Message from the Tea Party to the Black Community–I will tell you at the outset that I hate to divide Americans into color communities, but I will do it now for my purposes-–The Tea Party is organized by the people, to save the American Dream for the people. America offers opportunities for excellence like no other nation in the history of the world. The Tea Party wants nothing more than for every American with drive, vision, and a willingness to work hard and sacrifice, to become wealthy to what ever degree is pleasing to them. No individual ever became wealthy while taking free stuff from the state. The state must steal from one to give to another. The government doesn’t create wealth, it destroys profit and kills incentive. The principles of Liberty and self-reliance espoused by the Tea Party are the only foundation upon which success and wealth can be discovered.The free market often rewards risk and entrepreneurial effort. The work of ones hands holds a promise for happiness that government cannot provide. There is no guarantee, but the rewards can be life-changing. The Tea Party wants every American to be happy, to keep what he has earned, and shoot for the stars without limits on imagination or potential. The Tea Party cheers success. And there would be no greater thing for us to cheer than to see Black Communities, which struggle with 17% unemployment and poverty rates of 27%, fully access the free market system and achieve great levels of success and wealth. Let me use one of my favorite movies to illustrate this point:
Not Ebony and Ivory, Bubba and Forrest. Two guys who just seemed to go together. Bubba of the big lip and Forrest of the simple mind were like twins, only not, since Bubba was black and Forrest was white. But they didn’t care. They were just two guys with big dreams, and even bigger work ethics. Forrest’s momma owned and ran a boarding house and Bubba’s momma was a servant in the home of a well-to-do white family. But things would change, as they always do, with a little dose of fate, and a big measure of the pursuit of happiness.
Bubba coaxed Forrest into his ambition of owning a shraymp boat (in Alabama “shrimp” has two or three syllables, depending on your latitude). Their plans were laid as, between firefights and marches in the jungles of Vietnam, they dreamed of the Gulf coast. Bubba’s vision was ended when he was eviscerated by an enemy mortar. Forrest, while cradling his dying friend, made a silent pledge to be a proxy for Bubba’s aspirations. When Forrest returned home after healing and the fanfare of heroism, he bought a shraymp boat and proceeded to carry out Bubba’s truncated dream.
Forrest, whose star of serendipity shone upon him brightly once more, went very big with the “Bubba Gump Shrimp” company. His boat turned into a fleet, and the fleet turned into more money than Forrest would ever know what to do with. Forrest gave Bubba’s portion to his momma in Bayou La Batre. This is where the story of a faithful chum gives way to a tableau of the American Dream. The following scene is one of the most satisfying in the movie, when we see Bubba’s momma, confidently seated in an elegant dining room, as a white servant lady walks in to serve her dinner.
I remember seeing this for the first time at a cinema. There were audible sighs of delight from the audience, a few knowing laughs, and quietly my heart sang, “YES!” This was not a racial moment, a reversal of fortune, or tit for tat envy. What makes the story of Bubba’s momma so captivating is the idea that success can result from risk, and that honorable Capitalism blesses everybody involved. We weren’t pleased because a black woman bested her white employees. We were happy that Bubba’s momma became wealthy, and had enough money to pay someone else to do a job which she wanted done, a job by the way, for which she had a special appreciation.
My wish is not for a shrimp boat, I’m allergic. But like Bubba and Forrest, I want to succeed in the dreams of my choice. I want everyone to strive and conquer the mountains they choose to scale. One of the great tragedies of a welfare state is that notions of impossible dreams, wealth, and self-made excellence are quenched by the habituation of receiving and expectations of mediocrity. What a terrible loss it would be if there were no more rags-to-riches stories to cheer. This kind of achievement, the ability of an individual to make for himself a living as small or as big as his talents, efforts and dreams will allow, is available only in an economic model which is fraught with risk and fortuity. Rags to Riches is a tale that can only happen within the volumes of Capitalism.
This is my message to the communities across this country; not black, nor Hispanic, nor Asian, nor white, but communities of Americans. The constitutional form of government, in which markets and individuals are free to take risks or forbear, to succeed to fail, to dream or nest contentedly, is the only framework in which excellence can shine, hard work can overcome, and a servant woman can become the lady of the house.
By Marjorie Haun 10/6/2011