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Opinion

Opinion

Tea party anger has racial tone

April 22, 2010

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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

Comments

booyalab 3 years, 11 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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independant1 3 years, 11 months 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..

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barrypenders 3 years, 11 months ago

I like Harry Reid's 'Characterization' of the Poser.

Harry is the best Tea Bagger of them all.

Stimulus, Light Skinned PADs, and Posercare live unprecedented

Darwin bless you

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ivalueamerica 3 years, 11 months 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.

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booyalab 3 years, 12 months ago

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

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ivalueamerica 3 years, 12 months 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.

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OonlyBonly 3 years, 12 months ago

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

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somedude20 3 years, 12 months 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

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somedude20 3 years, 12 months 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

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bruno2 3 years, 12 months 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

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bruno2 3 years, 12 months 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

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UfoPilot 3 years, 12 months 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.

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ferrislives 3 years, 12 months 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?

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jayhawklawrence 3 years, 12 months 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.

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Yoda51 3 years, 12 months 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!

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Tom Shewmon 3 years, 12 months ago

All I know is Obama campaigned mostly on one word: "Change" (with variations throughout).

Here we are one and one-half years later and a majority is already calling for another "change".

May god bless all!

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jafs 3 years, 12 months 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?

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Liberty275 3 years, 12 months ago

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

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Flap Doodle 3 years, 12 months ago

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

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independant1 3 years, 12 months 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)

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independant1 3 years, 12 months 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)

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Mike Ford 3 years, 12 months 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.

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Mixolydian 3 years, 12 months 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.

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br549 3 years, 12 months ago

This boy from the Miami Herald (no racism intended. I'm talking about a non mature male) is a big hit with the LJW. I guess he is controversial. (as above) As we have all heard there are no atheists in a fox hole and I can tell you when your bleeding your life away in some fire fight, racisms' only color is blood red. I need all you can spare, and vise a versa. As the preacher said, tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man. Not fearing because of our Spartan youth upholding their vows.
LJW, pitts in my opinion (this will get me wiped off by you know who) does no forum any good.

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jayhawklawrence 3 years, 12 months 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.

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Tom Shewmon 3 years, 12 months ago

The left is in a state of panic. Things are not going so swimmingly for The Anointed One.

ObamaCare? VAT? Cap & Trade? Middle-Class tax hikes?

Obama is a liar.

Obama's Minister of Progaganda-Robert Gibbs, his veep-Joe Biden and his thuggish Chicago born and bred advisors can not seem to get on the same page and are floundering.

The far-left is aligned with European Socialism where 70 cents of every dollar you earn going to some form of tax is OK in their opinion.

It'll take some time for Republicans to reverse the damage Obama and Co. have done.

Expect the hatred and paranoia on the left to reach fever pitch over the next several months and years.

Exciting times ahead!

Who's ready?

Sleep tight; don't let the bedbugs bite.

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Bob Kraxner 3 years, 12 months ago

Once again, Mr. pi$$ and moan Pitts, has proven that a journalist who is also a racist is just not capable of writing an article that does not contain the word racist. Get a life Mr. Pitts, playing the race card at every oppurtunity went out years ago... unless you are a racist yourself. You are beginning to show everyone what a mistake it was to award you with the pulitzer prize.

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jaywalker 3 years, 12 months ago

Made me laugh, Pilgrim. Twice. Well done.

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Pilgrim2 3 years, 12 months ago

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.


Leonard obviously hasn't been hanging around the LJW forum much.

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.


Why is it those who claim to want to see color the least are always the ones who see it the most?

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Pilgrim2 3 years, 12 months ago

Knew it was the Pitts just by looking at the headline.

Pathetic.

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camper 3 years, 12 months 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.

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blue73harley 3 years, 12 months ago

"They tend to be white, Republican, male, over 45 and wealthier than the rest of us."

I bet a Klondike bar that Pitts is substantially weathier than the rest of "us".

Everything Pitts writes has a racial tone.

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Mike Ford 3 years, 12 months 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.

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jaywalker 3 years, 12 months 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?

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Tom Shewmon 3 years, 12 months ago

It's no surprise you don't understand my comment. Talking to the left is like talking to a wall. We just think differently and there is no explaining to or reasoning with the left.

It boils down to this: Obama is a socialist. The far-left love socialism. Take from the rich and give to the poor. Very simple and well-studied concept. We're now smack in the middle of it. That's why we have Tea Parties and the left now has a black president who wants to confiscate from wealthy whites and when they rise-up, the expected happens: the left calls them racists. It's very simple. I and millions of others knew his race would be used to club us over the head with day in and day out.

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beatrice 3 years, 12 months 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.

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Agnostick 3 years, 12 months ago

Chè Guebigot makes an interesting point... but so does this "Washington Times" article...

"Nevertheless, Mr. Obama tops his predecessor in total output. He has given 43 press conferences of various degrees, six of which were solo White House sessions, Mr. Knoller said. During the same period, Mr. Bush gave 24 press conferences, of which four were formal, solo White House sessions. "

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/feb/22/obama-tops-bushs-record-for-putting-reporters-on-h/?feat=home_headlines

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Flap Doodle 3 years, 12 months 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/

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Flap Doodle 3 years, 12 months 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).

