Banners Without Errors

Who wins the protest spelling bee, immigration reformers or tea baggers?

What are the biggest differences between the tea party crew and the immigration reform advocates that marched in Austin this weekend? Well, for a start, grammar.

Saturday's rally at the Capitol (followed by a long hike down across Lady Bird Lake and back to City Hall) was a combination of protest against Arizona's unconstitutional Senate Bill 1070 (AKA the "Where are your papers?" bill), a DREAM act rally, and a call for meaningful immigration reform. It was massive, polite, and the banners were literate. One sign writer with a spelling mistake even went so far as to cover their mistake with another piece of paper and correct the error.

Wow, that makes a change.

The Internet is awash with misspelled Tea Party signs. As the good people at Buzzfeed have proved, even mocking them has even crossed from situationist art prank to full-blown sport. It's got to the point that Gov. Rick Perry has started warning about liberal infiltrators making them look silly.

Compare that to Saturday's immigration reform rally. First off, the low-end estimates put the crowd at around 10,000. That beats the highest estimate for an Austin tea bag event (1,500 last summer), which steadily shrank to less than a hundred at Hands Off Texas rally last September, and dwindled to the mighty total of two, yes two teabaggers that turned up at City Hall for the April tax day protests (although we're still waiting for the right wing blogosphere to claim it was a million.) Perry might want to reconsider that warning about liberal infiltrators: Seems like the teabaggers might want all the help they can get.

But here's the serious point: Raucous and photo-friendly as it was, the Tea Party is a distraction from the pressing issues. If turn-out is anything to go by, the lack of meaningful immigration reform is what's really got people concerned.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Immigration
Pointing Out Detention Centers
Pointing Out Detention Centers "In Plain Sight"
Sky-high art turns eyes to migrant detention and incarceration

Victoria Rossi, July 3, 2020

Rep. Talarico Shocked at Inhumane Border Facility Conditions During Tour
Talarico Shocked at Border Facility Conditions
Austin-area lawmaker part of delegation that visited El Paso, Clint

Mary Tuma, July 2, 2019

More Tea Party
Patrick's Advisers Call Pre-K
Pre-K "Godless"
Another sign of discord between Lite Guv and Abbott?

Richard Whittaker, April 22, 2015

Conservatives Blast Cruz for Praising Mandela
Conservatives Blast Cruz for Praising Mandela
Senator's supporters yearn for the days of apartheid

Richard Whittaker, Dec. 6, 2013

More by Richard Whittaker
Safer at Home
Screen life thriller is just another dull Zoom meeting

Feb. 26, 2021

What’cha Watchin’?
What’cha Watchin’?
Screens editor Richard Whittaker is all about that (Disney) park life

Feb. 26, 2021


Immigration, Tea Party, Barack Obama, Arizona, DREAM Act, Immigration Reform, Stupid tea party signs, Arizona SB 1070

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle