I've never been to a tea party. Really. Not even as a little girl. Was never my thing. So when I decided I was going to infiltrate the Tri-State Liberty Summit of Tea Party activists, my first question was: What do I wear? Unfortunately, my frilly cocktail dress was at the cleaners so I had to go with my usual "Is she a boy or a girl?" attire. Good news is, the Tea Party activists were unfazed by my gender-bending sweater vest. All they seemed to care about was that I was white.
Because in the flurry of red, white and blue sentiment that filled the Italian American Center of Stamford, Connecticut, on May 23, 2010, the most prominent color was definitely white. White people with ghostly white faces fearing that our new black President is only one sooner-than-expected sign of the approaching end of white racial dominance in America.
Watch this secret video, including shocking footage of FreedomWorks Chair Rep. Dick Armey:
Now, if you're a well-to-do, older white person (as all the recent polls suggest most Tea Party activists are, compared with the rest of the population), there are only two possible reactions to the growing reality of racial diversity in America.
Option 1: You can accept that white supremacy (and the disproportionate economic, political and cultural power that has come with it) is and has always been an unjust but convenient excuse for why a few elites hold all the cards and the rest of us -- including most white people -- are left empty-handed. But I guess that would require actually accepting that you will never be one of those supreme elites under the current system and that the only way for you to get ahead is to join with everyone else who, like you, has ultimately been left behind. That's a lot of self-awareness for a class of folks who have generally thrived on denial.
This leaves us with Option 2: Reject the United States of America, a nation that -- though formed in the spirit of racial purity and the subjugation of others -- is somehow now trying to live up to words that the Founding Fathers never actually meant but wrote down for good measure. The idea of many people joining to form one nation was fine when all those folks were white -- or even white-ish -- but Mexican immigrants and a black President is just too much to swallow. We "patriots" are starting over.
In case you're reading this and thinking, "Forming a separate nation? That's not what the Tea Party stands for!" Well, think again. And watch this video.
I think most Americans are suffering with economic insecurity and many white Americans are genuinely struggling with a sense of cultural displacement as well. That's real. The Tea Party, and all political movements, should be helping Americans adapt to the changing world around them -- not inciting them to hateful separation. After all, inclusion, unity, moving forward together -- these have always been core American values. Secession, on the other hand, is treason.