Burroughs Adding Machine

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Where Are All the Black Teabaggers?

A stupid question, but worth asking: Are there any members of the Teabag party who are also people of color? I’ve tried to find images of African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, or Native Americans to no avail. The right’s extremely popular wingnuts don’t seem to have a place at the table for non-whites. What’s up with that?

Bob Cesca wrote a fantastic deconstruction of what I’ve sensed–but lacked the directness to state: the Teabag Party is racist. What’s his evidence, you ask?

This isn’t an epiphany by any stretch. From the beginning, with their witch doctor imagery, watermelon agitprop and Curious George effigies, the wingnut right has been dying to blurt out, as Lee Atwater famously said, “nigger, nigger, nigger!”

Take a look at the image above, of the boy holding a white protest sign. It reads “Obamanomics: Monkey See, Monkey Spend!” The cartoon image of a monkey’s face correlates with the text of “Obamanomics”. Does this young person see no problem in comparing a black man to a monkey? The historical implications of the savage, of an ignoble beast rather than a human being, possessing the capacity for reason, for logic, for an intelligence higher than the animals of the earth, is undeniable.

How often do we find images comparing white folks to monkeys? In contrast, how often are African Americans caricatured as monkeys?

The baggage of racism has been going on for the last two hundred years. It seems the Teabag party may just be a product of cultural hegemony, useful for those who want to maintain racial hierarchy. Perhaps the Teabaggers might garner more respect if their messages were rooted in concrete arguments rather than racist iconography.

But maybe it’s better to just let the Teabaggers speak for themselves (weekend roundup compiled by Mediamatters.org):

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» "Pinays," AGNI, Spring 2016
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» "Babies," Joyland, August 2011
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» "The Rice Bowl," Memorious, March 2005
» "The Rules of the Game," Screaming Monkeys: Critiques of Asian American Images (Coffee House Press, June 2003)
» "Deaf Mute," Growing Up Filipino (Philippine American Literary House, April 2003)
» "Good Men ," Genre, April 2003
» "The Foley Artist," Drunken Boat, April 2002
» "Squatters," Take Out: Queer Writing from Asian Pacific America (Asian Am. Writers' Workshop, 2001)
» "Deaf Mute," The North American Review, Jan 2001
» "The First Lady of Our Filipino Nation," The Boston Phoenix, 1999
» "Paper Route," Flyway Literary Review, 1996
» "Brainy Smurf and the Council Bluffs Pride Parade," Generation Q (Alyson, 1996)
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About Me

Ricco Villanueva Siasoco is a Manhattan-based writer and non-profit manager. More

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