?
I’m really tired of the insistence on the part of some on the left, that the Tea Party exists for the sole purpose of racism. If you don’t agree with the platform fine, but it’s not a “racist” organization. When people on the left tell me this, it’s very insulting, because essentially you’re saying that as a black person, I’m too stupid to know what’s good for me politically, which is something I hear black liberals lament about quite often, regarding the right, when they are accused of being on a “liberal plantation”. I don’t like either charge & I would never be a part of anything inherently racist. If you want me to take you seriously when you offer criticism of the GOP, conservatism or the Tea Party, please give me more than accusations of racism.
Even if such charges have merit, that doesn’t mean the right’s position on any issue is automatically wrong. If a Neo Nazi stood up and said “The national debt is $16,784,436,417,497.89 trillion dollars as of April 20th 2013 and we must reduce spending” is it not true just because a Neo Nazi said it? Stop it with labeling an entire group of people racist just because they are white and/or right-wingers and start making sound arguments against issues & policy. I’m really tired of the whining from some & would greatly appreciate it if questions regarding my political affiliations did not include my race, which is irrelevant. Black people are not politically or otherwise, monolithic. Deal with it.