Tea party anger has racial tone

April 22, 2010


The numbers are in.

Thanks to a new CBS News/New York Times poll, we now have a statistical picture of the “tea party” movement. There are few surprises.

It turns out that not quite 20 percent of Americans are tea party supporters. They tend to be white, Republican, male, over 45 and wealthier than the rest of us. Fifty-seven percent hold a favorable opinion of George W. Bush. And where most Republicans describe themselves as “dissatisfied” with Washington, tea partiers are apt to use a different term. They say they’re ANGRY.

It is a telling word, especially in light of another survey, this one from the University of Washington’s Institute for the Study of Ethnicity, Race & Sexuality. That poll offers strong evidence that, contrary to the denials of tea party enthusiasts, President Barack Obama’s race plays a big role in their outrage. Indeed, researchers found a significant correlation between racial resentment and tea party zeal.

Respondents were read loaded statements such as this: “It’s really a matter of some people not trying hard enough; if blacks would only try harder, they could be just as well off as whites.” Among those skeptical of the tea party, only 33 percent agreed with that statement. Among whites in general, 56 percent did. But among the tea party’s most rabid followers, the number spikes to 73 percent.

As Christopher Parker, who led the study, observed via e-mail: “If one believes that blacks don’t try hard enough, use slavery as an excuse, and ... have received more than they deserve (racial resentment), they are 37 percent more likely than those who don’t believe this ... to support the tea party.”

Yes, he says, ideology plays a part. Yes, politics does, too. But as he put it in a follow-up conversation by phone, “Once you control for partisanship, party identification and ideology, there’s STILL a significant, robust effect for race.”

Some of us needed no polling data to know this. Some of us needed only to observe the timing of the tea party’s rise.

After all, if the tea partiers were truly only concerned about so-called “tyranny,” they’d have started howling when Bush claimed he need not be bound by laws with which he disagreed.

If they were truly only worried about a “socialist” takeover of private industry, they’d have yelped when he took over troubled financial institutions.

If they were truly only anxious about the budget, they’ve have hollered when he spent a $128 billion surplus into a $407 billion deficit.

If they were truly outraged over their income taxes, they’d have screamed at Bush first, given that their taxes ARE THE SAME as when he was in office.

It is telling that they “discovered” their burning concern over these things shortly after Obama came to power.

And contrary to what some in the movement would argue, it is NOT the case that any criticism of Obama brings charges of racism. Columnist George F. Will accuses Obama of timidity, columnist Charles Krauthammer calls certain of his policies “terminally naive,” columnist Jonah Goldberg charges him with dirty politics. Yet there has been no national hue and cry accusing those conservatives of racial bias.

The reason is simple. Unlike certain tea partiers, they did not claim Obama favors white slavery. Or depict him as a witch doctor with a bone through his nose. Or cry, “I want my country back.”

For those of us trying to build a country that does not fear difference, a country where access to opportunity is not a function of skin color, for those of us seeking an America that will finally live out the true meaning of its creed, that battle cry of the tea partiers says all that need be said about the differences between them and the rest of us.

They are looking for the America that was. We’re searching for the one that ought to be.

— Leonard Pitts Jr., winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for commentary, is a columnist for the Miami Herald. He chats with readers from noon to 1 p.m. CDT each Wednesday on www.MiamiHerald.com. lpitts@miamiherald.com


Liberty_One 8 years ago

Many of those in the tea party movement may be racist, but that poll question isn't evidence of it.

"if blacks would only try harder, they could be just as well off as whites.”

It's a trick question in that it is really asking two questions.
1. Do you think there's economic mobility in the US (if you work hard, you can be well off)? 2. Do you think blacks aren't as well off because they don't try as hard?

By getting people to answer a question that sounds more like part 1, you can impy their answer to part 2. If you simply asked all these groups of people if they think there is economic mobility in the US--that if a group of people try hard, they can be well off--their answers would breakdown almost exactly the same as this loaded question does.

Hence this article really says nothing at all about the tea party people (tea baggers, if you like) since the argument flows from this flawed poll question. It does, however, say a lot about the people who took such a poll and about Pitts using something so obviously designed to elicit a desired result as proof of anything.

georgiahawk 8 years ago

Keep spinning! There certainly is no other evidence that there is any racism in the tea party. Those signs mean nothing! They were planted by Obama!

Scott Drummond 8 years ago

Just further confirmation of what everyone can see from the group's behavior.

bruno2 8 years ago

No evidence of racism? How about sings at the rallies depicting Obama as a monkey? You can deny all you want. These people are racists.

whats_going_on 8 years ago

I don't know if you can classify them all as racists, since I've heard there ARE other races in the party (although not as many).

However, I do know of one lady in Lawrence who is EXTREMELY racist, as in...probably would be in the KKK if she weren't a woman and old, and she is in the "tea party." If you can assume that there are at least some others out there like her, then yes, SOME teabaggers are racist. It's not fair to give a general classification of them though.

lounger 8 years ago

You have got to be kidding...

remember_username 8 years ago

I disagree. I don't think most of the people asked the question would see it as two parts - certainly not those with racist leanings. Racism is not a rational choice, it is more emotional. You don't want people to think too much about their response, nor would you want to be so blatant that people would be deceitful in their response.

geekyhost 8 years ago

The question was “It’s really a matter of some people not trying hard enough; if blacks would only try harder, they could be just as well off as whites.” And it wasn't the only question.

But your answer sure says a lot about your position of white privilege.

lctchr1 8 years ago

I agree with this, and I voted for Obama. There are two very distinct and different "teapartiers" . .. . . The Libertarians and the white, racist, uninformed. I am a Libertarian.

remember_username 8 years ago

Where did you see this question? I looked for it in the poll but couldn't find it.

geekyhost 8 years ago

Well, since apparently my Internet works and even has this thing called "Google," I could look and see the actual questions instead of making them up. http://depts.washington.edu/uwiser/racepolitics.html


geekyhost 8 years ago

The point was to mis-characterize the nature of the survey. Mission accomplished.

