S.C. Tea Party Mayhem: Racism, Sedition, Paranoia and Homophobia
April 19, 2010
(ChattahBox)—- Tea party activists in South Carolina apparently didn’t receive the memo to tone down their incendiary rhetoric, in the wake of death threats and violent acts waged against U.S. lawmakers. A tea party rally held in Greenville over the weekend provided the few thousand in attendance a cornucopia of racism, hate, paranoia, seditious calls to take up arms against the government and anti-gay rhetoric. And the offensive remarks receiving the most attention were those made by the event’s keynote speaker, race-baiting nativist and former U.S. congressman Tom Tancredo. He took to the podium and whipped up the crowd with an anti-Obama racist birther rant: “If his wife says Kenya is his homeland, why don’t we just send him back?”
The rally was organized by the Upcountry Conservative Coalition. The group’s mission statement: “We the People…are coalescing to reclaim our God given rights by restoring our Constitutional Republic.”
South Carolina’s The State newspaper, reported on the vitriolic tone of the Greenville tea party rally on Saturday:
“Anger and indignation were served up in giant helpings outside the Bi-Lo Center on Saturday as several thousand Tea Party activists cheered speakers who attacked President Barack Obama as a lying, taxing, foreign-born, anti-American socialist. Waving signs and flags with slogans including, “It’s the Constitution, stupid” and “Vote them all out…”
Tancredo’s call for President Obama to go back to Kenya drew applause. And he also sounded an ominous note, by saying Americans are “going to have to pray that we can hold on to this country.”
Racist birtherism, check. Fearmongering, check. What’s left? Oh, yes a call to arms against the federal government. Pastor Stan Craig, of the Choice Hills Baptist Church was on hand to provide the sedition rhetoric, saying he “was trained to defend the liberties of this nation.” He shouted that he was ready to “suit up, get my gun, go to Washington, and do what they trained me to do.”
And Dan Gonzales, chair of the Florida Constitution Party, provided the paranoia and new world order conspiracy theories, ranting about the Rockefellers controlling the Republican Party. Gonzales also was prepared for an armed battle against the federal government. “[T]his is the end of America right here,” and if the Tea Partiers “don’t get to work we’re going to be fighting in the streets,” he declared.
To top off the incendiary rhetoric, another speaker accused Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) of being a traitor and a danger to America, because he may be gay:
“I’m a tolerant person. I don’t care about your private life, Lindsey, but as our U.S. Senator I need to figure out why you’re trying to sell out your own countrymen, and I need to make sure you being gay isn’t it.”
On this 15th anniversary of the bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma City, leaving 168 dead and hundreds more injured, former President Bill Clinton penned a NY Times Op-Ed warning of the danger of current toxic climate and irresponsible incendiary rhetoric by lawmakers fueling an act of domestic terrorism:
“Fifteen years ago, the line was crossed in Oklahoma City. In the current climate, with so many threats against the president, members of Congress and other public servants, we owe it to the victims of Oklahoma City, and those who survived and responded so bravely, not to cross it again,” wrote Clinton.
On Saturday in Greenville, South Carolina the boundary was crossed between spirited criticism of the government and incendiary hate and seditious rhetoric.
Photo Source: Upcountry Conservative Coalition