Sunday, April 4, 2010

Is the Advance ripping us off?

Probably not. More likely, it's a coincidence.

We'll try to explain: bear with us.

On Thursday, the Dump wrote a piece about racism and right-wing politics on Staten Island. Today the Staten Island Advance published an opinion piece on racism and right-wing politics. Again, purely coincidental.

The op-ed is not online, but it looks like the paper published this piece that argues how the roots of Tea Party emanated from segregationists of the '60s South and the movement has similar ideological strains and intimidation tactics to those racist groups.

"The angry faces at tea party rallies are eerily familiar. They resemble faces of protesters lining the street at the University of Alabama in 1956 as Autherine Lucy, the school's first black student, bravely tried to walk to class."

Nothing earth-shattering really. This has been written about before in many other places: here is Frank Rich's NYT piece which strikes a similar tone. Also, this from Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post is in the same vein. And Kelefa Sanneh's epic, comprehensive piece on white culture for the New Yorker.

Today's Advance piece is a syndicated column, written by a Pulitzer winner. Basically the Advance or anyone who subscribes to this service can lift it and place it on their own paper. (So it's not an 'Advance' writer. Just an Op-Ed writer.)

OK. So the local wingnut chapter of the Tea Party is not happy with this piece. In fact, they've gone ape-shit crazy.

They are planning an all out war on the paper, telling members to cancel their subscriptions and boycott all the paper's advertisers. That is not a joke.

The leaders are currently gathering a "list of advertisers" to boycott, sorta like McCarthy. So if your company happens to advertise in the Advance (the only local paper on Staten Island) you are now subject to losing customers because some people don't like something they read in the paper.

Oh, and one of the Republican congressional candidates has weighed in on this urgent matter:
"I would be remiss if I didn't rebuke the disgraceful rhetoric that is infecting the national media and now the local media here in Staten Island. The notion that the Tea Party Movement is in any way motivated by racism is a disgusting and baseless untruth. I know many of these Patriotic members and I salute every one ...of these proud Americans that voice their opinions, getting peacefully involved in our democracy."
- Mike Grimm, Republican, candidate for congress, Tea Party Panderer

First: to the Advance

Thank you for publishing this piece. Not because we agree with it, exactly, but because it is a point-of-view that needs to be heard and will hopefully spark some soul-searching among the racists of Staten Island, of which there are many.

Next: to the Tea Party

Are you effin' serious? You're over-reacting. This is an opinion piece, and it's not even written by a staffer. Get over it.

The Staten Island Advance is not a mouth-piece for your fringe political group. In fact, the paper has gone way overboard on promoting your little rallies. Are you really going to go up against the one institution that has basically legitimized you time and time again?

Good luck with that.


  1. PLEASE SUBMIT THIS TO THE ADVANCE. Ahem, I mean, please submit this to the Advance.

  2. I've followed all of this stuff pretty closely. In part because my parents are activists on the other side of the spectrum, and it interests me when conservatives take a page from their book RE: protests. In part because it scares me--sure, anarchists may destroy property at McDonalds, but they aren't usually spewing racism and threatening/encouraging actual violence. There's a big difference between peaceful acts of civil disobedience and saying the tree of liberty needs to be watered with the blood of Obama.

    I agree with your sentiment, Joe. Over and over, I'm amazed at the general 'wussy' quality of libs, dems, etc. when facing down people who are flat out wrong or far out of line. People on the left need to learn to fight fire with fire when it comes to messaging and rhetoric. Writing Op. Eds like this is a start.

    Also, the media ought to call this sort of thing what it is, and stop playing "he said, she said" without any analysis. People often don't trust the media because the media seems to be trying to look like it is without morals or motive, and I think in that sense, objectivity is a pipe dream, and the public knows it. So the media should stop pretending.

    Here's a more specific idea: the Advance should acknowledge that, at least suggested by the comments on SiLive, racism is an issue on Staten Island, and the paper should face that down in it's own way. Host a round table. Try and inspire real discussion online about the problem. Something. If the Advance can do Women Of Achievement and Staten Island All Stars dinners, they can work to inspire recognition of the increasing diversity of Staten Island, and to combat the obvious issue of racism among its readers.

  3. Why do you state your opinions anonymously? What are you afraid of....the racists are going to come to your house?

    We don't work like that. You're just a kool aid drinker for Obama (a useful idiot as Stalin might say) and you're probably young? So the joke is going to be on you if all of this socialism and deficits continue. But you'll probably just roll a doobie and shrug it off like all the young and uninformed these days. Wake up. Grow up.

  4. As always the easiest way to diffuse an argument: Attack the messenger

    for those not keeping track according to Russ the SI Dump is:

    1. a kool aid drinker for Obama
    2. a useful idiot
    3. young
    4. a pothead
    5. uninformed
    6. needs to grow up

    btw, you say "we don't work like that" implying "we" mean "racists."

    How exactly do racists work? Maybe you could tell us something about that instead of meaningless personal attacks.

  5. Well, normally I don't name call. However, seeing as how this article and people like you who perpetuate it as truth or in any way related to reality, I answered in kind.

    Here's what it's really all about Dump, you've probably never even been to a Tea Party event. You form your opinions based on an impression that the mainstream media and comics like Jon Stewart and Colbert create. You take their drivel as gospel and run with it, no matter who you slander in the process. All of which keeps you and your likeminded friends from ever confronting the real issues in the debate.

    I've been to every Staten Island Tea Party event, and also several of the DC events and there was never racists overtones anywhere to be found at any of them. There were a few nut cases with signs that went over the line in DC on 9/12, but I mean a few, and the fact that half the event speakers were African American and Latino should say all that needs to be said in answer to your slur. Also, I stood beside people of different races and political backgrounds at these events and spoke to them personally about the issues that concern ALL of us Americans.

    Barack Obama's race has never come up as an issue among the leadership at these events, nor is it of concern to the vast majority of the millions of us who self identify as "Tea Party."

    What we do stand for are the following:

    The Tea Party seeks smaller, responsible government whose main job is to protect it's citizens from enemies foreign and domestic (unfortunately, we have plenty of both).

    We seek fiscal sanity from our governing leaders instead of the endless squandering of our wealth and the wealth of our children and grandchildren.

    We seek self sufficiency instead of dependance upon hostile countries for our energy needs and capital.

    We believe in the lowest taxation possible so that individuals can rise to higher levels and spend the money they earn as they, and not government bureaucrats, so choose.

    We seek individual freedom and liberty as granted to us in our Constitution and Bill of Rights.

    We seek to strengthen and grow our free market economy and preserve Capitalism, which is the engine of our free society.

    We want freedom of choice, competition, tort reform and a market based healthcare system.

    We want our leaders to put country before party affiliation, and to work together to build a greater, stronger America that is SECOND TO NONE.

    And if you or any American has a problem with any of that then....please refer to my previous post because your problems run a hell of a lot deeper than I've even outlined thus far.

  6. "We seek fiscal sanity from our governing leaders instead of the endless squandering of our wealth and the wealth of our children and grandchildren."

    So I assume you were out protesting during the 8 years of Bush as well.

    We did have a surplus in 2000. Where did that go exactly?