I speak for the LGBT Community. I do not mean that I am some kind of lesbian messiah, but that my voice reflects upon the LGBT Community. Everything that I say can and will be held against each and every one of my sisters and brothers in the LGBT Community. It is the same for every voice within the LGBT Community. We may not like that, but so long as my voice is being heard by someone, it can and likely will be used against us as a whole. It does not matter that my voice is my own opinion or slant on the news stories. What I say will be used to damn every last lesbian, gay, and transperson in the world. While we act as individuals, we are all held collectively responsible.
This is how the Tea Party is racist. Certainly many of the individuals within the Tea Party are not racist, homophobic, transphobic or bigoted. The problem is that enough of them are and enough of them are visibly so that all members of the Tea Party are racists. What is worse, this is even more true because many within the Tea Party are unwilling to condemn the racists that are within the overall movement. By claiming that the Tea Party is not racist and laying down the idea that the throwback in this whole thing is the NAACP, what many people do is simply perpetuate this belief that these statements, images and actions are not racism.
Racism, homophobia, misogyny are all rife within the Tea Party movement in the same way that they are not uncommon even within the LGBT movement. Tea Party placards showing President Barack Obama done up as a voodoo god are racist, and incidentally, the exact way that he is depicted equates him with a specific voodoo god. You will have to forgive me for not knowing which one as my training is predominantly in Pre-Christian European cultures. Tea Party slogans do not have to use racially charged words in order to be racist because the actions can be racist just as easily. The verbal assault on Members of Congress for being black or gay was not an isolated incident, and there are reports of many a white supremacist group rifling through the Tea Party groups to try and find recruits.
Whether the Tea Party- or the LGBT Community- likes it or not, we are all our brother’s keeper. What one of us does reflects on all of us, and that is especially true in this day and age. If we do not condemn a racist placard, a racist speech, misogyny or homophobia and transphobia, then we tacitly give the worst within our movements permission.
For the LGBT Community, the problems are not as rife, but they are there. For the Tea Party, it is far worse. Far too many of the people in the leadership are willing to not only not condemn blatant racism, but claim that it is not racism at all. It does not matter how many Tea Party people call for gang raping Nancy Pelosi or Michelle Obama. It does not matter if Rush Limbaugh talks about George Steinbrenner in a racist and race baiting manner. If these people are not condemned, then they are given permission to be racists, homophobes and misogynists.
For us in the LGBT Community, this is something that we are, slowly, becoming aware of. In the Tea Party, however, they are oblivious and angry that they are being called racists, homophobes and misogynists.