Garofalo: Tea parties are ‘racism straight up’


(RAWSTORY)   MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann couldn’t resist challenging The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart one more time on Thursday for the title of king ofscrotum-based humor. “Tea-bagging has now petered out — t’aint what it used to be,” he suggested cheerfully, before introducing actress and activist Janeane Garofalo to comment in a more serious vein on the tea party protests.

“Let’s be very honest about what this is about,” Garofalo began. “It’s not about bashing Democrats. It’s not about taxes. … This is about hating a black man in the White House. This is racism straight up. It is nothing but a bunch of tea-bagging rednecks and there is no way around that.”

“You can tell these type of right-wingers anything, and they’ll believe it — except the truth,” Garofalo went on. “You tell them the truth and it’s like showing Frankenstein’s monster fire. They become confused and angry and highly volatile.”

“What do you do about it, though?” Olbermann asked. “How do you break through that?”

“I don’t think you do, for most of them,” Garofalo replied. “It’s almost pathological.”

“I didn’t know there were so many racists left,” she continued. “The Republican-hyphen-conservative movement has now crystallized into the white power movement. … The Republican Party now depends upon immigrant-bashing and hating the black guy in the White House.”

“Fox doesn’t mind fomenting it,” Garofalo concluded. “Michele Bachmann doesn’t mind fomenting it. Glenn Beck doesn’t mind fomenting it. … What have they got if they don’t have this? … It’s like an identity politics of the worst kind.”

Garofalo’s hyper-partisan remarks have already aroused strong reactions on both sides of the political divide. A blog at the Christian Science Monitor described her as “like a Rush Limbaugh but on the left” but then quoted a typical mixture of right-wing blogs accusing her of playing the race card and harboring “hatred toward conservatives” with left-wing blogs calling her “a real American hero” and saying that “her central argument … is a solid one.”

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