Tracey McMillian

I keep getting e-mails about the nationwide “Tax Day Tea Party.” I was pretty good in history, but couldn’t remember the specifics of the Boston Tea Party, so I refreshed my memory with a little help from Wikipedia.

The Boston Tea Party was a direct action protest by colonists in Boston, a town in the British colony of Massachusetts, against the British government. On Dec. 16, 1773, after officials in Boston refused to return three shiploads of taxed tea to Britain, a group of colonists boarded the ships and destroyed the tea by throwing it into Boston Harbor. The incident remains an iconic event of American history, and has often been referenced in other political protests.

That was then, this is now.

A revolution is brewing as American patriots and free-market advocates unite in protest against out-of-control government spending - with a wildfire movement of more than 170 nationwide tea parties.

What’s the goal of the Tea Parties? It depends on the organizers. Some are signing petitions asking for the repeal of the Recovery Act. Others are collecting tea bags to mail to congress. Some are using the tea parties to launch initiatives such as organizing new drives to repeal taxes, reassert state sovereignty and create more fiscally conservative candidates.

Are the Tea Parties Republican? Some are, some are not. The important thing to remember about the tea parties is that people who are joining them have not been politically active before. People are protesting an issue more than a political party.

The Tax Day Tea Party is a national collaborative grassroots effort organized by many online groups and coalitions. The Tea Party protests, in their current form, began in early 2009 when Rick Santelli, the on air editor for CNBC, set out on a rant to expose the bankrupt liberal agenda of the White House administration and congress. Specifically, the flawed “stimulus bill” and pork filled budget.

During Rick’s rant he called for a “Chicago Tea Party” where advocates of the free-market system could join in protest against out of control government spending. A few days later, grassroots activists and average Joe Americans began organizing what would soon become the Nationwide Chicago Tea Party effort.

On Feb. 27, an estimated 30,000 Americans took to the streets in more than cities across the country in the first nationwide “Tea Party” protest.

Organizers of the Feb. 27 events pledged to continue on with an even bigger and better protest to follow. With April 15 being “Tax Day,” it was decided to schedule the second round of Tea Party protests alongside the tax deadline. And with that, the “Tax Day Tea Party,” the second round of the Nationwide Tea Party protests, moved into reality.

Fellow citizens, the time has come to put down the party labels of Republican, Democrat, or Libertarian. We must end the bitter infighting between parties to enact a solution.

I see the path we are taking, and I fear that the end of this great nation may well be drawing near. A nation that once prided itself on self sufficiency and freedom, has become a bastion of co-dependence and oppressive legislation. We have traded our pride and our drive for success, for worthless attributes like equality and self-righteousness.

If our cause is lost, I will be the first to cry secede and fly the flag of the republic. But for the sake of our forefathers, who fought and died for our freedom and prosperity, and for the sake of our children who will yearn for the opportunity we have now, and though we may labor in vain, we must try, we must seek, we must wholeheartedly endeavor to preserve this great country as a whole.

And if we struggle to no avail and exhaust all other options, only then should we raise the banner of independence. God bless the United States of America.

Texas has several confirmed tea parties to be held on April 15.

Austin

April 15, 11:30 a.m. at City Hall (Gov. Perry will speak.)

Burleson

April 15, 3-7 p.m., across the street from Wal-Mart, 951 SW Wilshire Blvd.

Dallas

April 15, 6-9 p.m., Dallas City Hall

Denton

April 15, 6-7:30p.m., Courthouse on the Square, 110 W Hickory

Tracey McMillian works in editorial design at the Empire-Tribune. She can be reached at 254-968-2379, ext. 239.