Of Captain America and Tax Protests

February 19th, 2010 | by Sqotty |

It’s been just over a week now since the firestorm over Captain America #602 and the racist/tea party connection hit the internet and the news. I picked up a copy of Cap and gave it a read. It was my first comic book in over 10 years. Things have changed. Not just for Captain America, now Bucky, but the way comics are printed. Nice slick paper and rich inks.

But it is the content that is making news waves. In one panel, we have The Falcon, the first mainstream black super hero, while observing a group of tax protestors, complain that he would “not fit in with a bunch of angry white people.” Among the protestors, there is a sign that reads “Tea bag the Libs before they tea bag us.” Boom! firestorm. The Tea Party movement is nothing but a bunch of “angry white people” in the eyes of the writer, Brubaker. The EoC of Marvel, Joe Quesada, asserts that it was a bad choice, a mistake, should not have gotten through the editorial review, yadadadah. Okay, I can buy that. Quesada even admitted in CBR’s “Cup O’ Joe” that he could see how people would be upset by it and interpret it the way it is being taken: a slam against the tax protestors, and the Tea Party movement, as being a bunch of racists.

I doubt that Quesada has any secret agenda, other than making money for Marvel, and there isn’t anything secret about that. I don’t think the sign used was such a bad choice, except in the context it was used, with angry mobs (something I have never witnessed at the Tax Cut rallies I have attended…more of a good-natured party atmosphere from what I have seen) and the Falcon saying “how is a black guy from Brooklyn supposed to fit in with a bunch of angry white people.” Brubaker, with those words, made the tax protesters out to be racists. Not the choice of signs.

There are people within the Tea Party movement that were offended by The Falcon’s racially motivated slur and the perceived association that the protestors were part of the Tea Party movement. An easy association to make as, A) they were protesting taxes, B) signs were derived from Tea Party rallies, including the infamous “Tea bag the Libs” sign, C) the Left keeps claiming that the movement is nothing but a bunch of “angry white people that hate Obama because he is black, and therefore they are racists”. I can see why there are people ticked off about this.

But there are other troubling problems with Captain America #602. Bucky, using the Falcon’s analysis that he wouldn’t fit in with a “bunch of angry white people” uses that as the basis of his plan to infiltrate the Watchdogs. The Falcon shows up in a bar as a black IRS agent wanting to audit the bar owner. Bucky hits him and throws him out of the bar as a means to win his way into the Watchdogs. Bucky obviously agrees with the Falcon that the tax protestors, and the Watchdogs, are racist in their nature.

An additional troubling point is that when the Watchdogs meet with the 1950s Captain America, they make reference to how a couple of their potential recruits are military guys just returned from the Middle East. Wasn’t there a document from one of the states, and another form Homeland Security stating that military veterans returning from Iraq were considered likely recruits by militia groups? Yeppers.

However, it is a comic book. It’s entertainment, written primarily by Leftists for Leftists. I wouldn’t let my daughter read anything that Marvel or DC is churning out these days. Fortunately she is only four and not ready for comic books yet.

On the entertaining side is what people, to be accurate, commenters, on various sites have had to say about it. I responded to some of the really idiotic comments, trying to straighten them out, on one site, but the site’s editors chose not to publish my comments, preferring instead profanity laced diatribes and Leftist claims about the Tea Party movement.

One of my favorite screeds in regards to Captain America #602 comes from someone identifying himself (herself?) as HurtsSoGood on IO9:

So how come nearly all the ones who get their pictures taken for the media are white, middle-aged to elderly, and appear to be from the lower echelons of our society?

Tell me, where are the African-American teabaggers?
The Hispanic-American teabaggers?
The Asian-American teabaggers?
The middle-class suburban teabaggers?
The liberal teabaggers?
The college-educated teabaggers?

Diverse my ass.

Since IO9 chose not to post my response to this person, I’m rewriting it, posting it here, and adding a choice video to back up my statements.

@HurtsSoGood: Being one of the people who has been attending tax-cut rallies for most of the last 10 years, I can answer your questions: the Media prints only that which validates their agenda of depicting people in the Tea Party movement in a fashion to marginalize them An example is when MSNBC took a video clip of a guy with an AR-15 to a rally in Arizona. MSNBC cropped the video footage so that you could not see the guy’s skin, let alone his face. They railed about how racist these rallies are because Obama is black and the protestors, especially the ones with the guns, are white. Yet in the original video of the guy with the AR-15 at the rally clearly shows that he is black. As for who the “teabaggers” are, be aware that that is an offensive term, and has no bearing on the Tea Party movement, so, unless you mean it in the usual sense in referring to the sex-act, in which case, look to the MoveOn crowd for teabaggers.

The people who gather, whether for a small event or large, are a diverse mix of people, both racially, economic, and education. Many have college degrees, some are left-of-center politically, most are classical liberals (that’s where I generally fit in, or you could use the term Constitutional Conservative), and that covers your question of “are there liberals in the Tea Party movement”. Many have served in the Armed Forces of this country (a category I fall into). Most are middle-class working stiffs. Some, like myself, also have the honor of serving our community in an elected office. At the events I have attended, some of the speakers have been black, others have been Asian, and still others have been Hispanic. Yes, there have also been speakers who were white. So what? What has the color of a person’s skin got to do with political issues, especially taxes and government spending?

Occasionally you may see a sign at these events that one can find offensive. Some, such as those depict Obama as Hitler (I have only seen this in news articles, not at rallies I have attended), were plants by wacko groups like the Lyndon LaRouche Society. But contrast that with the signs and screaming anger of the anti-War protesters hurled at a few people who gathered at a support the troops rally when the GOP national convention was taking place. Some of those nuts (and not all those protesting the war are nuts, but some are) walked up and down our line giving us the middle finger and shouting “F*** You!” Nice bunch. Most of the support the troops attendees were Gold Star Families.

Since there are those who may still doubt this, here’s a video by Randy Haddock on youtube.

Any rate, that’s the gist of my response, and is a rewrite of it, rather than verbatim. I doubt that HurtsSoGood is going to see this post, let alone read it, but ya never know. If he does, I doubt it will change is viewpoint. People like HurtsSoGood are like the hardcore Birthers in that no matter how much hardcopy evidence is pushed in front of them, they won’t accept facts as being facts and stick to their preconceived (ill-conceived?) beliefs.

One thing the writers and editors need to remember, though, is that our great nation was founded due to a tax revolt.

Captain America #603 is supposed to be on the stands. I plan on giving it a read, to see what is happening next, and if the firestorm over #602 is more of an isolated incident than trendsetting. Until then, as Stan Lee would say, ’nuff said.

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