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Garofalo: Led by Limbaugh, 'Tea-Baggers' a 'White Power Movement' Motivated by 'Racism'

"Actress/activist" Janeane Garofalo used another media appearance to smear anti-Obama protesters as racists, this time, Friday night on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, insisting "it's obvious to anybody who has eyes in this country that tea-baggers, the 9-12ers" are "clearly white power movements" led "by the Glenn Becks, the Michelle Bachmans, the Rush Limbaughs."

She fretted that "so few people are willing to say that yes it is racism, straight up racism," before confusing which party controlled segregationist southern states: "The Republican Party has been willing to carry water for racists in this country since about the 1950s." Garofalo proceeded to repeat a charge she's made often: "Fox News is happy to feed into this; AM radio is happy to feed into this," including "this tacit nudging towards violence." [Audio: MP3 clip]

(Garofalo's lengthy diatribe on MSNBC back in April.)

Garofalo's rant, on the Friday, October 2 edition of HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher:

It's obvious to anybody who has eyes in this country that tea-baggers, the 9-12ers, these separatist groups that pretend that it's about policy - they are clearly white-identity movements. They're clearly white power movements. What they don't like about the President is that he's black - or half black (applause) - and they, what also is shocking is that people keep pretending that that's not really the case with these people.

I'm not talking about people that do have problems with his policies, that's fine. But these people, who are also being led by the Glenn Becks, the Michelle Bachmans, the Rush Limbows [presumably Limbaugh], whomever, they are no different than any other white identify movement that's part of our history. This has been going on since the founding of this country that white power movements have tried to establish themselves and hold onto power.

It's very weird that whenever this comes up in conversation, so few people are willing to say that yes it is racism, straight up racism. And the Republican Party has been willing to carry water for racists in this country since about the 1950s. (Applause)

Electorally, these white power people don't have their own party - maybe they will one day - so they are electorally-dependent on the Republicans. But also troubling, Fox News is happy to feed into this; AM radio is happy to feed into this. They will continue to do this til somebody does something.

What you're saying [Thomas Friedman] is absolutely true, there's this tacit nudging towards violence. Then also, how about showing up armed? What if black people showed up armed at a McCain rally? What would be the response of that?

- Brent Baker is Vice President for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center