Home > Faith and Spirituality, Ground Zero > going to a party… a tea party, that is…

going to a party… a tea party, that is…

If you’re wondering if the title of this entry is a joke or a vie for your attention, it’s not. Well, definitely not the former, maybe a little bit the latter. This isn’t what I had planned for today, and even though this entry might make more sense if I publish the other one first, seeing as it is a detailed explanation of my personal views on SB1070, the article I have in draft will wait for another day, because right now I feel a need to “Witness.”

So, it happened like this… it was almost time to leave work, and I was well past done with stupid (I’ve been known to announce to the department, “Ok, that’s it… I’m done with stupid!”), and when I got up to put some docs I’d just reviewed in the next person’s inbox, and decided to visit a friend’s desk to insist that the happy hour we’ve been talking about for approximately two months needed to happen soon. He tortured me by listing all the weekends he’ll be out of town (damn single people), mentioned something about a rally he was planning on attending in DC, and then commented that he’d been planning on making me go to happy hour with him anyway.

Is it a tea party rally?

Well, no, but there’s nothing wrong with that. And a brief conversation about media coverage of tea party rally’s ensued… then,

How are you planning to “make” me go do something we’ve been talking about for two months?

Well, I know you and I agree on a LOT of stuff but we don’t believe the same things. And I know you’re not a wagon jumper… I know that you don’t just jump on the bandwagon, you have solid reasons behind it.

That boy couldn’t have melted my heart faster if it had been butter & he’d been holding a blowtorch. But I figured this had probably come up as a result of me wearing my Standing on the Side of Love shirt to work on July 30th, the day after the protests, which I realized in retrospect probably fueled a lot of speculation as to whether I’d spent the night in jail (alas, but no…).

So we got into a conversation about SB1070, and I explained my views on border security, the immigration system, and SB1070… what I think the problems are, what I think would fix them, etc. He listened, nodded frequently, and at the end of my monologue, said basically that my arguments are really solid, and when he’s tried to have conversations with people, all they can say is that it’s racist. To which I replied, “I agree that it’s racist, and this is why…” and as I spoke, he nodded, cracked a few grins cuz you all know I have no filters, and then said, “That totally makes sense, but nobody else that I have talked to has explained it that way.” And I talked a little bit about race relations, that in my experience, on one side you have a group of people who are very uncomfortable talking about race in mixed company because on the other hand, you have white people who are very uncomfortable hearing about race in mixed company. We as a whole are not very good at differentiating between personal racism and institutional racism, and white people are especially bad at it, and tend to assume that anytime someone says this law is racist, that they personally are being called racist and they immediately get defensive. The wall goes up and the communication goes down the toilet. More agreement from him, and he lamented that because he has favored the law, he’s been immediately being labeled a racist. I lamented that because I oppose it, because I actually believe in what we printed on the fucking Statue of Liberty, I get to be called anti American.

So as I’m preparing to go, he says, So do you want to go to a tea party rally with me? I thought about being in close quarters with that many white people (and yes, I have looked in a mirror lately)… “No, not really.” “C’mon, why? I’m serious, I’ve been to several and I’ve never seen anything like what hits the news. They’ve always been the nicest people, they just believe in small government like I do.”

And so I had to ask myself, OK Cyndi… WHY? You talked yourself hoarse two weeks ago about media bias and how deeply imbedded in our subconscious these racialized images are. Do you really believe that, and if you do, then you know that your reluctance to go anywhere with this friend who you admire and respect is based solely on a media stereotype. You’ve been all about the first principle… do you really affirm and promote the inherent dignity of all people? How many times have you commented wryly that you’re always preaching to the damn choir? You’re always talking about being the change you want to see in the world. Are you really open minded, or is that just CYNDI”S spin? Is this an opportunity for you to learn something and hopefully teach something?

So as I walked out I said over my shoulder, “I’ll go to a tea party rally with you if you go to an event with me.”

He said, Done deal.

I hope he likes yellow.

  1. August 12, 2010 at 12:10 AM

    Well, good for you!!

  2. Melanie
    August 12, 2010 at 6:55 AM

    Good for you! I love how you are keeping an open mind and attending an event with the intention to learn someone else’s pov. I on the other hand….not so sure I could do it without getting fired up. Can’t wait to hear how it goes!

  3. Melanie
    August 12, 2010 at 6:56 AM

    oh….and if this is in DC please tell me when because I spend a lot of time there because of my client and maybe we could get together.

  4. Becky
    August 12, 2010 at 12:02 PM

    You rock! There *is* bias on both sides in the media – liberal and conservative. That’s just a fact. Somewhere in the middle is the truth.

    I had actually intended to post a few articles about how the tea partiers are running off the racist schmucks at their rallies. Not something the news reports on much, or course.

    Still, good for you! I think you will learn a lot and you better report back. I would have gone to the one here, but Sarah Paling decided to jump on the tea party bandwagon, even though they don’t want her. So, I refused to go to anything she was speaking at.

    But, you probably know I lean toward small government and fiscal conservatism, with social liberalism. 🙂

  5. Donna Featherston
    August 16, 2010 at 7:21 AM

    Way to go Cyndi–this is the way things change. People keeping their hearts open despite strong emotions and being willing to truly hear another person. Way to walk the talk!

    • August 22, 2010 at 2:41 PM

      I’m trying Donna… I’m not always as successful as I’d like, but I’m trying 🙂

  1. August 12, 2010 at 6:32 PM
  2. August 13, 2010 at 8:08 PM

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