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Their forefathers were John Birchers. Their grand-pappies and grandmas likely spent time at the monthly lynching tree. Some of them were members of White Citizens Councils, the "polite" racists, who stood against civil rights for black folks and upheld Jim and Jane Crow. Earlier this year, the most zealous among them booed gay soldiers, howled in glee at the prospect of a person being executed by the State, and cheered the idea of some sad soul dying because they did not have health insurance.

This is the contemporary face of the Republican Party.

When Republicans heckled Zoraida Fonalledas, the representative from Puerto Rico to their own convention with nativist chants earlier today, they reminded the American people who and what they really are...again.

When a black CNN reporter had nuts thrown at her, and was told "this is how we feed the animals," the Tea Party GOP showed up who they have always been...again.

And do not buy into the excuse-making: Chants of "U.S.A." have nothing to do with an internecine conflict between Ron Paul and establishment conservatives. Rather, this episode has everything to do with white conservative xenophobia and anti-immigrant zeal by a group of mouth-breathing Right-wing troglodytes who believe that Puerto Ricans are dangerous Spanish speaking "foreigners."

In all, the racist and xenophobic ugliness on display during Tuesday's meeting of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida should not be a surprise. The elites and opinion leaders of the Right have created this witches brew; now, they will either be saved by their monster or the beast will consume them.

My mother's people are from North Carolina. My grandmother and other elders would often talk about "good white people." The ability to distinguish between white people who would kill you, discriminate against you at will, or put you out of house and home because they could, was a practical life skill. We may no longer have The Negro Motorist Green Book, but black and brown folks still give their kids "the talk" about how to survive a routine traffic stop by the police. Cultural memory is deep and a gift. I am so very glad (and lucky) they passed on their wisdom and life skills. In turn, if so blessed, I will them down to my children as well.

It is true that white supremacy has evolved over time; but the lives of people of color are still expendable, and subject to arbitrary violence in America by White Authority (and those overly identified with it--see George Zimmerman).

For people of color in the United States, skillfully and successfully navigating the color line meant (and means) protecting your own life, as well as that of your children and family. Those of us who are not part of the in-group, or otherwise marginalized by Power, have to learn this skill set if we are to survive and do well in this society. Consequently, black and brown folks have to become expert students on the ways of white people.

I do wonder if Whiteness and White Privilege permits our white brothers and sisters to realize how much people of color know about them and their particular ways.

To point: as my parents and other elders have taught me, the "U.S.A" chanting cowboy hat wearing white populists who heckled Zoraida Fonalledas represent a particularly low class of white people. They may have money, but this group of white people has no decency. The low type of white person exemplified by the neo-John Birch base of the Tea Party GOP are also bigots. All that they have to comfort them is a weak type of nationalism which is emboldened by silly chanting, and the psychic wages of whiteness that happen to come with being arbitrarily categorized as "white" in this society.

The slogan "free, white, and twenty-one" got this class of white people through many decades of life in America. In an increasingly globalized world, with a black president, and a multicultural leadership class, such a slogan is approaching obsolescence. For many white people this is a terrifying prospect.

By comparison, Senator Priebus and Mitt Romney represent a slightly "better" class of white people. The latter is most certainly a racist. The former is likely one as well given his enabling of his party's Southern Strategy 2.0 and race-baiting against Barack Obama, the country's first black president. Together, both are "polite" racists. They have no love for what was once called "poor white trash." Elite whites such as Romney and Priebus use materially disadvantaged and racially resentful white people as a tool in order to maximize their own wealth and resources. The white reactionary populists who form the base of the Republican Party in the Age of Obama have not yet woken up to this old school con.

This brings us full circle. What of Zoraida Fonalledas? How do make sense of her awkward moment? On one hand, the better and more generous part of my soul has pity for her. It must hurt to realize that you are viewed with contempt by your own political brethren and comrades. As I suggested several here, she, and other conservatives who happen to be black, Latino, Asian, Native American, or Other, are sick with a delusion that they are "special" or "different" in the eyes of the White conservative gaze. Tuesday's happenings could perhaps be her wake up call.

The more cynical and less noble part of my soul smirks and smiles. Zoraida Fonalledas made her bed and now has to lie in it. Yes, the money and gold are substantial. Nevertheless, I struggle to understand how any self-respecting person of color could ally with the Tea Party GOP, the country's de facto White political party, and an organization whose electoral strategy increasingly consists of mining white racism and anxiety towards people of color to secure electoral victory.

I think that I will just smile. Zoraida Fonalledas experienced her own "Lisa broke Ralph's heart moment" on a national stage. The question remains: will Zoraida Fonalledas, and other non-white conservatives like her, keep coming back to the Tea Party GOP for more abuse?

