Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Randi Rhodes: Good News for Xenophobes!

Good news for xenophobes who would like to get out more—a tea party blogger has put together a handy guide to Washington, DC for visitors who are coming for Glenn Beck’s rally this weekend. It covers the basics—inexpensive places to eat, and how to avoid black people, Arabs, and other minorities. Really. It’s kind of a Frommer’s guide for racists. The guide warns attendees about which subway lines and neighborhoods to avoid. It doesn’t specify why they should be avoided, but I don’t think it’s because of pricey restaurants. Classic. So Glenn Beck and the Tea Partiers have stolen the Lincoln Memorial for the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech. And they mark the occasion with a handy-dandy guide to avoiding black people. Hey Tea Partiers, you don’t have to worry about avoiding black people. Just go out in your crazy colonial outfits, and the black people will avoid you. But then so will any sane person.
This guide basically confines visitors to the area around the National Mall and all the monuments. So if a person follows these directions, they will probably only run into white people—extremely white people, as in “carved out of marble.” And they won’t see any minorities, unless you count Franklin D. Roosevelt in his wheelchair. Tea Partiers are warned that “Most taxi drivers and many waiters/waitresses (especially in local coffee shops like the Bread and Chocolate chain) are immigrants, frequently from east Africa or Arab countries.” So don’t be shocked when your waitress isn’t Flo from Mel’s Diner. And do people really have to be alerted that taxi drivers may be immigrants? I don’t think there’s been a white guy taxi driver since Travis Bickle. I’ll stick with the immigrants, thank you. The guide specifically warns “Do not use the Green line or the Yellow line.” Ahem. You need to use the Green/Yellow line to get to the National Archives, where the Constitution is kept. Is the government aware what a dangerous neighborhood it’s in? Oh, and the guide also gives the home addresses of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, in case any Tea Partiers want to drop in when they’re not busy avoiding Middle Eastern cab drivers.
If Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid want to be safe, maybe they should move to some place off of the Green or Yellow line… where Tea Partiers are afraid to venture.
The weirdest part is that in the middle of all this xenophobia, the guy’s restaurant recommendations include Indian tandoori and middle eastern restaurants. Hate is hate, but it shouldn’t keep you from enjoying a good baba ganoush. Your tour guide also points out that “As a rule, African immigrants do not like for you to assume they are African Americans and especially do not like for you to guess they are from a neighboring country (e.g. Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia) with whom they may have political or military tensions.” Great. Now he’s Emily Post for racists. Something tells me this guy has had a few uncomfortable exchanges while ordering breakfast. “I’ll take the Denver omelet. Where you from anyway? Somalia? Am I right?”
Today’s Homework Discuss
Watch as a Ground Zero construction worker is harassed for looking just a little too Muslim:

Thom's blog
Leave no Billionaire Behind...
Giant U.S. companies and their multi-millionaire CEOs have stepped up their lobbying to block Democrats' plans to let the Bush tax cuts on wealthier Americans expire at year's end. Republicans and business say that letting the Bush tax cuts expire will choke off the economic recovery, and they are demanding that Democrats commit to hearings, a mark-up of legislation and then a movement to the Senate floor for a vote to extend the tax cuts for the very rich. As Paul Krugman notes in his opinion piece yesterday, this would be the equivalent of 120,000 wealthy people getting $3 million each every year. The Bush tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires have added, when including interest, over a trillion dollars to our national debt, money which will have to be re-paid by you, me, and our children. Now Republicans want to extend these billionaire tax cuts for a single and a simple reason: the billionaires fund the Republican party and it's candidates.


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