From Countdown Feb. 15, 2010 Special Comment: Tea Parties And Race:
I happen to be filling the few spare hours of this past week by re-watching my friend Ken Burns' Jazz documentary and was literally pulling my shoes on to head over to the hospital yesterday when it came to the story of the great Billie Holiday and the still-startling anti-lynching song "Strange Fruit."
Not long ago, my father, who abandoned baseball because his team traded his favorite players (Yankees; Steve Souchock, George Stirnweiss; 1948, 1950; yes, we carry grudges), mentioned to me that he'd seen Satchel Paige pitch at Yankee Stadium, for the New York Black Yankees. "It never occurred to me, it never occurred to anybody I knew, that he couldn't play for the other Yankees. We just assumed he didn't want to. That none of them wanted to."
Fatal racism, passive racism, self-rationalized racism. It all blended together for me yesterday, and it led me to think about the Tea Party group, who they are, who they aren't, and what they're afraid of. Read on...