The survey didn't ask "Are you a racist?" It measured racial attitudes. “Once you control for partisanship, party identification and ideology, there’s STILL a significant, robust effect for race.”

Self-declared tea partiers were more likely to say they didn't support equal rights legislation, and didn't think there was any difference in opportunity for races, just in effort extended. That doesn't make you a racist. That doesn't mean you think black people are lazy. But it IS a bias. Even more telling was the overwhelming anti gay-marriage answer. If they answered that upward mobility was the same and equal rights legislation should be removed because they were strict Libertarians, they'd also have answered that gay marriage was as valid as any other contract. The fact that they didn't speaks to the cognitive dissonance in the group, and that's dissonance likely motivated by race.

Corey Williams 8 years ago

barrypenders (anonymous) says… "I'm with Mahmoud." April 8, 2010 at 4:49 p.m.

geekin_topekan 8 years ago

"They are looking for the America that was. We’re searching for the one that ought to be." ++++ America was intended to be a nation that was to be dominated and run by one particular ethnic group, the white male. Blacks were property, not human until the 1800's. Early presidents were slave owners at one time in their lives. Natives weren't citizens until the 1930's or so. I have not red much on Asian history in the US. Maybe something to do this summer? We are living in Hispanic's rise in power.

Tea baggers see the white male losing ground as the presumed face of power in AMerica and they want the status to be automatic again. So far, they are afraid to say so, in such terms at least, so they take pot shots and hope it catches on.There will always be racism in America because racism is a part of American culture.

We can either rise above it and remain the greatest nation on Earth, unified, free and just. Or, we can divide and fall. teabaggers appear to want a divided, thus weak America.

geekin_topekan 8 years ago

"I have not red much on Asian history" ++++ Come to think of it, I have not read a word on Asian history in the US.

Flap Doodle 8 years ago

How thoughtful of you to admit your ignorance.

geekin_topekan 8 years ago

Well, when I am not absolutely correct I have to play my part in becoming a stronger, safer America. That's why it is so important for me to correct myself. Thanks for noticing my patriotism. God bless you too.

Brent Garner 8 years ago

Ahhh, yes, Mr. Pitts again equates opposition to Obama and his Usurper policies as tinged with or dominated by racism. How very convenient and narrow minded. Oh, narrow minded! Does that equate with bigotry, Mr. Pitts? Perhaps you are the racist here!

youarewhatyoueat 8 years ago

Did you read the entire article? He specifically mentions not all criticism is race based and gave examples (Will, Krauthammer) of valid criticisms in the press from other Conservatives.

Maddy Griffin 8 years ago

"Searching for the America that ought to be". Thank you Leonard!!

Flap Doodle 8 years ago

Lenny's sticking with the party line.

independant1 8 years ago

If I like to drive my auto fast, does that make me a racist?

Flap Doodle 8 years ago

BTW, in case somebody is confused, the tea party movement is a group of American citizens publicly demonstrating their desire for a smaller government role in their lives. Teabagging is a specific bit of sexual behavior generally practiced in private. There are almost certainly people who participate in both tea parties and teabagging, but the two movements are not the same thing.

whats_going_on 8 years ago

however, the names are quite ironic.

puddleglum 8 years ago

actually, the real difference is that a tea partier is a one who is desperately trying to liken their political emotions to the original boston tea party. A carpetbagger is one who swoops into a situation and makes financial gain off of desperate people. kind of like charging $100,000 for a 45 minute speech. A teabagger is someone like sara palin, who carpetbags the tea party....sarah Palin: Teabagger.

Katara 8 years ago

I am surprised that snap_pop_no_crackle is not finding all sorts of comedy gold from a political movement naming itself after "a specific bit of sexual behavior generally practiced in private". You know he would have if it had been a movement with a liberal/or left wing flavor to it. We would had heard from him about non-stop...much like every other joke he beats to death.

rtwngr 8 years ago

Leonard Pitts is a race baiting yellow journalist. Every time somebody disagrees with him he screams racist. Just like Pres. Obama keeps claiming all of his woes on the previous administration. waaah waaah waaah

Maddy Griffin 8 years ago

So explain which of this country's problems did he cause himself and which ones were left for him?!

LoveThsLife 8 years ago


With all due respect...even though I voted for Obama that still bothered me. It was not just the previous administration that contributed to these problems-it was the previous administrationS. Congress shares a good portion of the blame as well.

whats_going_on 8 years ago

sort of like what EVERY president does when the previous laws weren't his own?

whats_going_on 8 years ago

that was supposed to be in reply to grammaddy

Richard Heckler 8 years ago

These people have convenient short memories and Palin loves big government "earmarks".

Meanwhile from the Cato Institute:

President Bush has presided over the largest overall increase in inflation-adjusted federal spending since Lyndon B. Johnson. Even after excluding spending on defense and homeland security, Bush is still the biggest-spending president in 30 years. His 2006 budget doesn’t cut enough spending to change his place in history, either.

Total government spending grew by 33 percent during Bush’s first term. The federal budget as a share of the economy grew from 18.5 percent of GDP on Clinton’s last day in office to 20.3 percent by the end of Bush’s first term.

Stephen Slivinski is director of budget studies at the Cato Institute.

The Republican Congress has enthusiastically assisted the budget bloat. Inflation-adjusted spending on the combined budgets of the 101 largest programs they vowed to eliminate in 1995 has grown by 27 percent.

The GOP was once effective at controlling nondefense spending. The final nondefense budgets under Clinton were a combined $57 billion smaller than what he proposed from 1996 to 2001.

Under Bush, Congress passed budgets that spent a total of $91 billion more than the president requested for domestic programs. Bush signed every one of those bills during his first term. Even if Congress passes Bush’s new budget exactly as proposed, not a single cabinet-level agency will be smaller than when Bush assumed office.

