Don't even try to figure out the mental processes some people use to illogically interpret their world. I don't think it's possible, unless you've had years of experience as a trained psychoanalyst.
Below the fold comes two recent stories about racism from California and the GOP wing of the Tea Party, er, the Tea Party wing of the GOP.
The first news article, titled "Racist Flyer Outrages Chico Tea Party Patriots" comes to us from KRCR TV from Chico, California, in Butte County. Never mind that most people don't use the word "patriots" in the same sentence as "Tea Party," the article describes the pearl-clutching reaction by local Tea Party member Sue Hubbard when townspeople discovered that someone recently posted flyers all over Butte County "depicting the Klu Klux Klan symbol, a burning cross, and the words 'Help us take our country back from the Kenyan', referring to President Obama," in announcing a Tea Party "tax rally" to take place tomorrow (April 18). The article quotes Hubbard as saying first:
“We are totally the opposite of what this flyer portrayed us, we're nothing like that. That's why when people found the flyers, they went, this isn't right this can't be the Tea Party.”
“Whoever you are I think it backfired because I think we are going to grow stronger because of this and I think our rally will be more successful because of this.”
Oh, brother, where to begin. Let's start from the top: the GOP, including its wing called the Tea Party, is not "totally the opposite" of blatant racism and race-pandering directed at President Obama or other people of color. Hubbard must have a selective memory, because clearly she has forgotten that in her own state, shortly after the election of President Obama, in February 2009, then-Los Alamitos Mayor Dean Grose, an Orange County Republican, sent an email depicting a watermelon field in front of the White House. Many other examples of GOP/Tea Party racism and race-pandering abound, as anyone who follows U.S. politics knows.
Hubbard's strongly implying that some anti-Tea Party person would take the trouble to design, print and post racist Tea Party flyers is pretty astounding; but, not as astounding as her stating that the racist flyers will help bring out of the woodwork all those dormant anti-racist Tea Party sympathizers that are quietly living in Chico. That's some mental gymnastics. But, for me, the kicker is the article's statement that the Tea Party wants a hate crime investigation into the racist Tea Party rally signs. It's total irony, because the GOP and many of its supporters despise hate crime laws [pdf#1 and pdf#2]. It's also total stupidity, because American hate crime statutes do not include "political affiliation" as a protected category.
Further south, Los Angeles-based J. R. Huetteman, anchor for Allvoices, gives us this article from down in Orange County, California, titled "Racist Republican Email Features Obama and His Parents As Apes."
No, I'm not rehashing something that a GOPer did several years ago, immediately after President Obama's election. Writes Huetteman about the recent email (bracketed material is mine):
On Friday [April 15, 2011], another Orange County Republican, Marilyn Davenport, continues this embarassing [sic] newfound tradition [of Orange County Republicans sending racist emails about President Obama] and attempts to best the watermelon imagery [of Los Alamitos Mayor Dean Grose back in 2009] with another racist attack on President Barack Obama. Davenport is a Southern California Tea Party activist and member of the central committee of the Orange County Republican Party.
Under the words, "Now you know why no birth certificate," there's an Obama family portrait showing them as apes.
Got that Sue Hubbard? Davenport is a Southern California Tea Party activist.
However, unlike Dean Grose, who apologized for his racist email when the world learned of it and then resigned as Los Alamitos' mayor because of his racist email, Marilyn Davenport (thankfully not the mother of Lindsay Davenport!) is doing no such thing. Instead, she's invoking racism denial (again from Mr. Huetteman's article):
"Oh, come on! Everybody who knows me knows that I am not a racist. It was a joke. I have friends who are black. Besides, I only sent it to a few people--mostly people I didn't think would be upset by it."
The I-only-sent-it-to-my-racist-friends-but-I'm-not-a-racist-and-ha-ha-isn't-it-funny-to-think-of-black-people-as-subhumans mental maneuver is classic racism/racism denial.
Hey, at least Scott Baugh, Orange County's GOP chairperson, told Davenport that her email was tasteless.