Political, so feel free to not go past the cut, especially since, in true Rob style, it’s longish.
So a number of people have posted an article about the difference of reaction had the Tea Parties consisted primarily of African-Americans.
I find that article interesting because of its partisan nature and I am getting more and more irritated by the desire to demonize Tea Parties so I’m here to point out a few other differences.
One, imagine the outcry if a sexual slur such as Teabagging were used as a reference to a GLBT protest, an African-American protest, or a pro-abortion rally. Anyone who said that would rightly be castigated, and if they were in the professional media, should and might very well lose their job.
Rather than widely castigating any who use the term, I have heard it used in any number of places, including professional media such as Keith Olbermann. No one should get away with this sort of comment, even, actually especially, if we agree with their politics.
Two, the vast majority of incidents that occurred at any Tea Party were either created or over-emphasized in order to create headlines.
This is not to say that there are not people at the Tea Parties who don’t deserve to be castigated for their actions. There have been. I urge you, however, to double-check to see if the initial reports can be verified. A number of the “incidents” have not been verified, despite the huge number of cameras that is inherently at any protest these.
Please note that there are routinely people who deserve to be castigated for their actions at protests. I have personally witnessed anti-war ralliers refer to Bush as Hitler, throw stones at people who disagree, and in general act rudely to passers-by. We should not judge all people who protested our involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan by these people, and neither should we judge all Tea Partiers by their lunatic fringe.
Three, as far as I have seen, there has not been an actual riot at any Tea Party. In fact, I’m not sure there’s been a positive, verified example of violence at a Tea Party from those supporting the rally, though if you know of such an instance, feel free to post the reference. Given the millions of people, at this point, who have participated in a Tea Party that seems pretty peaceful to me and hardly fitting the stereotype that permeates the professional media.
Yet, there has already been violence with throwing of a variety of things at police officers in Arizona in response to its new immigration law. I’ve seen three videos, and I suspect there are more. Nevertheless, have you heard about this incident yet in the national media? I guarantee you if there was anything like this at a Tea Party it would have been filmed and every news outlet would be talking about it.
This is not really to open up the discussion on the immigration law, merely to point out differences. I’m saying that the violence that is reported from a protest is directly related to whether the media approves of the protest or not.
The main point about Tea Parties is that media coverage of the Tea Parties has been extremely biased. The vast majority of people at Tea Parties have been those seeking a smaller government and worried about the future of the country, not because they are bigots. The demographics have included a much wider cross-section of America than has been reported, including a goodly number of African-Americans, various ethnic-Americans, and a large number of members of the GLBT community.
The real point of this rant is not to try and change your opinion of the politics here. I don’t really care if you’re Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, or anything else about your demographics or economic situation. What I care about is that there’s a disparity in how the media is filtering their coverage.
What I want is for everyone to be more aware of their sources and their inherent biases.
This is not something I worry about with most blogs, because nearly every writer on a blog explains their preferences and biases. Very few claim to be fully objective so we can shade our understanding of what they say. However, professional journalists are theoretically supposed to be above the fray, and they have sunk almost entirely into the pigsty of yellow journalism to shape our opinions to fit their own agendas while claiming to be objective.
And thus what we have shaping our political opinions can be characterized by the frightening acronym GIGO: Garbage In Garbage Out.