As has been now widely reported by mainstream media, more than 600 people gathered for the first ever Tea Party Convention in Nashville, Tennessee on February of 2010. The 'teabaggers' reveled as they sat there listening to hateful speech after hateful speech by the likes of their champions Tom Tancredo and Sarah Palin among others. The rhetoric, the signs and the vitriol sounded familiar:
- "President Obama wants to turn the country into a third world country."
- "Immigrants are taking over the United States, they must be sent to where they came from"
- "This is our nation and we should take it back"
- "Make English America's official language"
- "Congress loves Illegals"
To the chants of "Take Our Nation Back," the "teabaggers" turned political speech into a display of incoherent intolerance and racism.
The convention represented the launching point for what has become a full-fledged attack and repudiation of one community in particular: Latinos.
Deep-rooted within the Tea Party ideals is not only the belief that immigrants - along with Latinos in general - are what is inherently wrong with the state of the nation but also a thinly veiled attempt to disguise behind an economic argument a very latent and dangerous prejudice. It is also a calculated political ploy to undermine what is likely to become a powerful block in the upcoming electoral cycle.
Seemingly, Tea Partiers as a group believe they have found their perfect scapegoats. They see in Latinos a fast and easy attack. Thinking, hoping and expecting that the battle will be one way, that the response will be null and that Latinos will not be ready or organized enough to fight back.
A new series by the project Cuéntame is precisely channeling this Latino anger and frustration through video segments aimed at exposing "teabaggers'" true colors. It features all the racist speeches, the violent words, and actions, letting their predominantly Latino audience judge for themselves whether the Tea Party truly represents a legitimate movement or is yet another example of the intolerance and discrimination Latinos face in today's society. The "teabaggers Series" as it is being called, also prompts the community to organize and to unite in an effort to fight back against the misconceptions and lies.
Ultimately the message Cuéntame is sending is that if "Tea Partiers" want to target and attack the Latino community through the use of prejudice and flat out racism as a way to advance their political agenda they will not face a silent and dormant opposition.