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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Janeane Garofalo, I Love You, But You're Wrong - Sort Of

Here's her piece from Countdown about the teabaggery. And, I love you dear, but I can't say that I fully agree with you.

I've seen you live multiple times, the last was at Bonnaroo 2008 when you stopped by my seat and riffed with me for a fleeting moment, and you are normally a woman and an entertainer that I can connect with - but we need to talk.

It's not just about racism. But the "hating" - of that, I am sure you are correct, but there is more to it.

To claim that it is about ONLY racism and only "rednecks" is missing a major portion of the tea-baggery nonsense. Not only that, but it is to bestow a label upon many people that they don't quite deserve, even though they are willing participants in a movement that surely includes them. They may be close to it, but haven't dived full-tilt into the shallow end of the pool. What I am saying is some of these people are more than likely are not died-in-the-wool racists, so to label them as such is a bit misleading.

What they are, by and large, are willfully ignorant. And that is something that you and I, at least I think, can agree upon.

I will agree whole-heartedly that the people that participated in these tea-bagging events have none or very limited sense of history. They have little to no idea what the Boston Tea Party was about. But, to call them, en masse, "racists", is more than some of them deserve.

Let me explain.

People, by their very nature, love to feel that they are a part of something. And if that means being associated with people that are racists, then the right-wing conservative is ready to jump at that opportunity - provided not just Obama, but his administrtion, and his policies are a part of it. As long as all of those outside of the "racist redneck" movement within the conservative constituancy can have something to rail against ( regardless of how ill-informed they are ) they aren't really racists. The problem is that they are aligning themselves with that set.

The larger point of this is something that needs to be addressed. Many of these people may not be racists, but they are still part of the set that falls within the catagory of the willfully ignorant.

People that lack little to no sense of history - including those that think the Alamo is a fantastic place to hold a protest of this sort - as well as those that are more than likely to receive a tax cut, people that aren't part of the small-businesses that they claim to support, those that have never made or are not making more than $250,000 dollars per year, and all that think that Fox"News" is actually an objective and honest network are ignorant. And they should be pointed out as such.

To slap the label of racist upon them isn't fair. Even if they are more than willing to set aside facts in favor or talking points and being part of a group that could well be far more ignorant than them, they shouldn't be lumped into the catagory of hating a man simply because he is black. However, they should be pointed out for who they are.

This is not to deminish the very real fact that some people that participated in the tea-baggery are, in-fact, racists - perhaps racists of the worst sort. It's an unfortunate fact that many people are within the right-wing conservative movement.

And I'm not going to address Keith Olbermann allowing Garofalo to say this. I don't think I should have to. He knows what Garofalo's point is and is ready to let her speak her piece. She has a right to, but he is ready to address her standpoint from his own point of view. In point of fact, he is a left-leaning host. None of us can despute that. But, this post is about Garofalo and not Olbermann. She may not be completely correct, but she is from a partial standpoint.

The Right is willing to claim that EVERYTHING "all about them" until they find themselves within the sullied confines of the racists mindset. They aren't willing to accept the fact that many of them are, and are more than willing to claim that those with whom they disagree engage in race-baiting or reverse-racism. But call their entire movement racist will draw out some of the most ridiculous invective they have to offer. They do this because they know many of them are.

As much as the tea-baggery of late has little to do the with non-partisanship that the participants claim to be a part of, it is only fractionally infused by racism. However, the ignorance withing the tea-bag set runs rampant.

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