De-Godwinizing The Tea Party Discussion: A Modest Proposal

Once again, a commentator has decided that they desperately need to reinforce the “Tea Partiers are racists” line of attack and have drawn upon a Nazi metaphor. This time, it was on CNN that Luke Visconti, owner of Diversity Inc., an organization that discusses how to deal with everyone except white guys and features a section called “Ask The White Guy.” Mr. Visconti made a point of comparing black Tea Party members to “kapos” — Jewish trustees within the Nazi concentration camps.

Not only is this wildly offensive, it’s a very, very poor choice of offensive metaphors. Especially when there’s a far, far more relevant example at hand.

The Atlantic slave trade peaked in the late 18th century, when the largest number of slaves were captured on raiding expeditions into the interior of West Africa. These expeditions were typically carried out by African kingdoms against weaker African tribes and peoples. These mass slavers included the Oyo empire (Yoruba), Kong Empire, Kingdom of Benin, Kingdom of Fouta Djallon, Kingdom of Fouta Tooro, Kingdom of Koya, Kingdom of Khasso, Kingdom of Kaabu, Fante Confederacy, Ashanti Confederacy, and the kingdom of Dahomey. Europeans rarely entered the interior of Africa, due to fear of disease and moreover fierce African resistance.

See? No reason to drag the Nazis and the Jews into the matter. Here’s a perfectly good example of blacks conspiring with whites to oppress other blacks. Isn’t that a hell of a lot closer to what Mr. Visconti is alleging? After all, I don’t think he’s saying that the Tea Party wants to commit genocide against all blacks, just exploit and oppress them. And the slave trade wasn’t about wiping out blacks, but exploiting and oppressing them.

Heck, Mr. Visconti himself is a white guy. In fact, he’s “The White Guy,” according to his company’s web site. That itself opens up a whole ‘nother can of worms, but I think I’ll pass on that one.

No charge for the suggestion, Mr. Visconti. Consider it my contribution towards improving race relations in the US.

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