I think we know the answer. They are almost to the one, sad pathetic souls.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Reince Priebus' intervention was pretty (10+ / 0-)

    pathetic too.

    When he got them settled down, thanking them (??) and then had more yelling to deal with, he did well in asking them to show some respect - but why didn't he go all the way?  

    He should have stayed there and asked for a round of applause to honor delegations from the territories who do a lot of work for the party even though they have no electors who will vote in the election.

  •  there was an earlier diary (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raina, efrenzy, Tonedevil

    claiming this did NOT happen....

    When Republicans heckled Zoraida Fonalledas, the representative from Puerto Rico
    But your diary is spot on even without Fonalledas.

    "Tax cuts for the 1% create jobs." -- Republicans, HAHAHA - in China

    by MartyM on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 10:22:34 AM PDT

    •  it did happen to my eyes, the video is there (7+ / 0-)

      the denials are amazing.

      •  it could have easily been both and from the same (4+ / 0-)

        people, they are equal opportunity haters..and regardless of who and why and if they were yelling at her, likely some were imo, your diary is spot on anyway, well done.

        I especially liked the part about the skills to discern which white people were safer...those aren't really exclusive to people of color as well and imo form the basis of most , at their core, self protective classist reactions... for better or worse.

        And even tho the well dressed elegant people of color sometimes can and do recoil from a big noisy rough white cracka person like me, their ancestors weren't tracking down mine and hanging them, like mine could have, but didn't. They were abolitionists instead...with all the possibly racist baggage that that included as well in the 1800's and 1900's.

        well done...

        This machine kills Fascists.

        by KenBee on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 12:02:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The hate is amazing. (9+ / 0-)

    CNN is covering up the Racist Republicans.  

    I do not believe that the Racists will prevail.  When Obama wins, it will drive a stake into their movement of hate.  Yes, there still will be racism and racists, but their day is over.  To the dustbin of history with them.  It may take several more decades, but the way forward is clear.  


    I'm from the Elizabeth Warren Wing of the Democratic Party!

    by TomP on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 10:23:47 AM PDT

    •  so hopeful, this is only going to get worst (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tonedevil, TomP
    •  Hope springs eternal! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      historys mysteries, TomP

      I wish I could say you are right but uh no. Too many generations of whites have been endoctrinated into hateful racism and elitism. My belief is they are part of the same cloth. Until the racist element in these generations of hateful whites cedes by them dying off it will persist. What we can hope for is that they quit breeding. I believe that they hang on to racist beliefs as a way to make themselves better than everyone else when their own accomplishments have failed. They have no morals to keep them from becoming gutter pigs.

  •  There are no "polite" racists. (7+ / 0-)

    To call a racist "polite" is to call a teabaggerist "civilized."

    To call a racist "polite" is to call a rapist a "victim."

    To call a racist "polite" is to call anyone who defends, supports, or makes excuses for the vitriol spewing from America's houses of worship a "christian."

    The path to defeating racism must pass through the valley of denying the racist and his/her/its ilk any semblance whatsover of legitimacy.

    I count even the single grain of sand to be a higher life-form than the likes of Sarah Palin and her odious ilk.

    by Liberal Panzer on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 10:24:25 AM PDT

  •  Are they a low class of white people or just a low (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    class of people?

  •  For some time now, I have been calling them (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    historys mysteries

    the party of Hate and Lies.

    They can shout freedom and liberty from the rooftops all they want. But the freedom to be hateful will never liberate them.

    How pathetic to think that your freedom and liberty depends on debasing someone else.

    Just pathetic.

    WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For May: Martyrs of the San Diego Free Speech Fight, Spring 1912.

    by JayRaye on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 10:53:41 AM PDT

  •  They DEPEND On You Knowing About Their Ways. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    historys mysteries

    That's the whole point of intimidation.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 10:59:40 AM PDT

  •  It really has become the White Nationalist Party. (4+ / 0-)

    I would love to hear on an individual level what Zoraida Fonalledas thinks of her very public outing.  After the mid-term elections a friend asked me to go to a Teabagger event.  Maybe I'll write a diary about it.  They needed lawyers to explain the upcoming suit with Arizona.  I have been in sticky situations before but for the first time I feared for my life.  The organizer had no idea he had white separatists at that meeting.  I told him how can you deny they are in the party if you can't even recognize them when they are sitting right in front of you?  I can't repeat here what they called me.  That was Saturday.  On Monday I went to the DNC and signed up as a volunteer and never questioned that decision.  I have a huge amount of respect for my grandparents and great grandparents who had so little, endured so much ...with no recourse... yet ushered in tremendous results.  Out of respect for them I will be supporting the President's reelection.

