More Tea Party Racism

Posted: April 16, 2010 in Latino Politics, U.S. Politics

I didn’t pull the idea that the Tea Partiers may harbor racist goals out of thin air. My article was a review of a survey research conducted by Chris Parker of the University of Washington. It was also less about the survey and more of a commentary about how the media treated that study. The media focussed only on the data that pertained to African Americans. It ignored the data in that study on Latinos. Many commentators, however, have ignored that data. I do my best to try to understand all positions. But some critics seem to offer blanket denial to any idea that Tea Partiers may be racist. They offer nothing more substantial than personal conscience and experience. That’s not good enough. Just the other day, another survey research report provided further confirmation with evidence of racism in Tea Party members. See the New York Times report, “Poll Finds Tea Party Backers Wealthier and More Educated.” ┬áPay careful attention to the data. 52 percent of Tea Party members compared to only 28 percent of all poll respondents believe that “too much” is being “made of the problems facing black people.” That finding suggests, to me, that people in this group have strong resentments against black people. Resentments like these have a tendency of being just a hair breath away from becoming full racist positions about excluding, punishing, or eliminating those (blacks) for whom too much is being done. These members don’t have to articulate this more full blown racism for the threat to exist or for me to warn that it may be in the offering. BTW, this New York Times survey also suffers from the same malady I complained about in my article. It asked questions about blacks and not about Latinos. The media and others are overlooking the potential racist threat the Tea Party Movement poses to Latinos in the United States.

  1. Bodhi says:

    It would appear that you & I will simply disagree. I would say that for all of your academia (yes, I have a degree as well) what you lack is personal experience…academics need to get out into the field & you seem very willing to take the word of just about anybody except those that have attended a Tea Party event. The pictures above which you say are of typical TP members, how you know this isn’t specified, for all we know these are a fringe wing-nuts who aren’t members at all, but you post the pics & use them to justify your viewpoints. For all I know these were actually frauds, people purporting to be Tea Party members but not in actuality.

    Those signs are despicable, they are racist & at no time did I ever see anything remotely like that. It would’ve made our black speakers upset & I’m fairly certain given those speakers’ popularity with the crowd we would have dispatched fools holding signs like that in a hurry.

    I don’t recall if there was any sort of survey in the NY Times when movies were made about the assassination of President George W. Bush asking if perhaps the left was going to far? Maybe I missed your outrage then? Was there a cry from the mainstream media when the far-left paraded out in large metropolitan streets burning President Bush in effigy, holding vile signs & calling for his assassination?

    This isn’t about loss of power. This isn’t about racism. What the Tea Party is about is seeing reckless spending, that has no end in sight, & no way to pay for it. It is about the Constitution & how we feel it is being ignored. Power & racism are red herrings.

    GO TO A TEA PARTY EVENT! I bet you won’t even get a stare, my guess is you’ll see your neighbors protesting peacefully, or is that something only the left-wing constituents are capable of? Walk around, talk to people….be more than a ivory tower academic & actually get out in the field. We’re not racists, & my (half) brother who’s last name is different than mine (Valdez) & is an avowed liberal will attest to my conservative values & my absolute color-blindness. We are not racists. By simply stating that this has to do with power & race you denigrate valid opinions of good American citizens. It is no better to do that to the left than to the right.

    If I were to observe the actions of Code Pink & Earth Liberation Front (ELF) & then state every liberal is a complete whack-job because someone in ELF burned down another ski resort & therefore all libs were arsonists….that’s what you on the left call generalizing & from what I understand you’re against. All libs aren’t arsonists, but some are…some nutty libs definitely are. Are there racists on the right….you betcha & they’re scum….but so are the ones on the left. Oh yes, the left have racists too. You know folks that believe one’s color of skin has some bearing on who is superior/inferior to everyone else…no side has a monopoly on racism.

    If you want to maintain any sense of intellectual honesty, attend a Tea Party event & observe with with the best unbiased eye that you can. Shoot, I’d go with you & just walk around, take notes, do your own survey. If you truly don’t have an agenda follow my advice…learn from the actual source not some left-leaning publications…get knee-deep in the subjects your are studying. You’ll either learn you’re right in your assessments or you might find out there’s more substance to the millions of folks attending these event than you might imagine. What do you have to lose? I’m serious about the offer to attend an event with you. I’ll meet you half-way from our residences & we can go together. I’m an easy-going guy & wouldn’t force any viewpoint on you…I’m just your typical American inviting another typical American to an event.

    What do you say?

  2. jibarosoy says:

    You are funny Bodhi. Yes, we will probably agree to disagree. But be very clear what we disagree about. It’s not just that you have so much faith and hope in the Tea Party and I don’t. You seem to think that the truth can only be derived from personal experience whereas I believe such experience can be very limited. I believe in getting at the truth by trying to utilize more objective methods. That’s what I do for a living. I would hazard to say that you probably don’t believe in relying on your personal experience for your attempts to get at the truth in other matters. I doubt, for example, that you would be confident in a doctor who treats you with medication or medical procedures based solely on his personal experience. “Bodhi, I think I will give you an enema for your migraine headaches because I (your doctor) have had a good experience with that.” You see the fallacy with that line of reasoning. Any doctor who practices medicine like that would be rightly called a quack! And yet that is exactly the reasoning you present me. Your response to me again ignores everything I presented, all the evidence, all the corroborating evidence, etc. simply because it did not conform with your experience. BTW, to suggest that you can dismiss the racist actions of some Tea Party members as isolated outbursts similar to leftist loonies and whack-jobs is silly. Most of my examples of lies and racist pandering come from distinguished conservatives like Tancredo, O’Reilly, Palin,Gambling, etc. Or are you suggesting that these individuals are loonies too?
    The bottom line is that my posting was an analysis based on an interpretation of the objective economic, social, and political evidence. Yes, it does rely a lot on other people’s research. How can it not? What I and any responsible social scientist does is to utilize a variety of sources, examine it closely, use objective reasoning, and guided by a theoretical framework. While the truth does not automatically reveal itself by these methods, I have more confidence in such methods than on the biases that can originate in personal experience. If you don’t agree with me, then I have an enema for you. Hahaha!
    Thanks for the exchange and the invite. I already belong to the Tea Party movement. I get all of their email newsleters and conference information. I don’t think I have to attend their meetings or rallies to know a whole lot more than I already know. Again, a doctor may listen to your observations about what ails you, but he would be unprofessional to believe and accept your own diagnosis of what exact illness you think you have. A doctor does not always get it right by doing so, but more often than not he does get it right this way. It is for this reason that his profession requires that he aim for the truth this way.
    I must say, however, that I’ve learned a few things from our conversation, mostly about how passionate you are about these things. Take care.

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