Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Memo to the Tea Party: Welcome to the Club

I've been rolling my eyes at this news that the IRS secretly targeted Tea Party organizations in 2010 and 2012 and even more so at the overwhelming reaction from people to it. The uproar has some people treating this like Watergate II and all I can do is sit back with a smirk.

Memo to the Tea Party, their supporters and others who are outraged by this. Have you ever studied American history? Better yet, American domestic policy?

Let me educate real quick. The FBI under J. Edgar Hoover created a little something called COINTELPRO. During 1956-1971, they investigated and infiltrated political groups they deemed subversive such as the NAACP, SCLC, CORE, Students for a Democratic Society and other civil rights organizations. Their tactics included surveillance, spies, spreading false information, working with police officers for illegal raids, and in some cases, murder with aid from various police departments.

This was never condemned by the US government until after the fact. Yet many groups were weakened from it and 40-50 years later, we're still learning how deep some of those tactics went. I just saw a book the other day on how Ronald Reagan and the FBI worked together to subvert the free speech movement in California in the 1960's. That's related to COINTELPR.

I'd also like to remind the Tea Party and others that their reaction to this is laughable considering our government renewed provisions of the Patriot Act in 2011 despite opposition of senators and civil rights groups. You expect me to shed tears for you guys? You're just the latest to see Big Brother at work, which some folks have tried to defend.

It's a pain of privilege. I know the Tea Party is all about smaller government and these things would catch their radar but if they'd realize that there are many others who feel this same way, they would connect the dots instead of cry the way they are crying. And connecting it to how the government reacted Benghazi is sheer laziness.

There's evidence that the IRS has to done this before to the NAACP and other groups.
And there was significantly less outrage or coverage even though we all know who the NAACP and Greenpeace are.

I'm okay with outrage. But I'm not okay with selective outrage or going overboard in the direction folks are taking it. I'd rather be upset that this continues to happen, not that it happened. The IRS will face repercussions but to call for President Obama to be impeached or face more scrutiny is laughable considering what has happened within the last 50 years in American history.

If anything, it's just like what happens when a White person faces prejudice or racism for the first time or a man faces sexism and they raise a big fuss about it. Meanwhile, people of color and women sit back like "Now do you get what we've been going through?"

It's never a good thing when the government oversteps its boundaries. But understand this situation isn't anything new in America. It's part of a longer pattern of questionable government decisions and by understanding it in that context should make you sympathetic to others and more skeptical instead of only raising your voice like it's never happened before.

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