Imagine if the Tea Party was Black, by Tim Wise

Dear Mr. Tim Wise, You are a genius.  You are so dead-on correct, I had to repost this for anyone who stumbles across what I write here.  Readers if you find me, please read this, then pass it on.

The link to this story can be found here.

“Imagine if the Tea Party Was Black” — Tim Wise

Let’s play a game, shall we? The name of the game is called “Imagine.” The way it’s played is simple: we’ll envision recent happenings in the news, but then change them up a bit. Instead of envisioning white people as the main actors in the scenes we’ll conjure – the ones who are driving the action – we’ll envision black folks or other people of color instead. The object of the game is to imagine the public reaction to the events or incidents, if the main actors were of color, rather than white. Whoever gains the most insight into the workings of race in America, at the end of the game, wins.

So let’s begin.

Imagine that hundreds of black protesters were to descend upon Washington DC and Northern Virginia, just a few miles from the Capitol and White House, armed with AK-47s, assorted handguns, and ammunition. And imagine that some of these protesters —the black protesters — spoke of the need for political revolution, and possibly even armed conflict in the event that laws they didn’t like were enforced by the government? Would these protester — these black protesters with guns — be seen as brave defenders of the Second Amendment, or would they be viewed by most whites as a danger to the republic? What if they were Arab-Americans? Because, after all, that’s what happened recently when white gun enthusiasts descended upon the nation’s capital, arms in hand, and verbally announced their readiness to make war on the country’s political leaders if the need arose.

Imagine that white members of Congress, while walking to work, were surrounded by thousands of angry black people, one of whom proceeded to spit on one of those congressmen for not voting the way the black demonstrators desired. Would the protesters be seen as merely patriotic Americans voicing their opinions, or as an angry, potentially violent, and even insurrectionary mob? After all, this is what white Tea Party protesters did recently in Washington.

Imagine that a rap artist were to say, in reference to a white president: “He’s a piece of shit and I told him to suck on my machine gun.” Because that’s what rocker Ted Nugent said recently about President Obama.

Imagine that a prominent mainstream black political commentator had long employed an overt bigot as Executive Director of his organization, and that this bigot regularly participated in black separatist conferences, and once assaulted a white person while calling them by a racial slur. When that prominent black commentator and his sister — who also works for the organization — defended the bigot as a good guy who was misunderstood and “going through a tough time in his life” would anyone accept their excuse-making? Would that commentator still have a place on a mainstream network? Because that’s what happened in the real world, when Pat Buchanan employed as Executive Director of his group, America’s Cause, a blatant racist who did all these things, or at least their white equivalents: attending white separatist conferences and attacking a black woman while calling her the n-word.

Imagine that a black radio host were to suggest that the only way to get promoted in the administration of a white president is by “hating black people,” or that a prominent white person had only endorsed a white presidential candidate as an act of racial bonding, or blamed a white president for a fight on a school bus in which a black kid was jumped by two white kids, or said that he wouldn’t want to kill all conservatives, but rather, would like to leave just enough—“living fossils” as he called them—“so we will never forget what these people stood for.” After all, these are things that Rush Limbaugh has said, about Barack Obama’s administration, Colin Powell’s endorsement of Barack Obama, a fight on a school bus in Belleville, Illinois in which two black kids beat up a white kid, and about liberals, generally.

Imagine that a black pastor, formerly a member of the U.S. military, were to declare, as part of his opposition to a white president’s policies, that he was ready to “suit up, get my gun, go to Washington, and do what they trained me to do.” This is, after all, what Pastor Stan Craig said recently at a Tea Party rally in Greenville, South Carolina.

Imagine a black radio talk show host gleefully predicting a revolution by people of color if the government continues to be dominated by the rich white men who have been “destroying” the country, or if said radio personality were to call Christians or Jews non-humans, or say that when it came to conservatives, the best solution would be to “hang ‘em high.” And what would happen to any congressional representative who praised that commentator for “speaking common sense” and likened his hate talk to “American values?” After all, those are among the things said by radio host and best-selling author Michael Savage, predicting white revolution in the face of multiculturalism, or said by Savage about Muslims and liberals, respectively. And it was Congressman Culbertson, from Texas, who praised Savage in that way, despite his hateful rhetoric.

Imagine a black political commentator suggesting that the only thing the guy who flew his plane into the Austin, Texas IRS building did wrong was not blowing up Fox News instead. This is, after all, what Anne Coulter said about Tim McVeigh, when she noted that his only mistake was not blowing up the New York Times.

Imagine that a popular black liberal website posted comments about the daughter of a white president, calling her “typical redneck trash,” or a “whore” whose mother entertains her by “making monkey sounds.” After all that’s comparable to what conservatives posted about Malia Obama on freerepublic.com last year, when they referred to her as “ghetto trash.”

Imagine that black protesters at a large political rally were walking around with signs calling for the lynching of their congressional enemies. Because that’s what white conservatives did last year, in reference to Democratic party leaders in Congress.

In other words, imagine that even one-third of the anger and vitriol currently being hurled at President Obama, by folks who are almost exclusively white, were being aimed, instead, at a white president, by people of color. How many whites viewing the anger, the hatred, the contempt for that white president would then wax eloquent about free speech, and the glories of democracy? And how many would be calling for further crackdowns on thuggish behavior, and investigations into the radical agendas of those same people of color?

