Tea Party’s DC Visitor Guide: Be Very Afraid of Black People!

August 24, 2010

(ChattahBox)—A bunch of mostly white tea party members from small town America are preparing to descend on our nation’s Capitol this weekend for Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor Rally,” on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. His event coincides with the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s famous “I have a Dream” speech given on the same date and same place. on August 28, 1963. Beck, who attacked President Obama, our first black president, as a “racist, who has a deep seated hatred of white people,” insists he didn’t know the significance of the date when planning his tea party rally. But he has steadily tried to co-opt King’s legacy, leading up to his event, angering civil rights leaders. Sarah Palin, a divisive public figure, will be a keynote speaker. The former half term governor recently supported Dr. Laura Schlessinger’ racist on-air N-word rant, saying “don’t retreat, reload,” advising the former talk radio host to “cast off” her “shackles.” And adding further insult to the memory of Martin Luther King’s fight for racial equality, teapartiers, having displayed bigoted and racist behavior in past rallies, are warning members to avoid areas of DC where they are likely to encounter Arabs and black people. While keeping a lookout for scary people of color, a Maine tea party website has also decided to engage in harassment and intimidation, by publishing the home addresses of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), encouraging members to “Feel free to protest!”

Glenn Beck, Fox News’ conspiracy-theorist-in-chief, has urged attendees not to display signs. Why? Because there hasn’t been a tea party gathering yet, that has not featured a variety of bigoted, racist and offensive signs.

Still, the teapartiers can hide their signs, but that won’t change who they are.

Let’s take a look at the DC travel advice posted on the Maine Refounders tea party website:

Safety and Mores

DC’s population includes refugees from every country, as the families of embassy staffs of third world countries tend to stay in DC whenever a revolution in their homeland means that anyone in their family would be in danger if they went back. Most taxi drivers and many waiters/waitresses (especially in local coffee shops like the Bread and Chocolate chain) are immigrants, frequently from east Africa or Arab countries. As a rule, African immigrants do not like for you to assume they are African Americans and especially do not like for you to guess they are from a neighboring country (e.g. Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia) with whom they may have political or military tensions. It’s rare to meet anyone who gets really offended, but you can still be aware of the issue.

Many parts of DC are safe beyond the areas I will list here, but why chance it if you don’t know where you are?

If you are on the subway stay on the Red line between Union Station and Shady Grove, Maryland. If you are on the Blue or Orange line do not go past Eastern Market (Capitol Hill) toward the Potomac Avenue stop and beyond; stay in NW DC and points in Virginia. Do not use the Green line or the Yellow line. These rules are even more important at night. There is of course nothing wrong with many other areas; but you don’t know where you are, so you should not explore them.

Tea party members are further advised to remain solely within Northwest DC, to avoid meeting up with any of those scary dark refugees.

“If on foot or in a cab or bus, stay in Bethesda, Arlington (preferably north Arlington), Crystal City, Falls Church, Annandale, or Alexandria, or in DC only in northwest DC west (i.e. larger street numbers) of 14th or 16th streets, or if on Capitol Hill only in SE Capitol Hill (zip 20003) between 1st and 8th Streets, not farther out than 8th (e.g. 9th, 10th etc). (Or stay on the Mall and at the various monuments.) Again there are many other lovely places, from the Catholic University of America to Silver Spring, Maryland. But you don’t know where you are so you cannot go, especially at night, unless you take me with you.”

From someone who lived in DC and enjoyed, even the “scary” Capitol Hill neighborhoods beyond 8th St., this teabagger visitor guide is patently ridiculous.

What will the xenophobic Maine teapartiers miss out on, by avoiding the scary Green and Yellow lines? Ben’s Chili Bowl diner for one, a popular spot frequented by President Obama on U St.

Certainly Washington, DC has a few dicey neighborhoods, the same as any large city. But to purposely plan a trip to a city to avoid people of color, says quite a lot, especially on the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I have a Dream” speech. Don’t you think?

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons/dbking/Flickr/Ben’s Celebrates Chili Power Big Stars and Just Plain Folks Mark Eatery’s 50-Year Run on U Street.


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