Who’s Really Behind The Tea Bag Protests

By Julianne Hing Apr 15, 2009

via Imagine 2050 by Jill Garvey It’s no secret that conservatives have a hard time keeping racism out of their ranks (airwaves), and now it seems it has surfaced in even their grassroots (astro turf) movements. The whole tea party thing (except with representation and a high income bracket this time) is being organized by conservative corporate lobbyists, Freedom Works and Americans for Prosperity, who are no doubt milking this all the way to their billion dollar bank accounts. If that wasn’t hard enough for real [sic] conservative activists to swallow, they are really going to hate showing up at rallies only to rub elbows with white nationalists. Kris Kobach got the party started in Kansas on April 4th when he hosted a joint tea party/anti-immigrant rally with Billy Gilchrist, Topeka chapter leader for the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps. In 2004 Kansas Republican leader Timothy Burger wrote in response to Kobach’s failed congressional run, “It doesn’t help matters that Kobach was hired by FAIR, widely perceived as a racist anti-immigrant group during the campaign.” But that stinging accusation hasn’t stopped Kobach from working for the John Tanton network ever since, or from dipping his tainted toes into anything that smells ripe for manipulation and publicity. ALI-PAC, a North Carolina-based anti-immigrant group, is shaping up to be the biggest tea party cheerleader of all. ALI-PAC has formed a coalition with twenty-five other anti-immigrant groups in support of tea party events, a good number of whom are part of the John Tanton network. ALI-PAC’s whole reason for existence is due to a local LA billboard advertisement that showed LA crossed out with Mexico written over it – an unforgivable mistake big enough to launch a national organization obviously. Ever since, ALI-PAC has been hobnobbing with vigilante minutemen groups; party attendees shouldn’t be surprised if they are recruited to border patrol will enjoying their tea. All that is nothing compared to the recruiting being planned by neo-Nazis at Arizona tea parties. You know you’ve really lost control when your quirky libertarian actions are mined by the scary bald guys with swastika tattoos. Stormfront, the hard-core white power website, is full of discussions about plans to attend tea parties all over the country. One Stormfront poster wrote, “Ladies and gentlemen, I think every WN [white nationalist] needs to not only attend the April 15th Tea Party nearest you (I’m going to the Alamo in San Antonio) but then stay involved and help provide leadership to this movement. I believe that this is the white revolution we’ve been waiting for.” Uh, right. Let’s hope Fox News manages to televise that. When we stop to think about the real message behind these tea parties, that a black president will never represent white America, it’s not surprising that the scary white nationalists have come out to play. Let’s be frank, these tax increase protests (for the super rich and not even at the levels of previous Republican presidents’), are just code for “we’re scared out of our minds of a president that might represent black, brown, and poor.”