Republicans could reform the budget rules that stack the deck in favor of more spending. Unfortunately, senior House Republicans are fighting the changes. The GOP establishment in Washington today has become a defender of big government.

Unless FOX news,Palin and other mouth pieces replace 97% of current republican office holders the biggest spenders of all times are still there...

Flap Doodle 8 years ago

You are forgetting that attribution thing again, merrill. Plagiarism makes the Baby Al Gore cry.

Richard Heckler 8 years ago

The Tea Party,Palin,Beck,FOX News,Koch Oil and the repub party support the largest spending party

These NOT thinkers are so busy lying to the public they do not realize that 97% of the biggest spenders in history are still in office calling themselves republicans aka the bank robbers

Richard Heckler 8 years ago

The Tea Party's Takeover of the GOP

The anti-health care reform rally in Washington indicates the Republican Party and the Tea Party movement are increasingly one and the same.

You have to hand it to Michele Bachmann: She has succeeded in turning the GOP into one big Tea Party.

This past weekend, the Minnesota Republican went on Fox News and called on viewers to show up on the Capitol lawn on Thursday at noon for a press conference and a last ditch attempt to kill health care reform.

The gathering that resulted was marked by the now-routine extremism of the Tea Party conservatives. "I'm a bitter gun owner who votes," read one sign.

Others questioned President Obama’s citizenship, portrayed him as Sambo, or called him a traitor. One said, "Obama takes his orders from the Rothschilds." Old ladies wore red T-shirts decrying "Obamao care." The crowd also took spirited swipes at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. At one point someone yelled, "Put down your Botox and show yourself."

But what was most noteworthy was that the entire House Republican leadership was also in attendance—and their rhetoric was just as over-the-top as some of the protesters. House Minority Leader John Boehner declared the health care bill the "greatest threat to freedom I have seen."

In essence, Congressional Republicans were merging with a movement that gives open expression to racist and anti-Semitic sentiments.

The crowd was several thousand strong, many bused in by Americans for Prosperity, a group created by the owners of Koch Industries, a huge oil and gas conglomerate. The AFP chapter from New Jersey reportedly sent 29 buses.

Four AFP buses came from Maryland’s Eastern Shore, and more came from Richmond and North Carolina. Lots of people in the crowd carried AFP signs or stickers warning "Hands off my health care."

More: http://motherjones.com/politics/2009/11/tea-partys-takeover-gop

BigAl 8 years ago

I don't think racism is dominate in the tea party movement. I think it just boils down to the fact that Obama is a democrat and the tea party people simply don't like that. Otherwise, Pitts makes some good points. The Obama Administration, so far, isn't that much different from the Bush Administration. And, like it or not, Obama DID inherit a terrible economy, 2 wars and low esteem all over the world. Bush did take a balanced budget and turn it into a huge deficit. I think Pitts asks a fair question "where were the tea baggers then?"

LoveThsLife 8 years ago

The budget was never balanced BigAl.

bruno2 8 years ago

The last balanced budget, surplus even, was under Clinton. Bush turned that into a deficit in less than a year, BEFORE 9/11...

LoveThsLife 8 years ago

Actually bruno it was never balanced nor surplused. Not when you take into account how much was owed to the Social Security Administration. They took from Social Security coffers to pay for other things...and now in 2010 it's finally come back to me them.

LoveThsLife 8 years ago

Also..it's congress that deals with and approves the budget. Not the President.

bruno2 8 years ago

The president proposes the budget and signs the law, Love...

LoveThsLife 8 years ago

Umm Bruno..ultimately Congress has more control over the budget than the President. He submits a budget request. It goes through Congress. He does have power to veto it, however, Congress may override that veto. Check and balances. Common sense would dictate, because congress is more involved in the creation of the budget they also have more ability to decided where and how money is diversified and spent.

jaywalker 8 years ago

Pretty telling, not to mention sad, when one can guess the author of a piece by its headline. Thomas is just as pathetic in that regard.

Richard Heckler 8 years ago

The Tea Party are demanding more big government over the immigration issue. Well in fact it was Reagan/Bush big government that created the issue. Yes Reagan/Bush would do anything to bust unions and south of the border immigrants was their tool

This immigration issue is racism.

Now Tea Party repubs want more laws.

Heck with new laws bust the employers they are the reason immigrants come across the border!

If Tea party repub people are so concerned why not notify immigration authorities on the whereabouts these folks are employed? This is the easy way... go for it and boycott the employers!

Tea Party Repub thinkers love big government!

Gregory Newman 8 years ago

You are the only one out of 233 that knows the truth. When one says Tea Party that is borderline treason. Since Americans can only function on the blame game let’s run a 4 by 100 relay with 2 heats. In the 1st leg President Carter had a great reaction to the gun with a deregulation bill of the Depository Institutions and Monetary Control which basically put a gun in the hand of the Federal Reserve; then there was a superb exchange to Reagan and then he ran a storming leg down the back-stretch. His baton read. “Government is the problem, not the solution; the magic of the marketplace must be set free.” So he then proceeded by stomping the air traffic control persons and then scrapped the precautionary rules of the 1930’s. Then Wall Street said let’s go boys, its Showtime. In addition, he played a cold war against Russia and didn’t have a dime to pay for it. So he raised money for the Defense Dept. by raising taxes on businesses in 1982, payroll taxes in 1983 and then energy in 1984. Daddy Bush stood pat in the turn and didn’t function well because of the deficit created by the cold war. He ended-up falling in a pit created by his son Neil with the S&L scandal and then nervously went before the Nation. He said “he would do anything necessary to free his son.” He then proceeded by conjuring up bullies and borrowing money to amazingly bomb the heck out of an old friend in Iraq. That will go down as the greatest 3rd leg in history because for 42 days Americans got amnesia about the scandal.

