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September 20, 2021

Tea Party Cashing in on King’s Dream

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This is a real thing, that is really being sold. No, I will not link to the page.

I subscribe to a lot of terrible e-mail lists. One of them is the TeaParty.net’s. I can’t say it’s the worst, but by no means do I enjoy reading their amazingly insane missives. But it’s part of the job, like changing dirty diapers is part of a parent’s job.

Every single one of the e-mails is somehow stinkier than the last. Whether it be about 9/11, Benghazi, or Ebola, they all end in a beg for my money. This one, though, ranks currently as the worst. “Restore the Dream” t-shirt with an image of Reagan and King just hurts my brain. I almost want this shirt and bumper sticker as memorabilia of the horrors of my days working as a journalist that I can one day show my kids and say:Tshirt-KingReagan

“This really happened. Someone somewhere thought – let’s put Civil Rights leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner Martin Luther King Jr., and Central American Death Squad leader Ronald Reagan on the same t-shirt. Oh and no – the money won’t go to a group that celebrates Civil Rights or encourages people to get out and vote. No, it goes to The Tea Party.”

My theoretical children, will then say to me – with a look of horror and confusion on their faces:

“But Dad, wasn’t The Tea Party essentially funded by a group of racist white people that tried pushing Voter ID to stop minority people from voting? And didn’t they support cutting back on early voting, which historically is used by African Americans more than other racial groups? Didn’t many of their leaders talk about hispanic people in horrible racist ways and deride the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr?”

My children, if I ever have any, will be very smart, and clearly will have read my work with Greg Palast and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on the subject for Rolling Stone.

In the end though, I will just quote The Nation Magazine:

Early in his political career Reagan opposed every major piece of civil rights legislation adopted by Congress, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968. And even if one tries to explain away this opposition on the grounds that it came early in the history of the civil rights movement or was motivated by a misplaced reluctance to empower the federal government, Reagan’s civil rights record during his presidency is tough to justify. As President, Reagan supported tax breaks for schools that discriminated on the basis of race, opposed the extension of the Voting Rights Act, vetoed the Civil Rights Restoration Act and decimated the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). When you combine Reagan’s political record with his symbolic stance on race issues—his deriding welfare recipients as “welfare queens,” his employing “states rights” rhetoric in the same county where in 1964 three of the most infamous murders of civil rights workers occurred, his initial opposition to establish a national holiday to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr.—the Reagan legacy begins to lose much of its luster.

[Here’s the whole e-mail – read more about the Tea Party and the guy that owns RestoreTheDream2014.com (Todd Cefaratti) here at Buzzflash.  ]

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HI SHANE!

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5 Responses to “Tea Party Cashing in on King’s Dream”
  1. Zyxomma says:

    The only thing the tea partiers in Congress ever do (apart from obstructing the Senate and the President) is name things after Ronnie Raygun, who’s way too left wing for the current crop of so-called Republicans. The next time a river catches fire (as the Cuyahoga did several times before its cleanup), its name should be changed to River Reagan. No more airports and post offices; The Ronald Reagan Fracking Waste Landfill would be far more fitting.

  2. mike from iowa says:

    For context,here is the rest of Smiley’s selectively edited quote-(talking with Sean Hannity)

    SMILEY: Let me answer your question very forthrightly. No, they are not. The data is going to indicate sadly that when the Obama administration is over, black people will have lost ground in every single leading economic indicator category. On that regard, the president ought to be held responsible.

    But here’s the other side. I respect the president. I will protect the president. And I will correct the president. He’s right on this government shutdown. Republicans are thwarting the rule of law with the Constitution. If they let this debt go into default, they’re trampling again on the Constitution.

    The above quote only has one set of quotation marks(at the end) what was left out?

  3. Alaska Pi says:

    Zach-
    This is not a sick joke?
    This creetafratum is for real??
    blech, blech, blech!!

    If only we had still had Dr King for a voice for civil rights during RR’s ridiculous reign.
    if only…

  4. mike from iowa says:

    Raygun will go down in history. Way down.

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