Is Chris Rock Right About the Tea Party?

image via BET

Chris Rock thinks racism is almost over—is it?

By Stephen Blackwell -
In the most recent issue of Esquire, Chris Rock offered a unique perspective on the Tea Party. Really unique. It made me think he was crazy:
“I actually like [the Tea Party], in the sense that—you got kids? Kids always act up the most before they go to sleep. And when I see the Tea Party and all this stuff, it actually feels like racism’s almost over. Because this is the last—this is the act up before they go to sleep. They’re going crazy. They’re insane. You want to get rid of them—and the next thing you know, they’re fucking knocked out. And that’s what’s going on in the country right now.”
I’ve probably read over one thousand articles, blog posts and tweets about the Tea Party, and this is the first time I or anyone else has come across the opinion that the Tea Party is actually good for black people.
How to square this with their nearly unanimous opinion that “equal opportunity for blacks and minorities to succeed is important, [but] it’s not really the government’s job to guarantee it,” requires some mental flexibility. But there is this notion, where are they going to go next? This is what Rock is talking about.
The Tea Party is widely perceived to be comprised of racist hicks who shoot guns, and are therefore attracted to Sarah Palin’s lock-and-load rhetoric. This viewpoint isn’t entirely true.
The Party supports a few savvy politicians who are interested in repealing all the social services our country offers so their corporate benefactors can. They are also supported bythe no-longer-elusive Koch Brothers, who own the second largest privately-held company in the world. They have caucuses and infinite money, so the idea they might pass out like a sugared-up, petulant child on Halloween might be a bit premature.
Public Enemy’s incredible 1990 record, “Fear of a Black Planet,” never launched the revolution it promised. But “Fear of a Black President,” or at least another black president, has. The Tea Party’s elite like Michele Bachmann and Scott Brown may have trouble governing within the Tea Party’s pure lines, but they’ve still got some wind in their sails.
At the very least, it will add up to some entertaining fodder for Rock’s next HBO special.

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