Then Clinton brought it home by running a blazing anchor leg and cuddling Newt Gingwich along the way because he thought that Newt would keep his word by helping him pass a health care bill so he made a compromise by signing a NAFTA/GATT contract that was negotiated by Daddy Bush and Carla Hills; then in the last 20 meters he blew China a kiss with a DUMB STUPID favored nation status.

George jr. opened up in the 2nd heat and got spiked by Bin Laden and bled badly and then often wavered on the right thing to do because he had a Vice President with insidious means so he struggled handing off to Obama who is runnin like a madman because we fell behind and is currently being booed by teammates because he just passed a health care bill that is so large that it would choke a goat plus a great number of folks never wanted him on the team. No one knows if he will finish his presidency on his feet or on his face because the house and senate operates on unadulterated lunacy. Now if anyone is upset about this message it is obvious that you can’t handle the truth. Try swallowing.

verity 8 years ago

I don't know---why?

Or is that just a rhetorical question designed to implant a certain thought in people's heads?

1029 8 years ago

I remember reading something about Lenin being the one who arranged a ship and a crew for Johnny Appleseed so that he could go to the new continent and plant trees. I'm thinking it probably has something to do with this, since a lot of Earth Day activities have to do with planting trees.

jaywalker 8 years ago

"Some of us needed no polling data to know this. Some of us needed only to observe the timing of the tea party’s rise."

Nope, of course you didn't, Lenny. EVERYthing has racial undertones with you. And the above is another example of how you can twist a decent piece into palaver. I'd say the "timing" has a lot to do with quadrupling our national debt in little more than a year. And saying taxes "are the same" as under Bush is just plain dumb. Income tax ain't the only measuring stick, pal. Everyone ready for the $150 to $240 per month 'removal' of wages from their paycheck for 'long term care'? How 'bout capital gains taxes? The new 2 cent tax on every ounce of beverage? The heightened taxes on oil even though the price per barrel has dropped? Yeah, sure our taxes are the same.

georgiahawk 8 years ago

Have those things happened or are you thinking they are going to happen?

jaywalker 8 years ago

Already happened or imminent. Make certain (if you get insurance through work) that your employer lets you know when the long term care "tax" is supposed to start for ya; I would have to think there'd be a way to opt out if you don't want it, but there's not telling right now.

georgiahawk 8 years ago

You are right Jaywalker, we should all be very afraid of all the negative things we have been told will happen by people who stand to gain by fear mongering. Be afraid, be a scaredy cat.

beatrice 8 years ago

Some people just can't handle the truth.

Maddy Griffin 8 years ago

Jeez! I can't believe the crap you actually believe. Scaaarry!!

bruno2 8 years ago

Still wondering shoeman, when is your moonie wedding? Might mellow you out and slow the flow of BS. You cherry pick statistics, such as the black prison population, while ignoring other factors, such as vastly longer sentences for blacks than whites for the same crime. If you can't find a statistic to support your twisted view, you make one up or offer a threat about what you think someone plans to do. Seriously, it's impossible to lend any credence to your posts.

jayhawklawrence 8 years ago

Pitts is the racist; he hates whites. Barack Obama and Michelle Obama are cut from the same cloth as Pitts. Taking your hatred out on whites via costly legislation is the problem, not white on black racism. Whites are powerless right now. Pitts fails to recognize this.

You have no right to say such a thing. You are just providing evidence that Pitts is right. What is your problem?

Gregory Newman 8 years ago

Superior and inferior. This truth is White scientist confirm you have a genetic defect. You lack melanin. Hate is a heart thing not a mind thing and you and Tom need a fix. See an exocist

Gregory Newman 8 years ago

Whites are powerless? Whites still print currency and there is not one Black on the federal reserve board. Just the thought of Whites are powerless is dumb I'm not gonna use racism. It just kills you that a Black man is pullin the reigns on the coach. You respond to everything about Obama. You can get off the coach and walk. Impress somebody by wearing your cape and hood downtown Mass. Better yet downtown Chicago. Powerless please free your mind and then your behind will follow.

JustNoticed 8 years ago

Denmark is the greatest nation on earth.

whats_going_on 8 years ago

no, Australia.

They mind their own sh*t and everyone else leaves them alone.


Ralph Reed 8 years ago

@bkgarner: re your 0611. Pitts is reporting what the research said and commenting on it. Here's what he said. about the polls. (See above) (new CBS News/New York Times poll) "It turns out that not quite 20 percent of Americans are tea party supporters. They tend to be white, Republican, male, over 45 and wealthier than the rest of us. Fifty-seven percent hold a favorable opinion of George W. Bush. And where most Republicans describe themselves as “dissatisfied” with Washington, tea partiers are apt to use a different term. They say they’re ANGRY.

(University of Washington’s Institute for the Study of Ethnicity, Race & Sexuality) That poll offers strong evidence that, contrary to the denials of tea party enthusiasts, President Barack Obama’s race plays a big role in their outrage. Indeed, researchers found a significant correlation between racial resentment and tea party zeal.

/*/ Go back and read again. Pitts is not saying the Teabaggers are racist, the CBS/NY Times poll results implies it based on the statistical demographic, and the U of WA poll comes right out and says it.

Now, show me where it's Pitts idea alone. All he did was comment on the results of the poll. He did mention timing in the rise of the Teabaggers. It's a true statement, so why shouldn't he?

BigAl 8 years ago

Tom you really should give that one up. I tend to believe that not everyone really cares that Fox mouthpiece Bernie Goldberg and Jon Stewart are battling over comments made by each other.
Like I stated earlier, I really don't think racism is a problem with the tea-baggers. I think it is simply the fact that Obama is a Democrat and they wouldn't support him no matter what he did.

bruno2 8 years ago

No doubt many are motivated by politics, but you simply can't ignore the monkey and sambo crowds signs Al.

BigAl 8 years ago

Tom, I just hate it when you sugarcoat it like that.

