Obama, Tea Party Populists, and the Progressive Response

Amid War, Increasing Debt, and Cuts in Social Services:   How is the Right organizing to build power in the U.S.?
What are the ramifications for the peace and social justice movements?   How do these trends affect us in Hawai‘i?

Obama, Tea Party Populists, and the Progressive Response

Speaker: Chip Berlet, Political Research Associates

Monday, February 8, 2010

  • 2:00 pm at University of Hawai’i – Hilo, UCB115

  • 7:00 – 9:00 pm at Keaau Community Center

The Right-Wing Populists who spawned the Tea Bag and Town Hall protests against Obama are a growing force and working to take over the Republican Party. Meanwhile, centrist Democrats are dominating the Obama Administration and dismissing populist anger at government bailouts that feed the wealthy and starve the poor.

Now, Ultra-Right activists are recruiting from among the angry Tea Bag Populists and targeting immigrants, people of color, Muslims, Arabs, reproductive rights activists, and lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgendered persons. And they are spreading antisemitic conspiracy theories about economic woes & foreign policy.

Chip Berlet, senior analyst at Political Research Associates, has spent over 25 years studying prejudice, demonization, scapegoating, demagoguery, conspiracism, and authoritarianism. He has investigated far right hate groups, reactionary backlash movements, theocratic fundamentalism, civil liberties violations, police misconduct, government and private surveillance abuse, and other anti-democratic phenomena. He is a lively speaker defending democracy and diversity. Berlet is co–author, with Matthew N. Lyons, of Right-Wing Populism in America: Too Close for Comfort, which received a Gustavus Myers Center Award for outstanding scholarship on the subject of human rights and intolerance in North America. Berlet has appeared live on ABC’s Nightline, NBC’s Today Show, and CBS This Morning.

Sponsors: AFSC Hawai’i, World Can’t Wait Hawai’i, MANA UH Manoa chapter, Malu Aina & Truth 2 Youth.

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