To ask any of these questions is to answer them. Protest is only seen as fundamentally American when those who have long had the luxury of seeing themselves as prototypically American engage in it. When the dangerous and dark “other” does so, however, it isn’t viewed as normal or natural, let alone patriotic. Which is why Rush Limbaugh could say, this past week, that the Tea Parties are the first time since the Civil War that ordinary, common Americans stood up for their rights: a statement that erases the normalcy and “American-ness” of blacks in the civil rights struggle, not to mention women in the fight for suffrage and equality, working people in the fight for better working conditions, and LGBT folks as they struggle to be treated as full and equal human beings.

And this, my friends, is what white privilege is all about. The ability to threaten others, to engage in violent and incendiary rhetoric without consequence, to be viewed as patriotic and normal no matter what you do, and never to be feared and despised as people of color would be, if they tried to get away with half the shit we do, on a daily basis.

Game Over.

Tim Wise is among the most prominent anti-racist writers and activists in the U.S. Wise has spoken in 48 states, on over 400 college campuses, and to community groups around the nation. Wise has provided anti-racism training to teachers nationwide, and has trained physicians and medical industry professionals on how to combat racial inequities in health care. His latest book is called Between Barack and a Hard Place.

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I actually do sometimes get writing ideas.  They usually occur when I first wake up and I’m sitting on the toilet or taking a shower.  By the time I have left the bathroom and fed the baby and awakened the other daughter and fed the dogs and taken them potty and dried my hair and dressed and made the bed and eaten breakfast and straightened the house before leaving for work and gotten my stuff ready and left the idea is usually gone.  No, it is always gone.  The day happens and if I’m lucky a moment rolls around…

Order by Bankruptcy Court for Pure Med Spa

Below is the text of the order by the bankruptcy court in the Northern District of Georgia for Pure Med Spa:

On the 17th day of December, 2009, came on to be heard the Motion to Dismiss Chapter 7 Cases of Non-Operating Debtors (the “Motion”) filed on behalf of Edwin K. Palmer, duly appointed Chapter 7 Trustee (the “Trustee”) for Pure Laser Hair Removal & Treatment Clinics Inc. (“Pure”), John Street Holdings LLC (“JSH”), GRF Medspa Broadway Plaza, LLC, GRF Medspa Redmond Town Center Mall, LLC, GRF Medspa Santa Ana, LLC, GRF Medspa Santa Clara, LLC, GRF Medspa Southcenter, LLC, GRF Medspa Washington Square Mall, LLC, GRF Medspa Village at Corte Madera, LLC, GRF Medspa Clackamas Town Center, LLC, GRF Medspa North Town Mall, LLC, GRF Medspa Alderwood Mall, LLC, GRF Medspa Bellis Fair Mall, LLC, GRF Medspa Fashion Show, LLC and GRF Medspa Sherman Oaks, LLC (collectively, the “Jointly-Administered Debtors”).

Pursuant to the Motion, the Debtor has represented that the Chapter 7 cases for each of the Jointly-Administered Debtors are to be dismissed, other than the Chapter 7 cases of In re Pure Laser Hair Removal & Treatment Clinics, Inc., Case No. 09-62038, and In re John Street Holdings LLC, Case No. 09-62039 (collectively, the “Remaining Cases”).

After reviewing the Motion and the pleadings on file, the Court is of the opinion, and so finds, that no written objections were filed with regard to said Motion and that good cause exists to grant the Motion. At the time the Motion was called for hearing, no parties appeared to object to the Motion. Accordingly, it is hereby ORDERED AND ADJUDGED as follows:

1.  The Motion is GRANTED as set forth herein;

2.  The above-captioned Chapter 7 case of GRF Medspa North Town Mall, LLC; Case No. 08-85315 is hereby dismissed.

3.  Upon entry of this Order, the Remaining Cases will no longer be jointly-administered and any future pleadings, motions or other filings that relate to either of the Remaining Cases must be filed in the applicable Remaining Case unless and until such Remaining Cases are jointly-administered or substantively consolidated by a future Order of the Court.

4.  Notwithstanding this dismissal, all orders previously entered in this Chapter 7 case or any of the Chapter 7 cases of the Jointly-Administered Debtors shall remain in full force and effect.

Pure Med Spa, Brite Smile, Crooks All

I finally started the article I have been planning to write for over a year.  Every two or three days another comment comes in on the company detailing further bad acts.  Over and over people tell stories of failed treatments, closed doors, lost money, and injuries.  I have been called by Jeff Nourse.  I have spoken to employees and customers.  An attorney general called me to ask what I knew about the company’s practices.  A local Portland television station profiled a victim of Pure Med Spa and called to get my input.  A financier in New York called because the CEO and CFO had contacted him to borrow money.  Basic research led him to this site and to me.  Along the way Pure Med changed to Brite Smile, and the stories continued.  More money lost.  More people harmed.

It is time to get the word out that this company is a public health hazard.  When another story popped into my inbox tonight, I stopped reading my book, pulled out the computer, and started working on the story.  The words are flowing.  I am going to write about this disaster of a company who steals its customers’ money, disfigures and scars their bodies, and runs rampant over its employees.  Then I am going to submit the story to every major woman’s magazine in this country.  Hopefully one of them will realize that this story is a big one, and that in order to protect consumers, the story needs to be told so that no one gives them another penny and nobody else gets hurt.

Some people have asked me Why aren’t these people in jail?  They are crooks!  They hurt me!  They stole my money! Why indeed.  Something needs to happen to stop them before someone else gets hurt.  If we can’t jail them, at least I can try and stop them with my words.