Maddy Griffin 8 years ago

And you get crazier with every post.

georgiahawk 8 years ago

Tom on his porch, rocking back and forth rapidly, chewing on nothing, yelling "garbly garbly goo gack spack, kids get off my lawn!" throwing his cats at the neighbors. You crazy cat man, get off the porch and have your wife give you your medication. You are halucinating!

bad_dog 8 years ago

Duck fast G-Hawk!! Incoming!! Hello kitty!!

What's next?


Flap Doodle 8 years ago

In 21st Century America, the definition of racist has expanded to include anyone who disagrees with a liberal.

headdoctor 8 years ago

No real concern. Very similar to another past poster. Almost 8k posts, none with any real content or substance to add to the forum.

headdoctor 8 years ago

They say it isn't race. To attempt to save face what other answer could they give without directly getting fried in the media. What I find amusing is for the most Obama hasn't done anything that has been fear mongered that he was going to do. He by his own actions pretty much left himself wide open for the likes of Fox News to prove their stupidity.

I can see him being a Democrat up setting the Republicans but for this type of anger and hatred there really is only the race card to play. Unless the Republicans are just so livid that Obama beat them at their own game by being more Republican than the Republicans are and accomplishing more while he was at it.

Richard Payton 8 years ago

Racial tensions seem worse under Obama than Bush. Pitt's seems ANGRY that the teabaggers form a new political movement that has better attendance than a townhall meeting. Those townhall meetings had hand selected audience members so to appear unified. Beatrice some people can't handle the truth and it appears Pitt's to be one of those people. The teabaggers aren't the Klan or Black Panthers just Americans that want their voice heard. I personally voted for Barry and haven't attended any teabagger party. The media keeps trying to create radical bait tactics that involue race and that is just plain wrong. Former Congressman JC Watts was at the last teaparty in KC and I'm certain if he felt members of the teaparty were racist he wouldn't have attended the event.

bruno2 8 years ago

BS, the sambo and monkey sign holders are KLAN, and you're sadly a pawn.

TheYetiSpeaks 8 years ago

I see broad generalizations are in full swing this morning. If you support or share some of the ideas of the Tea Party Movement, you are a racist. If you criticize Barack Obama in any way, first you will be met with a chorus of "..but Bush.." and then be labeled a racist. If you say you are not a racist, it will be said about you "that means you are obviously a racist". If you eat food on Tuesday and have ever had one conservative thought on any one issue, you are a racist, even if you are in fact a minority. If you live anywhere in the state of Kansas but NOT in Lawrence, you are a racist and probably stupid. If you are in favor of the SLT you are a racist. If you think late-term abortions are disgusting, you are a racist. Whew, did I miss anyone?

TheYetiSpeaks 8 years ago

Please feel free to replace the word racist with sexist or fascist when you see fit.

TheYetiSpeaks 8 years ago

Don't believe I used either the word communist or socialist. As far as our President goes, I believe he is just a guy. One of our average Joe politicians with all of their foibles and faults. I will not bow down to his greatness until he earns such a tribute. I am a moderate who does not subscribe to either party because (silly me) I like to think for myself, not be told what to think. As such I try not to overgeneralize anyone.....except liberals.....hippies.......Just kidding, I couldn't resist.

independant1 8 years ago

Thanks, I was wondering why it took so long for the other R card to be put on the table.

Here's the Reid R card - The American people do not like privatization. They are afraid of the debt the president's willing to do. And they don't like benefit cuts. And everyone here should understand all 45 Senate Democrats are united. We are not going to let this happen. (Harry Reid)

whats_going_on 8 years ago

haha...the yetispeaks...and the yetiwins.

whats_going_on 8 years ago

(I say this only because its true, but it goes both ways...of course. Repubs aren't any better about it)

TheYetiSpeaks 8 years ago

Completely agree. I wouldn't judge every liberal on what Keith Olberrman says and I wouldn't judge every conservative on what Rush Limbaugh says because they both say some pretty ridiculous things sometimes, but every once in a while both of them will say things that make sense......once in a great while.

BigPrune 8 years ago

I saw a news report regarding black tea party members and how they are shunned by the black community.

Disingenuous is Pitts' line "They tend to be white, Republican, male, over 45 and wealthier than the rest of us." Does anyone believe that Leonard Pitts is NOT a millionaire?

Of course if anyone disagrees with Obama, the democrat and so-called mainstream media's line is - you are a racist.

bruno2 8 years ago

The quoted line is from the study, not Pitts, learn to read and you won't be such a dupe.

BigPrune 8 years ago

BS bruno. Those words weren't taken word from word from that study. You are the dupe.

bruno2 8 years ago

Prune, you need to go to the source, here's an article that also quotes the findings:

TheYetiSpeaks 8 years ago

I don't care what you believe...Daily Show is always funny, and usually right on. Sad that we can get more truth out of a comedy show than our news channels.

acg 8 years ago

I didn't need this poll to tell me that they were predominately racist. You can quote real facts to them until you're blue in the face. They will never see the harm that Bush did to our nation and people. They will applaud that sack of crap, and that other sack of crap Palin, til the cows come home. They can spout off about how they don't care for "Barry's" politics, ideas, health care reform, tax changes, etc. but what it really boils down to is they can't stand the fact that Barry's black, can you Tom, barrypenders, et al? It really burns your ass that a black man is leading our nation and you all make that obvious, daily! I can't wait til this whole generation of hateful, racist pricks die off (sorry it may sound harsh but its true). Time, youth and open minds is what this nation needs. You won't find any of those things in the republican, conservative or tea bagger parties.

Joe Hyde 8 years ago

Another fine article written by Mr. Pitts. I agree with each point he made.

mickeyrat 8 years ago

"Whites are powerless right now" gets my vote for the most hysterically funny line of the day.

