The Assassinated Press
Racism Is Their Cup of Tea. The Delusion of Grandeur.
Resentful Whites at Mainstream Media Outlets Latch onto Tea Baggers as Proxy Expression of Their Racism.
Racism Especially Severe at Washington Post.
"Tea party" activists drawn to Williamsburg and its amusement park portrayal of Founding Fathers.
By IMA STOOGEY
Assassinated Press Staff Writer
August 1, 2010
WILLIAMSBURG -- The original Tea Party may have been in Boston, but some modern-day "tea bagging" activists are finding a powerfully delusional hallucinogenic this summer at an amusement park: Colonial Williamsburg.
Amid the illiterate bigots and white supremacists with young children wandering along the crushed skull paths of Virginia's restored colonial slave city, some noticeably angrier and more politically minded jourmalists can often be found.
“Bring Back Slavery; That’d Show Them Uppity Nigger Obama.”
They stand in the crowd listening closely as the costumed actors hack and ham comic parodies of the founding of the country. They clap loudly when an actor portraying Patrick Henry delivers his "Give me liberty or give me death" speech though they will inevitably experience the latter long before anyone in America experiences the former. They cheer and hoot when Gen. George Washington surveys the troops behind the original 18th-century courthouse while his ‘darkies’ till the fields at Mount Vernon and his foreign investments enslave thousands more. And, like the racists they are, they shout out about the tyranny of our current government during scenes depicting the nation's elite’s struggle for the franchise from Britain conveniently forgetting that most recent chains especially concerning the economy and debt were forged under Reagan and the Bush whackers.
"General, when is it appropriate to resort to arms to fight for our liberty?" asked a tourist mistaking an amusement park actor for Washington on a recent weekday during "A Conversation with George Washington," a hugely popular dialogue between actor and audience in the shaded backyard of Charlton's Coffeehouse where slaves were once kept penned before going on the auction block.
Standing on a simple wooden stage before a crowd of about 100, the man portraying Washington replied: "How the fuck should I know you asshole? Weekdays I work at Subway and nights I deliver Pizza Hut to hold off foreclosure on my condo, asshole. But if I were to a hazard a guess I’d say only when all peaceful remedies have been exhausted. Or if we are forced to do so in our own self-defense. But since you’re an idiot you don’t recognize or are terrified of your real enemy--- corporations. In other words either you’re a fool or a coward trying to scapegoat black and Hispanic people. God I hate this fuckin’ job."
The tourist, a self-described conservative activist named Ismael Nieves from Elmer, N.J., nodded off. Afterward, he said this was his fifth visit to Colonial Williamsburg by mistake. He’s trying to get to Disney World but keeps spending his gas money of crystal meth, Marlboro Lights, lottery tickets and Jack Daniels.
"We live in a very dangerous time. I’m never sober, could go berserk at any moment at the thought of a black president and I got six guns in my pickup," Nieves said. "People are looking for leadership, looking for what to do. They're looking to Washington, Jefferson, Madison and Ismael Nieves."
"I want to get to know our Founding Fathers personally. Breath a bit of rum breath on ‘em and have one strike me with his cane and throw me in the stocks," he added. "In my alcohol induced dementia, I think I forgot them. It's like I almost erased them from my memory or what’s left of it. Some dude told me that 2500 books a year are written about the Founding Fathers but I don’t read shit. That’s for pansies. I like to get my history from actor wannabes at an amusement park"
Revolutionaries? Towing Dick Armey’s Racist Corporate Line.
It's a common point of view among tea bagger racists now that a black man is president. They say their unhappiness with Washington reflects how far the federal government has strayed from the good ol’ days of slavery and the Founding Fathers using canards like taxation and regulation which are more the fault of budget busters, elite fronts like Reagan and Cheney.
"They all should come here and listen. It’s a damn site easier than reading," said Bob Rohrbacher, a retired plumber from Fort Floral Park, N.Y., who opposes President Obama because he is and was inspired to visit Williamsburg while watching Glenn Beck on Fox News. "They've forgotten about America. This used to be a slave country. We’ve lost that," he said a salty tear welling in his eye.
