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So a recent game that I rather enjoyed playing was "Bioshock Infinite." It heavily satirized the racist attitudes of early 20th century America. We forget that this was an era where Teddy Roosevelt in 1895 declared: "I feel that it was a crime not only against the United States, but against the white race, that we did not annex Hawaii three years ago." He would go on to rail against "hyphenated Americans" which in his mind included Irish-Americans, English-Americans, and even Native-Americans.

There was discussion of a kind of American Aryanism, that the American race was a real thing, a mixture of the strengths of all those groups from Europe. There was a real, powerful, and vocal trend towards white nationalism in this time. This was the period where the KKK was at the height of its power, and enjoyed wide ranging membership across the entire United States.

Bioshock infinite took a no-holds-barred approach to American ideology in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  It was a shot against American Exceptionalism and its racist expression. It also played expertly with concepts of multiple universes and time travel, but that's less important to this post.

The main enemy was a man named Comstock, who was a genocidal madman akin to Custer. He built a racist theocracy within a flying city, and it is revealed during the story that he has both wiped out native american groups and bombarded Chinese cities from the air. His main plan is to use his daughter to exterminate anyone who isn't A) white or B) part of his racist theocracy.

Part of the flavor of the game is the propaganda made by the villain in support of his views. Some of them very heavily satirize the Tea Party and white nationalism. Take this image for example, of George Washington holding the 10 commandments and the Liberty Bell, standing against "hordes" of caricatures:

Satire.

This is incredibly over the top. It's meant to be. It's meant to make people ask questions, like, "How in the hell do you consider Native Americans to be foreign?!"

There's even a point in the game when you fight a group known as the Fraternal Order of the Raven, founded by Comstock himself, which is an alternate-universe version of the KKK.

Whether you like what this game did or not - and I think it did a great job exposing the racist aspects of "American" culture in the early 20th century and the same aspects within American Exceptionalism - it's crystal clear that the game is saying that racism is a bad, bad thing.

So it's pretty hilarious that a Tea Party group called "National Liberty Federation" posted this image and was completely serious when they did so:

Completely serious.

These folks basically spend their entire time posting racist, homophobic, nonsense. For example, they posted a picture of a small girl wearing a headscarf, and talk about how the fact that Muslims even exist in the US means that they're going to force us all to obey sharia law.

They posted a picture of Malcolm X, attempting to steal him from Black Americans, and using his quote to claim that really, it's white people who are oppressed now.

They post images about how "Protesting Socialism isn't Racism, It's PATRIOTISM!!!" as if that could excuse any comment or statement.

Oh, and then there's the old Winston Churchill quote about how "Islam is as dangerous in a man as rabies is in a dog."

So it's no surprise that when they come in contact with extreme, intentionally over-the-top satire of white nationalist ideology that their reaction is to say "Nope, I agree with that. 100%."

I wonder if it's time to re-write A Modest Proposal.

The Tea Party. Where satire goes to die.

H/t to twitter user Jessica Nunn who first spotted it, and video game mag Kotaku who archived a screenshot before the Teahadists took the image down.

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