Flap Doodle 8 years ago

Our Pantone 138 Kansas heritage President encourages his minions to demonize those who haven't drunk the Flavor-Aid.

think_about_it 8 years ago

You're right bruno. That picture proves that the tea party people are all racists.

whats_going_on 8 years ago

is anyone else really tired of hearing about how evil (or not evil) the tea party is? There are stupid people in every group. I don't think the group itself has bad intentions; I just think it unfortunately drew the dumbest of the dumb to it, (blame Sarah Palin, sheep, and ignorant trash) and therefore has become kind of a nutty organization.

KansasPerson 8 years ago

I think there's something wrong with my monitor. There are all these words, put in the form of a comment, and yet I can't make sense of it.

georgiahawk 8 years ago

I 'will' 'say' 'it' 'again', you are an 'idiot'!

whats_going_on 8 years ago

do you put everything in quotes because you are ashamed that you actually believe what you say?

Richard Payton 8 years ago

The Mayan calendar ends Dec. 21st, 2012! Go to adishakti.org and see for yourself.

beatrice 8 years ago

Tom Shewmon: "Whites are powerless right now. Pitts fails to recognize this."

This is really worth repeating: "Whites are powerless right now."

So lets get this straight. Because a white person isn't in the President for the first time ever, this means that white people now have lost their power. One non-white person voted into office by fellow citizens was apparently able to accomplish this amazing turn of events in just a little more than a year, stripping whites of their power. President Kryptonite when it comes to white power.

Could Pitts possibly have demonstrated the racial paranoia motivating objections to Obama by SOME on the right any more thoroughly?

whats_going_on 8 years ago

white/black/green/purple/polka dotted.....we're all humans. The future of our country should NOT be based on white, black, or any other color "power." Your weird logic really pisses me off.

beatrice 8 years ago

My logic that says Tom's rant that whites have no power is evidence of the racial fear people have with Obama in office pisses you off? Perhaps you missed the point.

beatrice 8 years ago

To put it another way: Obama hasn't stripped whites of their power ... yet!

Flap Doodle 8 years ago

Even more racists have revealed themselves “DALLAS/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Gay rights activists heckled President Barack Obama this week at a Democratic event that exposed signs of disenchantment threatening the party in November's congressional elections….” http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100422/pl_nm/us_obama_disenchantment

puddleglum 8 years ago

never will. the south shall rise again. free grits for everyone.

puddleglum 8 years ago

you know that's right. they come on a confederate flag print dixie plate.

jayhawklawrence 8 years ago

It is fairly obvious that Tom has not spent a lot of time in the inner city black community. It is also a fact that blacks and whites don't understand each other enough because they don't have the opportunity to communicate enough. There is still a lot of cultural isolation between whites and blacks.

I have been married to a Japanese woman for 30 years. I do not refer to her as a yellow woman or even a Japanese woman. I refer to her by her first name. I don't even think about her being of a different race.

Why do we refer to each other as a black or a white?

We have a lot of very stupid attitudes regarding race in this country even if we don't admit or realize it.

Leonard Pitts provides a very valuable service in the fact that he tries to educate whites about black issues. I don't think he should be criticized for trying to educate the ignorant, although he is often resented for bringing up these important issues.

Personally, I think it will take several more generations before we rid ourselves of our rascist attitudes. To pretend rascism is not involved in the anti-Obama rhetoric is just a load of crap.

gogoplata 8 years ago

Why does the JW run this guys stories. He seems to be about the most racist person I have ever read.

bruno2 8 years ago

Oh please, he's a Pulitzer Prize winner, if they're gonna run Cal Jesus Thomas and Charles Sieg Heil Krauthammer, the least they can do is include an opposing perspective.

gogoplata 8 years ago

Maybe they could get rid of all 3.

jonas_opines 8 years ago

They fit the commenting vein here like a glove, though. Always good for 100+ of people just barking at each other.

Do you, for that matter, have a replacement in mind?

gogoplata 8 years ago

Maybe replace Cal Thomas with Andrew Napolitano. Replace Pitts with some liberal who doesn't see racism in every thing. I don't ever read the other on so I guess I don't really care about that one.

gogoplata 8 years ago

You're going to have to let me know what a PAD is.

puddleglum 8 years ago

hey, a lil' racism never hurt anybody.

Flap Doodle 8 years ago

We must read Lenny's columns in order to punish ourselves for the sins of the White Devils (not the Duke Blue Devils, I've nothing to do with them).

Flap Doodle 8 years ago

Dear Leader must have gotten his love of golf from his mother's ancestors. “News flash: President Obama hasn’t held a formal press conference in almost a year (274 days and counting) yet has golfed 32 times since he was elected—eight more times than President George W. Bush did during his entire presidency… Obama was criticized by foreign press recently when, unable to travel to pay respects to the president of Poland who was killed in a plane crash, he went golfing. But there was not a critical peep from the American press….” http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-04-21/the-medias-double-standard-on-presidential-golf/full/

bruno2 8 years ago

ABSOLUTELY MIND-BOGGLING Snap! First you start with a blatantly racist comment, thus elegantly proving the point of many comments above. Then you introduce a subject that has absolutely nothing to do with this thread. Then you again show breathtaking ignorance to somehow imply that Obama is neglecting his duties. I don't know why I bother, but here are some pertinent facts (Fact, noun - something that actually exists; reality; truth: Your fears have no basis in fact.):

Bush Vacation Time during Presidency

Camp David - 487 days Crawford Ranch - 490 days Kennebunkport Compound - 43 days

Grand Total: 1020 days, more than 1/3rd of his administration. W set the record for most vacation time taken by president, EVER!! That's 18 (YES EIGHTEEN!) weeks of vacation a year! How many do you get?

Carter took 79 days in 4 years. Clinton took 152 days in 8 years. Reagan took 335 days in 8 years. Bush Sr. took 543 days in 4 years! (Like father like son, I guess aristocrats are not used to a 9 - 5, 5 day/wk workload)

So much for the mythological Republican hard worth ethic. All the most recent Republican presidents took way more vacation time than their Democrat counterparts. Bush took longer vacations than any president EVER. You idiots try to find anything to throw at Obama, now it's 'he likes golf and Bush didn't', e.g., he's goofing off? How PATHETIC!

remember_username 8 years ago

Why become a fat cat if you can't enjoy the perks?

bruno2 8 years ago

Thanx Stick, here's one, there are quite a few out there but most were mid-term.


