When tea party folks speak out at an AARP meeting they are called "seniors". When they speak at a tea party meeting they are called "old white people". Oops. Is my Eurpean heritage showing? Oh, my, I have to cover that up.
There is much to be learned about the issues and concerns being raised by the tea party without taking the emotion as the same as the substantive concerns. Quality of life issues are becoming more important in the political arena. And political parties would do better to address them. San Francisco is a sanctuary city that has displaced its African-American population. Violence continues to plague the Bay Area and ethnic conflicts are increasingly seen as the cause. Just recently the Asian community made a visible presence at the Board of Superviors about the assaults on their elderly. Public schools in the city have experienced "white flight" due to their dysfunctionality.
Although immigrants are provided with sanctuary in some CA cities, immigrants often remain trapped in the drug subeconomy or the lowest paid jobs, due partly because there is no capability of integrating them and no transition based on their skill sets.
How does one address a migration which goes beyond the carrying capacity of resources and public infrastructure? Teaching has become a field for Teach America and AmeriCorps kids, so Spanish speaking children do not have the needed content instruction in Spanish nor the qualified ESL teachers to make the transition to English. People pitch tent cities in Fresno and Sacramento as homelessness takes a significant leap in its quantitative character. Water resources have become a regular urban vs. rural (Northern CA vs. southern CA) conflict as demand increases and overpopulation expand urban needs in the Central Valley and southern California. Again, quality of life issues.
Denying the problems is not the same as providing solutions to real concerns. Marginalizing people and ridiculing them allows public officials from ever addressing what people are trying to say and projects the Dem-Repug conflict as if it had real substance in the policy arena. That is my problem with the Arizona boycott that has such a following with municipal leaders in L.A., San Jose and San Francisco. It's easier to point to Arizona than for them to address the real impacts in their own cities. Posturing- it's the favorite pastime of the Urban Democratic Machine and enables them from addressing the consequences of their actions.
Greens need to be much more cognizant of the political manipulations of the duopoly. Repugs are trying to assimilate the tea party and align it with their corporate base. Dems are trying to discredit the tea party to mobilize their urban bases despite the rampant injustice that pervades urban communities. Greens can address the issues of concern raised by the tea party without promoting the ethnic divisions that certain leaders of the duopoly are using for their own gain. We don't need to try and make them into a "Green" tea party. But it is worth our while to listen to what they are trying to say.
Population is a Green concern. Social services and public education are Green concerns. Equal justice is a Green concern. Political representation is a Green concern. Let's demand accountability of public officials right where we are. Let's oppose laws that racially profile. Let's organize as if the people in America are not enemies to be feared but have something substantive to say that we need to listen to. And let's show people that real leadership means formulating sound policies that are just and deal with peoples' concerns. We are all Americans and our fate is intertwined.