    Thanks for reminding us about The Negro Motorist Green Book.  Preach on.

  •  I have to admit, I am torn as to what to believe (0+ / 0-)

    With the story - clearly the Repubs have been making NO secret about their racism (Rmoneys obvious 'birther' joke, the 'Obama/welfare BS etc.), but I CAN SEE how in this particular case it may have just been a case of really bad timing between two different wackjob factions going nutzoid. When their entire party consists of nothing BUT wackjobs, it makes it hard to separate all the craziness and antics that are going on!

    But then, when the ENTIRE THEME of their Convention is based on lies and distortion, it makes it difficult to feel ANY sympathy for them in circumstances like this. Eff 'em, and the cabella they rode in on.

    (romney)/RYAN 2012 - I could never eat as much as I'd like to vomit.

    by Fordmandalay on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 11:55:45 AM PDT

  •  AAUUGH! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    That video made my stomach do a flip, just imagining how quickly that could have gotten completely out of control. At least, for now, it is just hurt feelings. What is next?
    Kill baby kill?

  •  ok, wait just a darn minute here! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tn mountain girl

    these are not normal white people. in fact, i remain unconvinced they're even members of homo sapiens (and no, it has nothing to do with gay sex!). i am becoming more certain, by the day, that these are actually "pod people", sent to earth by an evil alien planet, to take over. where the hell is kevin mccarthy, when you really, really need him? oh, wait, he's still dead. damn!

    right. now that i have that out of my system. yeah, what can i tell you, i grew up with people like this, in va and nc, in the late 50's, 60's and 70's. most of us were fortunate,  our parents shielded us, as best they could, from the worst of the loathsome racism, rampant in the area at that time we did, however, experience first-hand, the anger and violence brought out by desegregation, and the civil rights movement in general.

     true story: when i was 7, we lived in a rental house that was smack in the middle of north/southbound Rt.1, roughly 30 miles south of DC. the "mule train", headed to DC, passed right by us, on its way north. for my brothers and i, this was pretty cool in its own right, though maybe only my older brother probably had any true appreciation for what we were witness to. however, peaceful as the people marching up Rt. 1 were, there were those watching who were not quite so peaceful: potshots (mostly .22's), were frequently taken at the people marching in that train. were it not for the fact that the fully integrated marines at quantico might have taken umbrage, i am convinced some of my "neighbors" would have attempted to lynch some unfortunate in that group.

    in the spring of 1968, as part of his job as a reporter for his high school newspaper, my older brother interviewed dr. king (among others), while he was in washington for "resurrection city". this was, sadly, shortly before dr. king's assassination in memphis. my brother was extremely impressed with dr. king, and all the leaders of the movement. to this day, he still can't believe dr. king actually took time from his (very) busy schedule, to be interviewed by this white, middle-class kid from the local catholic high school. heady and educational days those were! it is only as an adult, that i've come to appreciate the front row seat i had, as a kid, on history being made. back then, it was just my normal.

    anyway, where was i? oh yeah, i remember now, "pod people", and the tea party. i think, because of the overall demographic of the republican party in general, and the tea party specifically, they are, literally, dying off. i feel what we may be witness to, is the death knell of the republican party, as presently constituted. whether or not it can survive in the long run remains to be seen.

    why any self-respecting minority, woman, gay/lesbian would willingly join a group that, by definition, holds them in contempt, is a complete mystery to me. when they are then treated, as rep. fonalledas was, i am torn between having sympathy for them, and thinking "what were you expecting?", and that they brought it on themselves. the "Log Cabin Republicans" are another example. i must assume these people suffer from self-loathing on steroids, it's the only explanation that makes any sense.

  •  Ohhh boy. (0+ / 0-)

    Where to begin?
    Fear. Let's start there. These people fear the future. The future requires that you be educated. Being educated is scary. New ideas and concepts are scary.
    To earn a comfortable middle class income now requires that you have and education of some sort. Being white alone no longer gets you that income. Are they still priveledged? Bet your ass. Will they remain that way? Hell no.
    So I say unto my fellow white males the following. Get thouroughly educated. Be ready to work you ass off for what you have and what you want. Be ready for disappointment and adversity. Be aware that this is America and that you can succeed, but you can also fail. What you choose to do with the result of your effort, success or failure, is your choice alone.
    Grow up and accept the facts that are the reality of world we live in. Stand up and get ready to do something other than complain about who ever it is that you think did you wrong. Man up and own your failures as much as you do your successes. Attend carefully to the words of a black preacher who said that you must judge a man or woman by the color of thier skin, but by the content of thier character.
    Shut up about all the other crap, as its just crap and everyone else already knows about it. You look pathetic, weak minded and weak willed when you spout it.

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