Suffice it to say that 4 1/2 months of vacation/year is pretty nice work (or lack of it) if you can get it!

Gee, Snap, who's "lazy" now? Cat got your tongue?

bruno2 8 years ago

Now you're gonna confuse him with facts again! How soon we forget that W's administration was all about calling an apple an orange.

beatrice 8 years ago

Tom Shewmon: "Your race obsession will be quickly replaced by other obsessions before you know it."

This from the guy who claimed America wasn't "ready" to vote for a black President and who now thinks "Whites are powerless right now."

Right Tom, it is others who are obsessed with race. Not you. Why, it is clear to everyone that someone NOT obsessed with race would come up with a line like "Whites are powerless right now." Sad.

bruno2 8 years ago

Boiled BS is still BS. Not a shred of fact (oops, there's that nasty word again) just bold unsubstantiated statements. I suppose we should go back to talking from the poor and giving to the rich? I keep suggesting shoe that you should do a little research. It's easy, just google "growth in gap between rich and poor in US". You'll have reading material for hours. Oh but, there I go again with nasty facts.

beatrice 8 years ago

No, it boils down to your not understanding that Obama absolutely IS NOT a socialist.

Good to know you think only whites are wealthy.

Tom, when you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.

UfoPilot 8 years ago

Making stuff up again?

Pronunciation: ˈfa-ˌshi-zəm also ˈfa-ˌsi- Function: noun Etymology: Italian fascismo, from fascio bundle, fasces, group, from Latin fascis bundle & fasces fasces Date: 1921 1 often capitalized : a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition 2 : a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control

jaywalker 8 years ago

"The good side to this is it may be the "last gasp" of racism in this country"

C'mon, Macheath, seriously? I can appreciate your optimism, but that's beyond naive. Way too much ignorance to overcome to ever rid ourselves completely of racism, either here or in the world as a whole. Been watching Germany lately?

Mike Ford 8 years ago

every since the Geriatric Oppressive Partisans invited the ex-Klan George Wallace people to their tent, they have tried every way possible to skirt the obvious. Someone has to make garbage palatable for the isolated mind. When confronted with racism, they simply assail those they offend. See it all the time.

Dum Dum Do the Dum Dum Get your Dum Dum, Barry P.

LED's assail a smart person for ever as player haters.

camper 8 years ago

There is an obvious shade of racisim (or hatred) here. Either that, or the Tea party is wrong on many counts or just misguided.

If they were truly mad about something, it should be directed at the financial institutions who played the biggest role in the mess we are now in. These false financial instruments are nothing but a fraud and not much different than a Ponzi scheme. A lot of people in that biz got rich, got bonuses and helped create a crisis felt worldwide.

And they are wrong if I assume correctly that a large majority of them favor Social Security, Medicare, and the two conflicts that are costing us dearly. Trying to provide stimulus and a safety net to prevent a complete bottoming out of the economy was started by Bush and now carried forward (and expanded) by President Obama.

But I guess they can understand fear rhetoric because it is easier to grasp.

camper 8 years ago

BR549. I could not really understand any of your questions.

jaywalker 8 years ago

Made me laugh, Pilgrim. Twice. Well done.

jayhawklawrence 8 years ago

I have voted mostly Republican in every election I have ever voted. Last election I voted 60% Republican.

Reading comments like Tom makes and having someone call you a left wing liberal everytime you disagree with their point of view which sounds extremely cult like and narrow minded stongly tempts me to vote a straight ticket Democrat in the next election.

However, I hope we have some candidates that we can respect when that time comes.

Mixolydian 8 years ago

The numbers are in indeed...12.8 TRILLION dollar debt and that color is red. 17% real unemployment and the color of their collective bank account is red.

What are the democrats (President and Congress) answer to this? More debt. More federal agencies and yet more debt.

Am I the only one bored with Pitt's racism for journalistic profit?

Of course judging by the number of comments genreated, good profit for the LJ WORLD too.

ooohhhh, snap. That's it.

independant1 8 years ago

You forgot, Print more money. Print more money. Print more money.

Mike Ford 8 years ago

shewmon I'm not worried, you remind me of the preachers on the corner of Mass St. screaming the sky is falling when it isn't. You vote for the GOP and let them destroy this country for eight years and assail the man trying to fix the problem. You're the lair. The GOP are a bunch of facists who tie guns, god, and religion to sway the rural masses into letting them back into the wrecking crew seat to destroy this country. I have a neighbor who is returning to Belgium with his American born wife and child because the greedy people here and the rural dummies who blindly vote them back in don't care about affordable health care for the working man. The GOP and their dummy minions attack unions who work for fair wages and have done so since Reagan. This guy was a stone worker and yet couldn't make enough to pay for health care for his family in this country. When he gets back to Belgium, he will have a job and his wife and child will have affordable health care. Nothing is sadder and more annoying than watching a bunch of uninformed Americans railing against their own interests by voting for a party that could care less about them and who supported the bankers and continues to support the bankers who worked with the derivatives in the first place to cause the crash. The teapartiers are abunch of angry misinformed directionless people who are full of threats misinformation and some racism. That's it.

independant1 8 years ago

The Tea Party gang?

Pretty much normal.

There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. (Will Rogers 100% Okie, 9/32 Cherokee, who's mother was a quarter Cherokee, father Clement was a confederate veteran)

independant1 8 years ago

When you meet people, no matter what opinion you might have formed about them beforehand, why, after you meet them and see their angle and their personality, why, you can see a lot of good in all of them. (Will Rogers, partly Cherokee, favorite son of Oklahoma, unofficial pres. of the USA)

Flap Doodle 8 years ago

" ___ has racial tone" is actually Lenny's one-size-fits-all all-purpose title for all his screeds.

