A Penchant for Racist Alliteration: Tea Partier Calls TX State Sen Van de Putte 'Barrio Boopsie'

GOP outreach in Texas is leaving something to be desired. First, we had the UT Young Conservatives' xenophobic and disturbing game where members walked around campus "catching" illegal immigrants.

And then again this week, keeping the racist streak alive, tea partiers called long-time public servant Senator Leticia Van de Putte "barrio boopsie."

On par with far right's nicknaming Senator Wendy Davis "abortion barbie", tea partiers are making sure their nickname for Senator Van de Putte, who has served in the Texas Legislature since 1990, is not just misogynistic but racist, too.

Wacko bird Rick Atkinson coined this offensive term under his blog for the McKinney Tea Party. This type of name calling isn't surprising from the hard right - Atkinson blatantly mocks the State Senator's background, and the largely Latino district she represents. Instead of giving Atkinson more hits, you can read the blurb from the blog (screenshot taken by the Austin Chronicle) here.

However, conservatives still seem think even despite this rhetoric, they can appeal to women-identified and Latino voters. As the large outpouring of support for undocumented Longhorns at UT proved yesterday, Texans are tired of the GOP making jokes and playing games with peoples' identities and struggles.

What this shows is that conservatives will continue to devalue strong female leaders, and leaders of color, as they see fit. Tea partiers have long used racist and misogynist rhetoric to get their point across. The rest of the GOP has continued to do as little as possible to silence those in their party who use this language. Like we saw from the Abbott campaign's response to the YCT event, they will take as minimal responsibility possible for the xenophobia and racism expressed by their own staffers, and will do anything to blame it on Wendy Davis, whether or not it makes sense.

Battleground Texas had this to say about this week's events:

With racist efforts like the game at UT and Tea Party activists in North Texas referring to respected public servant and longtime state Senator Leticia Van de Putte as 'Barrio Boopsie,' it's clear Republicans like Abbott are out of step with mainstream Texans and out of touch with the needs of more than one third of the state's population. Unless Abbott and his fellow Republicans drastically change their policies to reflect the concerns and values of the minority communities that are the backbone of the state's diversity and strength, they can expect serious challenges in 2014-and in the years to come.

While offensive and disappointing, the work conservatives have done this week to exclude Texans only reaffirms the need for better, more progressive leadership to better reflect and represent the diversity of our state.

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