Chauncey DeVega

Chauncey DeVega
Chicago, Illinois, USA
September 11
A (Sometimes) Respectable Negro
Editor and Founder of the blog We Are Respectable Negroes He has been a guest on the BBC, Ring of Fire Radio, Ed Schultz, Joshua Holland's Alternet Radio Hour, the Burt Cohen show, and Our Common Ground. His essays have been featured by Salon, Alternet, the New York Daily News, and the Daily Kos. The NY Times, the Daily Beast, the Utne Reader, Washington Monthly, Slate, and the Week (among others) have featured his expert commentary and analysis on race, politics, and popular culture.

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Editor’s Pick
MARCH 22, 2010 2:32PM

How Much is Michael Steele's Soul Worth?

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Steele rejected the notion that the incident may make any association with the Tea Party Movement a danger. 

“It’s not a danger,” Steele told NBC’s “Meet the Press on Sunday.” “It’s certainly not a reflection of the movement or the Republican Party when you have idiots out there saying stupid things.”

Folks are quite rightly upset by the Tea Baggers in Washington D.C. hurling of racial epithets at civil rights icon Representative John Lewis and calling Barney Frank a “faggot.” The Tea Party health care brigades were thorough as they also spat upon and threatened other members of Congress.

What befuddles me about this episode is how some among the public seem surprised and shocked by the Tea Baggers dropping their mask and showing us who they have always been. As I said before, these are a bunch of neo-John Birchers whose grandparents were likely members of the Klan or White Citizens’ Councils (the younger members of the tea bag cadre were likely more benign as they merely threw rocks at black school children trying to integrate schools in places like Boston). So please, spare me the gasps at their foul behavior. To paraphrase Forrest Gump, “White trash is as White trash does.”

What I find more interesting, not so much as it is a surprise, but it begs a question, is how Michael Steele, Chairman of the GOP can continue to support this movement? Once more, Black Conservatives vex me: you have one more instance in a clear pattern of abusive and racially reactionary behavior by the neo-populist Palin Tea Party Right wing and the titular head of the (Black) Republican establishment continues to make excuses.

To illustrate the point, here is one of the masters to whom Mr. Steele is beholden:


 Pray tell Mr. Steele, how much is your soul worth? Did you sell it to the Devil for 50 dollars? Did you sell it for a million?  To black conservatives more generally, when will you publicly denounce the Tea Party? Are you ashamed of Michael Steele’s excuse making? What more will it take for you to say “not in my name?”

From Fox News (so you know it must be true) here is an account of the Tea Party love fest in D.C. on Saturday. As is my tradition, here is the Vox populi aka the peanut gallery…once more the rabble makes clear the depths of their stupidity and bigotry:

Totally fake. Those racial slurs were made by dems pretending to be tea party attendees. Dems can only win when they cheat, they can only succeed with their plans when the steal and lie. How do they sleep at night? Pray they will have a day of judgement soon.–kate999

Representative Rangel draws attention to himself through his comments. There certainly are African-Americans involved in the Tea Party. He’s either not watching or is in denial. This isn’t about race, it’s about taxes and spending. The fact that Rep. Lewis may have been targeted for his past history with the Civil Rights movement raises another suspicion that this was an orchestrated attack designed to discredit the Tea Party movement and make a race concern out of a “tax and spend” issue. These red flags just keep popping up.–mdm12

Typical Democrat trick used over and over again. It is really getting old. Remember these Progressives and their fellow travelers will stop at nothing as they believe that the end justifies the means.–munimula

While it is true that almost anyone is capable of almost anything, it is hard to accept that people who align themselves with the Tea Party movement would in that way. Especially after the very large public gatherings a few months ago. I would not be surprised if those who behaved badly were planted there in order to cast a negative on the Tea Party and the Repulican party.–rodz1

Is this report confirmed? If so, it should be condemmed. I would bet money that it is a Dem plant though… I don’t put anything past these guys. They (Dems) are as crooked as a dog’s leg.–raketenmann