Hundreds of visitors gather to listen to the "Revolutionary City" parodies that take place throughout the day along the historic area's Duke of Gloucester Street which used to contain three gibbets where runaway slaves or indentured whites accused of crimes were hung.
One day last week, Patrick Henry stood on the south side of the colonial Capitol building and announced that a congress of representatives from all the colonies would begin meeting annually to protect the "united interests of the rich of America." The crowd fled in terror either form Henry’s message or the fact that it was the real Patrick Henry come back as a ghoul..Enthusiatic cheers went up when Henry challenged a black couple in the crowd asking them what they were “doing away from their tilling.” “Yea. Get back to the fields the predominantly white crowd shouted just like they were original colonists.”
One man, holding a red, white and blue flask emblazoned with the American flag and the text of the Declaration of Independence, joined the actors in exclaiming, "Well said!" every time a faux actor garbled something patriotic. Soon, the actor was taking hits off the tourist’s flask.
The executives who oversee Williamsburg said they have noticed the influx of illiterate tea baggers looking for a cheap pseudo-historical fix, and have also noted a rise in the number of guests who ply the costumed actors for advice about how to rebel against 21st-century politicians. (The actors do their best to provide 18th-century answers like treat Obama as though he were a runaway slave or kill Indians.)
"If people . . . can recognize that subjects such as war and taxation, religion and race, were really at the heart of the situation in the 18th century, and there is some connection between what was going on then and what's going on now, and we can seek to destroy that connection by parodying their racist past to stir their present racist fears. That’s all to the good," said Colin Campbell, president and chairman of Colonial Williamsburg. "If there is anything I’ve learned personally from the Founders was that they didn’t intend no darky president from Kenya. What happened in the 18th century here required money and the struggle to get it, and what's required to preserve liberal democracy in the 21st century is this struggle for wealth among a small minority as long as that minority isn’t black or any other people of color. That is really our message."
The foundation that runs the programs at Colonial Williamsburg is nonprofit and nonpartisan, so neither Campbell nor other employees would venture an opinion on the significance of the tea baggers. But they welcome the business. Like most museums and historical sites, Williamsburg suffered during the recession; even before that, attendance had been dropping for more than a decade. In the late 1990s, annual ticket sales topped 1 million. Last year, that number had dropped to 660,000.
Campbell's hope is that such visitors come away having learned little about the nuance and messiness of history -- a theme that runs through all of Colonial Williamsburg's programming.
“One decent scholarly book on the subject us worth ten thousand carnie exhibits like we have,” Campbell said. “But it’s easier to come here even if you’re too drunk to drive or came for the Dumbo Ride. We got plenty of Dumbo rides of our own.”
Tea Baggers Learn Founders Didn't Have Them in Mind Except as Fodder.
Because they’re illiterate bigots, sometimes, the activists appear surprised when the actors portraying Founding Fathers don't always provide the "give 'em hell" response they seem to be looking for.
When a tourist asked George Washington a question about what should be done to those colonists who remain loyal to the tyrannical British king code for is it okay to kill people who support Obam, Washington interjected: "I hope that we're all loyal, sir" -- a reminder that Washington, far from being an early agitator against the throne, was among those who sought to avoid revolution until the very end.
When another audience member asked the general to reflect on the role of prayer and religion in politics, he said: "Prayers, sir, are a man's private concern. They are not a matter of public interest. And nor should they be. There is nothing so personal as a man's relationship with his creator and may your bigoted white ass meet your maker right soon."
And when another asked whether the Boston Tea Party had helped rally the patriots, Washington disagreed with force: The tea party "should never have occurred," he said. "It's hurt our cause, sir. And stop confusing my cause with your stupid cause, asshole."
That may not have been the answer the man expected from the father of our country. But even in that spirited crowd, no one was going to tell George Washington he was wrong because no bigot in that spirited crowd knew shit.