2012: A Year in Review

The article below ran in the January 2013 edition of Searchlight, an anti-racist, anti-fascist magazine published monthly in London with international distribution.  It analyzes Klan, neo-Nazi and Tea Party activity during 2012, and recounts some of the movement's most violent episodes.  At the end, please note the data that points towards problems in the future.

2012: A Year in Review

By Leonard Zeskind and Devin Burghart

The year began with whimpers from white nationalists about the decay of their supposed civilization.  And it ended with a bang from gunners screaming about their rights after yet another mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school. Election year events dominated the ebb and flow of the far right, the racists and the bigots.  In between, skinheads and assorted Aryan-types were arrested and convicted in multiple instances of horrific violence. 

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What to Expect from the Tea Parties in 2013 - And How to Stop it

The congressional vote at the turn of the New Year should tell us something about what to expect in 2013. Although a boiled down half-measure aimed at avoiding the fiscal cliff passed, a strong "no" vote from the far right bucked Speaker Boehner's leadership. The fact that a new session in January will bring in new faces, will not likely change the shape of this obstructive bloc. Remember, Tea Party-endorsed candidates won nearly 80% of their House races last house November, a higher rate than in 2010. They will likely oppose every moderate or slightly progressive proposal over the year to come.

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The Tea Parties Are Still Strong: Prepare for the Battles Ahead

In Michigan, so-called right to work legislation has been signed. As everyone knows, such legislation has nothing to do with finding and keeping a job, and everything to do with driving down the political power and membership density of unions. Just four short years ago, this measure would have been considered inconceivable in Michigan. Earlier this year, many union officials scoffed at its prospect. Now it has become law.

What has so sharply changed the balance of forces? Simply put: the Tea Party movement has radicalized a large swath of white people and made them immune to any calls for the common good.

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Tea Party Helps Cram Through Michigan Anti-Union “Right to Work” Law

Ben Stewart presents an on-the-ground look at anti-union events in Michigan

Almost three thousand union members and supporters streamed into the Michigan state capital in Lansing on Thursday, December 6.   Many arrived via the Walter Reuther Expressway from Detroit.  Protestors donned hard hats, scrubs and overalls, chanting “Hey Hey! Ho Ho! Right to Work Has Got to Go!” As police lines held back the crowds of union members, and locked them out of the governors’ office building and the Capitol, the reality began to sink in. Michigan was going to be a “right to work” state.

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Could William Buckley Defeat the Tea Parties?

A Response to David Welch in The New York Times.

It is IREHR’s policy to use this website for new data-driven research and analysis, not as a place to regurgitate newspaper headlines or use it as a debate-centered discussion forum.  Nevertheless, an opinion piece in the December 4, 2012 New York Times by David Welch, which called for William Buckley-like figures to marginalize the Tea Party movement and push it outside the bounds of conservative respectability, bears a thoughtful response. Indeed, Welch offers a well-considered, if ultimately wrong, strategy for reducing the Tea Parties to “pariah” status.

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New Danger: Secessionist Fever Rising

Not since Lincoln became president and the start of the Civil War has there been so much talk about tearing our country apart.

Since the November election, petitions have been created to "peacefully grant" states the right to "withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government." The petitions are housed on the White House's "We the People" website, and the signatures come from all 50 states.

Several of these petitions were started by Tea Party leaders angered by the re-election of President Obama (more on that later). Just three weeks after the election, the number of signatures of those secession petitions has grown to 825,554. Below you'll find a map visualizing the number of secession petition signatures in each state.

IREHR will continue keeping a close eye on efforts to rip the bonds of our union asunder.

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Tea Party Endorsed Candidates and Election 2012

In the Senate races, Tea Party-endorsed candidates fared even worse in 2012 than they did in 2010. This year, national Tea Party groups and their PACs endorsed thirteen candidates. Eleven lost. Only Jeff Flake in Arizona and Ted Cruz in Texas won, giving them a 15% winning percentage in 2012. By contrast, in 2010 10 of 16 Tea Party endorsed candidates won – a 62.5% winning percentage.

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Steve Stockman, Again

Just behind Florida's slate of eleven candidates, the state of Texas had nine Tea Party endorsed candidates. All nine were elected, in some cases by wide and unassailable margins. Louie Gohmert (R. TX-01) won with over 71% of the vote. Randy Neugebauer (R. TX-19) had no Democratic opponent and received 85%. Ted Poe (R. TX-12) pulled almost 65%, and so on. Joining, or more properly, rejoining this grouping in congress will be Steve Stockman. Stockman defeated two opponents with more money in the Republican primaries for Texas' 36th CD, and then won the November contest with 71.8% of the vote. He was endorsed by former Texas Congressman Dick Armey's FreedomWorks Tea Party faction along the way.

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Abridging the Vote: True the Vote in North Carolina

Foreword: Where We Are in History

By Rev. Dr. William Barber II
President, North Carolina NAACP

 

We must admit that the history of voting in this country is a curious, contentious and contorted story.

And when you know this history; when you know where we are in history; then you understand why the NAACP and the civil rights community stand firm against any attempt to suppress, stagnate or violate the fundamental principles of the 15th Amendment. Ratified in 1870 in the aftermath of slavery, it declares that the "right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude."

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About IREHR

The Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights (IREHR) is a national organization with an international outlook examining racist, anti-Semitic, white nationalist, and far-right social movements, analyzing their intersection with civil society and social policy, educating the public, and assisting in the protection and extension of human rights through organization and informed mobilization.

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