Enough coverage of this bogus BS. It was yet another SEIU set up. No one but the hard left is falling for it.

glad to see that most posters realize that the so called slurs were probably a plant by SCIU or union thugs. The media dreams that they really happened because everything to them is about the glorius stuggle against the evil white man. These femmy media phonies always ignore hate crimes commited againsy white people.It probably turns these white media fairies on that hate crimes are ignored when their against anyone with there mommas skin color. When they cannot win an aguement they scream, racist sexist anti gay, so I tell these squeeling white fem boys fly away.–daniel7778

I awould like to think these racial slurs are from plants thrown in by those wanting to give a negative image to we Tea Party Patriots. Too many people do not understand the integerity of the most of those involved in the local Tea Party groups. I feel this type of outbursts are not from our people–kdwain

Only a democrat would make a racial slur.–tomos

Is this what is necessary to get the press to report on the massive Tea Party movement? If it’s anything negative, even unsubstantiated, it gets reported? I agree with the other posters who have made comments such as, “IF THERE WERE RACIAL SLURS SAID, IT WAS PROBABLY A PAID UNION PLANT THUG.”–americanadian

Please stop hiding behind supposed racial predjudice.–loisdad

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Soul, what soul? His was sold to the lunatic fringe!
Steele was a worthless piece of trash as our one term Lt. Gov. and is still even a bigger parasite on society now. He managed to tap into make a ton of money by doing nothing except kissing whitey's ass old boys network.
Something can't be worth something if it doesnt exist

(translation: Michael Steele has no soul!)
rush limbaugh told him he couldn't.
Michael Steele had indeed sold his soul. Apparently, material wealth and the delusion of true acceptance among Republicans has made him a slave to them. He is a token who is exploiting his role. If that rocks his boat, so be it. He has probably already identified himself "humoursly" as n----r to some of his colleagues. They're using him and he's using them. If the money was right, I sure he wouldn't mind literally bending over.
My impression of Steele is that his whole adult persona is predicated on rejecting the black community and identifying with the Republicans. If he condemned the Tea Party folks as racists, Steele would also be saying that his adult life has been entirely misguided. That's tough for anyone to do.
Why? Really ? Really!?
I'm with you, Chauncey. Although on the one hand I'm not surprised at the ubiquity of the banal racism that runs like a vein through the blood of some whites, I occasionally wonder what goes on in Michael Steele's head.

As for the true colors of the tea partiers, I was educated on that pretty directly here in Strongsville, Ohio, when the President came to this/my conservative suburb to sell us and Kucinich on the bill. Not having had any direct contact with the tea partiers, I had sort of expected my own upper middle class suburban neighbors to take part in the orchestrated protests of the tea partiers. But at the venue where the President was to speak (I was working as an usher), it soon became clear that there was this cultural/socioeconomic distinction between the conservatives I know personally--the ones who send their children to private schools and eat out at fancy restaurants and live well--and the tea partiers who'd come in to town from parts south. It is almost impossible to convey this distinction without using the awful and stereotypical expression "white trash." My own conservative neighbors did indeed attend the event, mostly simply to get close to a POTUS, but the others were all that we've seen on TV and more: rude, abusive, caustic, crass. I won't get into detail, but I can tell you this: I recognized them a mile away, and they did not come as a group. I could pick them out one by one, using the cultural cues that are verboten to speak of, such as the screaming flag-decorated clothing, unkempt hair, cigarette-saturated clothing. It's all so awful to contemplate that I'm spelling it out so callously, but it was honestly a revelation to me.