Liberty275 8 years ago

pitts is a one trick pony. Whining about racism gets pretty boring after a while. Get over it.

jafs 8 years ago

Why don't you deal with the legacy of slavery/racial injustice in this country for over 100 years before you criticize those who have/are suffering from it, Liberty?

bruno2 8 years ago

Majority? What color is the sky in your world. Latest count: Republicans - 33%, Democrats - 36%, unaffiliated - 31%. And, as noted in the study, the majority of folks who say they support the Tea Party are Republicans. In the immortal words of Paul Simon, "Any way you look at it you lose." You're whistling past the graveyard Shoe.

Yoda51 8 years ago

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime." ~ Mark Twain

Maybe Tea Party members should go on a listening tour. You know, get on a bus and visit new places, meet people with different viewpoints, stop "vegetating"... nah!

jayhawklawrence 8 years ago

I think I finally figured out what bugs me about the Tea Party and it's supporters as well as most of the current Republican Party leaders.

"According to research by Altemeyer, right-wing authoritarians tend to exhibit cognitive errors and symptoms of faulty reasoning. Specifically, they are more likely to make incorrect inferences from evidence and to hold contradictory ideas that result from compartmentalized thinking."

If you are interested in learning more, here is the link.


Apparently, it is a mental condition and talking to these people doesn't seem to cure it. It can also effect Democrats.

ferrislives 8 years ago

TomShewmon (Tom Shewmon) says…

"Whites are powerless right now."

Wow Tom, you've finally shown your true colors. I'm sorry, I meant lack of color. I didn't mean to offend you.

So does this mean that in all of the years that we've had white presidents, blacks have been powerless?

br549 (anonymous) replies…

"Tom Some of the above don't know their history. "I will say, then, that I am not nor have ever been in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the black and white races---that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with White people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the White and black races which will ever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together, there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I, as much as any other man, am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the White race." -- Abraham Lincoln"

So do you agree with this logic br549? If so will you agree that you are in fact a racist pig?

UfoPilot 8 years ago

CBS News and the New York Times surveyed 1,580 adults, including 881 self-identified Tea Party supporters.

881 valid surveyed. Who were the other 700? this does NOT sound like a valid survey.

bruno2 8 years ago

"What a day for the Tea Party people. Did you see that? America's parks and fairgrounds were lost in a sea of man-boobs. They were venting their anger and rage against taxes, which, of course, in most cases for them went down. Protesting their taxes went down — but you know, why let the truth spoil a perfectly good Klan rally." —Bill Maher

bruno2 8 years ago

"Federal taxes last year when down for 98 percent of people, but when asked about this, only 12 percent of the Teabaggers thought this was the case. 88 percent of them had it wrong. And a spokesman for the Teabaggers said, 'We don't want to just be taxed less. We want to be taxed less by a white guy." —Bill Maher

somedude20 8 years ago

TomShewmon (Tom Shewmon) says… "They don't care. So forget it. It's too late, and as I've said before, it does not make Mack Daddy"

No not at all because all former presidents have been referred to as "Mack Daddy"

DOUBLE standard birthers, angry WHITE "men", and RACISTS live UnprecedenteD

somedude20 8 years ago

Main Entry: mack daddy Pronunciation: ˈmak- Function: noun Etymology: argot mac, mack pimp, probably short for obsolete argot mackerel, from Middle English makerel, from Anglo-French makerelle procuress, ultimately from Middle Dutch mākelaer broker Date: 1989 1 slang : a conspicuously successful pimp 2 slang : a slick womanizer 3 slang : one that is the best

John Hamm 8 years ago

Baldertrash! If you can't put up a reasonable argument against them belittle them.

beatrice 8 years ago

Recognizing the racism within their ranks is a reasonable argument. Ignoring it is ignorant.

ivalueamerica 8 years ago

Just like the minutemen, the Klan and Nazis flock to this group and the group does not send them away.

They take the philosophy that the enemy of my enemy is my ally.

I think if you stand with racists, you are supporting racism and you fail God, America and humanity.

booyalab 8 years ago

Shouldn't the title read "Anger towards Tea Party has racial tone"

ivalueamerica 8 years ago

no, booyalab, it should not.

No one is angered because the tea party is mostly white, people are angered because the have presented many racist messaged and embrace many racist members.

I would feel the same thing if they were filled with black panthers and La Raza members.

To you, racism is wrong when it is against white people and no so bad when it is against blacks or latinos.

To me, it is just wrong.

booyalab 7 years, 12 months ago

"the have presented many racist messaged and embrace many racist members."

  • like what? like whom?

independant1 8 years ago

It's just gratuitous race baiting.

With a population that is about 70% it would be difficult to find any "group" that is not mostly white. n'est pas?

Squaredance Clubs Boys clubs YMCA Young Democrats Docents

Membership or affiliation with any group, in light of numbers means one is most likely a member or affiliated with group predominantly white (caucasion per the census form).

The argument in article is nothing more than institutionalized race baiting. One could easily say, the demographics of the Young Democrats Club in Lawrence, KS membership predominiantly white..........have negative view of Rev. White..

booyalab 7 years, 12 months ago

I'm probably in the minority (ha), but I don't view the comment from the "study" as racist. Simplistic and loaded, yes. Racist, no. The implicit assumption is that blacks are not as successful as whites. So you can either risk looking like you agree with the generalization even if you only believe the second part that trying harder makes one more successful, or you can risk looking like you believe the OTHER generalization that black people can't be more successful by trying harder even if you only want to avoid the first generalization. It's pretty obvious that the tea party goers are going to be more likely to believe in the value of hard work. What's not as obvious is that they likely either made a trade off in saying yes, or didn't perceive the underlying generalization cleverly buried in the first part of the question.

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