When a Tea Party group shows up in Ferguson, Missouri, shortly after the riots that have divided a nation, one would think that the media would be all over the story. How could a group stereotyped as the face of racist, radical white privilege not be newsworthy when it makes an appearance in a town where Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson have been pouring fuel on an already explosive fire? Could it be because what they did doesn’t fit with the picture that many in the media want to paint of the Tea Party?
In contrast to commonly held perception, what the St. Louis Tea Party did in Ferguson was organize a BUYcott to support the community both financially and emotionally.
The local Tea Party group, headed up by Bill Hennessy, wanted to do something positive in the community that has been rocked by riots and looters in recent weeks. The Tea Party News Network reports that they got together and decided to organize a BUYcott to go into the hardest hit areas of Ferguson to buy stuff. For the first one, on August 21, they created a Facebook event page, asking for at least 20 people to come. Twice that many people showed up.
“Dozens of Ferguson businesses have suffered damage. Not only do those businesses need healing, their customers need their services.
We can help. BUYcott Ferguson.
Just as we helped Whole Foods by BUYcotting September 1, 2009, we can help small businesses in Ferguson by BUYcotting Thursday, August 21, 5 to 6:30 pm.
Here’s what you need to do.
Go to W. Florissant on Thursday between 5 and 6:30.
Bring a shopping list: groceries, beer, smokes, something for the kids, whatever
Look for businesses with boarded up windows and spray painted OPEN signs
Why You Should Do This
Because there’s not much else you and I can do right now. Yeah, protests feel good in the moment, but they don’t really change things.
On the other hand, every store you shop will be one step closer to recovery. Every store that recovers makes life easier for residents. Every life made easier gets you one step closer to heaven. And that’s the only reason we’re here.
Please watch HennessysView.com in the coming days for more details. Pray for this mission. It’ll work.
I’d like to see 20 people join this demonstration of faith, healing, and free markets. Everything over that is gravy.”
Some of the people who run the small mom and pop stores targeted by vandals were surprised to see the Tea Party group. But as they told the merchants what they were doing, barriers were broken down, and divisions began to be healed.
The Tea Party group that came to Ferguson for the BUYcott is made up of people who see that their community is hurting, and they wanted to do something tangible about it. They went back again on Labor Day weekend, and they plan to continue the BUYcott.
Basic human kindness brought refreshment to Ferguson, Missouri, like a glass of cold iced tea on a hot summer’s day. It doesn’t fit the narrative of the radical, racist Tea Party. Maybe it’s time to realize that the narrative is wrong.