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PoliticalArticles.Net: Tea Party Racists and the Lynching of President Obama


What a day it was back in Waco, Texas on May 5th 1916! A beautiful spring day and folks were anxious to be outside –a good day to lynch some [N-word].

November 3, 2010- Let’s say you were looking through a trunk in the attic and came across this photo. How would you know what held the attention of the crowd that day? It could be anything — politician making a speech, circus in town, who knows.

The heinous torture and murder of a man would not naturally spring to mind. But that is exactly what these well dressed citizens of Waco were watching that day, and, by their presence, empowering.

I wonder if the mother of the victim managed to get a view the gallows from some hiding place out of sight of the mob. If she did, what went through her mind as she watched the rope tighten and saw the look of horror on her son’s face the second before his neck snapped? Did she think of the baby she suckled, remember the little boy she read to — we will never know.

With only a wardrobe change and the addition of a hundred or so hateful signs this crowd could be transformed into a Tea Party rally. Of course their victim is not hanging from a rope. But the only metaphor for their actions is a modern day lynching. Both crowds, old and new, are conservative, church going people and sure of their superiority.

This is an early photo of Sarah Palin’s Real Americans. Little has changed in the last century except that the N-word on the gallows is now the President of the United States. It is tempting for white Americans to show pride at how far African Americans have come. “Only in America”, you might say. But for a large minority of Americans, it is always a good day to lynch a N-word.

Some 3,446 African Americans were lynched between 1882 and 1933 by mobs made up of people looking very much like those you see in the photo. This is not the final tally. There were certainly many more carried out under cover of darkness in secluded places and down dirt roads now lost from memory.

When the Civil Rights Movement came along, the lynch mobs made a comeback.

African Americans marched for their rights and endured threatening crowds of racists who showered them with bricks, drenched them with fire hoses and attacked them with dogs. But they persevered and the angry mobs once more faded into history.

Now, with the election of Barack Obama, the horrors of the past are coming back. The culprits are ultra-conservative organizations backed by corporate wealth and a compliant news media. They have been so successful in creating a purpose built organization in the Tea Party that rallies all over the country are now common place. All of them are attended by angry mobs whose sole goal is to demonize President Obama. The participants carry signs, not rope, but their aim is still the same — to do the maximum damage they can get away with.

For many Americans, the fear of blacks in positions of power is normally tucked away in a corner of their minds seldom visited. But when Barack Obama came along as a candidate for President, that fear began to stir. At first it just lay there with its eyes open; then, when Obama was elected, it stood up and became a part of their everyday lives.

Right wing leaders like Dick Armey were crouching in the shadows, waiting to turn this fear into hatred and meld it into the Tea Party.

Just consider their luck. The country was in a historically bad recession and people were looking for someone to blame. The first African American had just been elected president presenting opportunities to exploit racism. Right wing ideologues like the Koch brothers were worried about their profits and willing to bankroll any plan to stop Obama’s agenda. Front organizations like Freedom Works and Americans for Prosperity stepped in with organizational skills and turned the mob loose in the summer of 2009. Town hall meetings were broken up and speakers intimidated, reminiscent of the bully boy tactics of the Nazis before the Second World War.

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