Monday, April 20, 2009

If you think taxes are too high, then Janeane Garofalo says you're a racist

On April 15, demonstrators around the nation protested our country's current tax system by participating in gatherings called "tea parties." I did not participate in one, but I have plenty of problems with our current tax structure. The Internal Revenue Service's tax code is way too complex, and many people are taxed so much that it creates legitimate hardship in their lives.

I thought the "tea parties" were an interesting way to express displeasure, and the first amendment certainly protects the rights of the protesters to state their points. There were plenty of comments after these rallies, but the most laughable ones were made by actress/comedian Janeane Garofalo.

She said this on Keith Olbermann's show on MSNBC:

"Let's be very honest about what this is about. It's not about bashing Democrats, it's not about taxes, they have no idea what the Boston tea party was about, they don't know their history at all. This is about hating a black man in the White House. This is racism straight up. That is nothing but a bunch of teabagging rednecks."

Those are pretty remarkable comments. First of all, when did Garofalo gain the track record and credentials to be taken seriously as a pundit about taxes and race relations? I know she did some talk radio stuff, but there is no way she should be a credible resource for a news program that airs during prime time.

Of course, we are talking about Keith Olbermann's program. Though I enjoy his writings on baseball, he has no business hosting a news program. He does not attempt to present impartial discussions regarding the issues of the day. It has been embarrassing watching him sell out to the Obama administration. If it was physically possible for him to get pregnant and deliver a child with the president as the father, I am convinced he would do it.

As for Garofalo, the most damaging thing she said in her comments was to play the race card. There were scores of different ways to critique the demonstrations, but she took an amateurish approach and blamed it on race.

Her comments are exactly why many people are hesitant to enter into meaningful discussions about the racial climate in America. People are afraid they will be branded a racist if the people they are having the dialogue with do not agree with their comments.

And that is a crying shame.

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