How Ferguson Missouri Exposes The Tea Party As A Hollow, Racist Movement

Published On August 20, 2014 | By Bob Rowen |

If the Tea party really understood what the demonstrations in Ferguson Missouri are all about they would be out there in force, side by side with the protesters.  Instead they defend the cop that shot Michael Brown.

The original Tea Party, 241 years ago, was a protest against taxation without representation. For those who missed this distinction in History Class, they were OK with being taxed.  The real problem was the lack of a say on where those taxes were directed.

By contrast, the thrust of the modern-day Tea Party movement is based around an implied distrust of government, and protections of the constitutional rights of Americans.

The Bundy Ranch stand-off was a perfect example. During the height of that stand-off, a large Tea Party Website claimed:

“The Obama administration wants to disarm all U.S. citizens, but especially Tea Party Loyalists. Why? Because a disarmed population is easy to intimidate and the Brady ranch standoff was a trial balloon testing whether or not the Obama administration can get away using military-armed federal law enforcement officers to intimidate freedom-loving citizens.”

Of course, that whole notion is false. If the Tea Party movement was truly all about governmental over reach, they would be out in force right now in Missouri, defending the First Amendment rights of peaceful protesters and decrying the government’s attempts to stifle their voices as they face tear gas and rubber bullets. Instead we see conservative media in full support of the overreach and calling for even more.

Tea Party Bundy RanchThe issue in Ferguson, beyond the killing of an unarmed man, is that of a populace which feels unrepresented among those in charge and with some justification.  The population of Ferguson Missouri is more than two-thirds black but the police force has fifty white police officers and only 3 black ones.  On the city council, the numbers are even more stark.  There are five white council members, one Latino, and zero black members.

This isn’t to say that white cops can’t properly police a black neighborhood or that city councils cannot govern fairly if their skin color doesn’t perfectly match that of their constituency.  But it does make it all the more important that they make every effort to appear to care about the majority of the population.

To fully understand what is going on in Ferguson, we first must understand what it is – beyond the killing of an unarmed man – that has the population so upset.  It is more than a matter of color.  Even more than a government that seemingly defends a cop many in the community feel murdered a young black man. It is governance by a body that not only condoned racist behavior within the police department in the past, but rewarded it.  Which brings us to former police officer, Kim Tihen.

Tihen was one of a group of Ferguson police officers who beat a handcuffed suspect bloody in 2009.  To literally add insult to injury, Ferguson police charged the suspect with the crime of destroying public property by getting his blood on their uniforms.

Tihen is no longer a Ferguson police officer, by the way. She is now one of the five white members of the city council.

bundy-ranch-militia-featThe Tea Party vehemently supported snipers aiming rifles at the authorities at the Bundy Ranch, calling them heroes for standing up to the government, a government that showed amazing restraint. But in Ferguson they have been silent about an unarmed crowd being routinely assaulted with tear gas and rubber bullets. But this crowd is black and their silence reveals them for what they really are, nothing more than racist frauds.

Taxation without representation.  If it was only about taxation…

Bob Rowen
Follow me

Bob Rowen

A lifelong politics junkie with particular interests in privatization and other business and labor issues like minimum wage and immigration.Robert Rowen is also a writer of fiction.His first novel is called The Ballad of Llewellynn.

Like what we do?  Make a secure donation! You can also help support us by sharing our stories on social media using the icons below!
Bob Rowen
Follow me