It also explains why government would be a target of their ire, because traditionally, government has given people of color more access to jobs and opportunity than the private sector.
It wasn’t until Obama was elected to head the government that a mostly-white, Tea Party movement decided that they no longer had any use for it.
Suddenly, they didn’t want to pay any more taxes. Suddenly, there was Texas Gov. Rick Perry and others engaging in silly secessionist talk. Jim Crow-era thoughts were resurrected about the federal government being their “oppressor” – because George W. Bush was no longer in charge.
So it isn’t exactly shocking that Congress’ tea partiers could care less about hurting black people who work for the government – and Americans who depend on its services.
But I fear this shutdown may last for some time.
Unlike the Newt Gingrich-inspired shutdown in 1995, this time the charge is being led by people who fervently believe their privilege exempts them from playing by the rules if a black man is in charge.
This time, we’re dealing with people who believe they’re fighting the civil war; who’ve deluded themselves into believing that forcing the nation to risk sliding into a recession again, furloughing workers and slowing down government services to veterans, children and other struggling people is worth the cost of trying to put the nation’s first black president in his place; to deprive him of his legacy.
This time, like the segregationists who once shuttered entire school systems to avoid integration, the GOP extremists who are behind this shutdown have fooled themselves into believing they’re patriots.
When, in fact, they’re anything but.
Tonyaa Weathersbee is an award-winning columnist based in Jacksonville, Fla. Follow her @tonyaajw. Or like her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/tonyaajweathersbee.