So the question becomes: when do the "thoughtful conservatives," the "respectable and respectful conservatives," the "decent conservatives" tell the tea partiers to take a hike? I was proud of my actual neighbors for listening to the President respectfully, for welcoming him dutifully if not entirely enthusiastically. And I must say there existed a kind of acknowledgment of the unseemliness of their ideological counterparts, but I wonder to this day: Was their discomfort out of a sense of ethics, a sense of indignation at the lack of respect shown the President and the process? Or was it simply a social snobbery related more directly to class? Can one separate the two? I worry about that.
Michael Steele gave away his soul and any sense of integrity he once had the moment he accepted the RNC chairmanship. Those are prerequisites for that position.
Malcolm X Explains it All For You:
Simple answer is Steele can't reject that which he favors - he is in lockstep with the rest of the party which is a terrible shame for all the struggles fought for to allow him to attain his position.
A bigot does NOT know that they are a bigot.

The irrational use of the term "socialist" is really a substitute for the "N-word" and is used with the same emotional bigotry.

That is why the collection of vehement anti-Obama people are really advocating a form of government called an Idiocracy based upon mob rule and innuendo (public lies). These same irrational critics are the ones who still believe the lies of Weapons of Mass Destruction and the virtues of Enron, the danger of a responsible SEC, love the malapropisms of George Boob #43, and the deviousness of Dick Cheney.

I am not surprised that one vehement anti-Obama critic that I know is the daughter of a Klu Klux Klan Grand Dragon.

And Steele's hypocrisy further substantiates that the Republican Party has done more harm to our country in the last 9 years than the Communist Party ever did.
Tea-Baggers... I have never in my life heard of a political party so appropriately named.
jymallyn: The irrational use of the term "socialist" is really a substitute for the "N-word" and is used with the same emotional bigotry.

I'm not so sure. Don't you think the fringe right would be throwing around the "socialist" term had Hillary Clinton won? I have relatives who called her that in the nineties, when she wasn't even the one making policy.

trunky: Who's talking about restricting free speech? Castigating bad behavior and speech, highlighting it for all the world to see, criticizing it: these are not the same thing as calling for laws against it. As for the expressions you mention: You touch on the very thing I was wondering about: At some level, is this just a class war after all? Whether we're talking about African Americans (who, by virtue of their skin color, have a history of oppression) or "white trash," we're talking about a people who are not in power. In the meta sense.

I think you and caracalla are dismissing the influence of environment on habits and behavior. It's not so easy simply to renounce an entire cultural experience and move over to a way of being that someone else calls acceptable. You and I might define it as such, but who is to say we're right? You need to think deeper, imo.
I lost into the blogosphere a comment.
In my opinion, Steele sold out real bah.
He's a cohort with Beelzebub and flies.
He cares zilch for his race? Ask Steele?
Who wimp? Steel cowers at the white?
Who else do? O cower, plead mercies?
O abolitionist? O Kow tow? Ask MLK?
Gandhi, Willian O Douglas? O Momma.
It's dang clear. They are wimpy wastrels.
First, thank you for the hilarious clip. Ah, Jon Lovitz! What happened to you?
As for that other actor, Michael Steele, pretending to integrity and respectability, fawning and scraping, while he seethes with jealousy -- imagine what goes on in his mind as he sees Barack Obama.... Racist whites have always found people of color to be their puppets -- Native folks know this one all too well. And these Tea Party bloggers who were awake in their grammar school history classes for perhaps the one day they were interested? Anything with "rebellion" or "taxation" in it woke them up out of the sullen torpor they live in, but context is so boring to deal with -- and facts? Please.
This is just the same old hysterical entitlement and selfishness hiding behind false names and avatars. And this is an old tradition, too. In Colonial America, anonymous writers made incendiary and libelous comments with impunity -- it's easy to say vile, racist and homophobic things if you don't have to be accountable for your words. No one is trying to silence these people. But I do wish Steele would shut up. He's a disaster and, sorry, as they said in the 19th century, a "shame to the race." Let's update it and make it the human race.
I would not be surprised if those who behaved badly were planted there in order to cast a negative on the Tea Party and the Repulican card debt help
Conservative strategist William Kristol, former South Carolina party chairman Katon Dawson and other Republicans are calling for the resignation of Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele over Steele's suggestion that the U.S. effort in Afghanistan is doomed.
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