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puddleglum 3 years, 12 months ago

hey, a lil' racism never hurt anybody.

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barrypenders 3 years, 12 months ago

Yes gogoplata, but the Pitts is a Harry Reid kind of fella. There are all sorts of things that Harrys guys can do that PADs adore. This PAD propagandist's participation alleviates a tremendous amount of 'Pity-Guilt amoung the conscientious PADs.

Stimulus, Conscientious PADs, and Posercare live unprecedented

Darwin bless you

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gogoplata 3 years, 12 months ago

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

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jayhawklawrence 3 years, 12 months 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.

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puddleglum 3 years, 12 months ago

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

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Tom Shewmon 3 years, 12 months ago

Bea, Pitts is the one with racial paranoia. He eats, sleeps and breathes all things racial. It's practically his brand; being a race-baiter and denier of his own race's problems. The only thing Pitts does for his race is blame whites. Meanwhile, he takes time out on a nearly daily basis to "generalize" that those who oppose Obama are purely racists.

To "generalize", Pitts and those of ilk are the problem, not Obama opponents.

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Flap Doodle 3 years, 12 months 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

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Tom Shewmon 3 years, 12 months ago

I'm going to ignore the rude comments and revel in the fact that this household will be intact long after many others who fell for Obama's BS have crumbled. Are you ready?

BTW, Agnostick, I don't smoke meth, or pot, or crack, or do coke or anything else. Why do you suggest that I do? Is that or is that not violating user policies? I would kindly request that you do not suggest I smoke meth or anything else please.

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beatrice 3 years, 12 months ago

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

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beatrice 3 years, 12 months 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?

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Tom Shewmon 3 years, 12 months ago

My avatar came to me as I thought of civilizations 'doing themselves in'. That is a temple from Mayan ruins in Tulum.

We're 'doing ourselves in'. We are five years from the US being "junk bond" status.

Do any of you know what that means for a company? To be declared "junk bond" status?

Your race obsession will be quickly replaced by other obsessions before you know it.

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barrypenders 3 years, 12 months ago

I still do not know what the PAD Vulgate "R" word means? PADs like the tinted "Light-Skinned" the Pitts, seem to 'Set Great Store' on the Vulgate for the 'Pity-Guilt' effect. Tea Baguettes seem 'Stumulus' at it's assumption?

Hmm hm hm

Stimulus, R PAD Vulgate, and Posercare live unprecedented

Darwin bless us all

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whats_going_on 3 years, 12 months 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.

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TrooGrit 3 years, 12 months ago

bruno2, are you implying that a tea party supporter is the one who placed that display? That would be the relevant topic on this thread, and yours would be an off-topic generalization.

You really should do a little more research, snopes is a well known left leaning rumor research site. I've found that http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/o/obama-bn.htm is more accurate, and dispels this story anyway.

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Flap Doodle 3 years, 12 months ago

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

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mickeyrat 3 years, 12 months ago

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

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Joe Hyde 3 years, 12 months ago

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

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TrooGrit 3 years, 12 months ago

I said a long time ago that it's always about race with Pitts. What I find amazing is that some on this board do not see that also, and wonder, at least a little, just who the racist is here? As L1 referenced in his 1249a (don't you ever sleep, dude?) the question was unnecessarily narrow. A more complete question (and more true) would have been to substitute "people" for the word "blacks", thus making the question "“It’s really a matter of some people not trying hard enough; if all people would only try harder, they could be just as well off as the more well to do." No one is apt to argue with that, but since it was a baited question, again Pitts gets to reinforce his world view that those who do not agree with him politically, must be "racists". How shallow!

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acg 3 years, 12 months 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.

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Agnostick 3 years, 12 months ago

snap_pop_no_crackle (anonymous) whines…

"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."


"Teabaggers" can also refer to a group of hypocritical, ignorant American citizens who don't realize how good they really have it. They've bought into a heavily processed, pre-packaged, expertly-marketed astroturf "movement." Their specialty? Leveraging taxpayer-funded public facilities to protest the tax dollars that fund the very public park ground under their feet... tax-dollar funded stadium roof over their heads... or taxpayer-funded public transportation system that somehow didn't live up to their expectations.

http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2009/09/16/tea-party-protesters-protest-dc-metro-service/tab/article/

The average political teabagger is motivated by a lot of false presuppositions, but for many, they're merely irked that their side lost the 2008 presidential election. The fact that their "Great White Maverick" lost to a man of color is a heavy layer of kosher salt on the weeping wound of their injured pride.

Agnostick agnostick@excite.com

P.S. Go spit, "Che"

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BigPrune 3 years, 12 months 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.

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TheYetiSpeaks 3 years, 12 months 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?

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Richard Payton 3 years, 12 months 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.

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headdoctor 3 years, 12 months 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.

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Flap Doodle 3 years, 12 months ago

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

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MacHeath 3 years, 12 months ago

I can't say that the unfortunately named "teabaggers" are racist by design, but all you have to do is read the above posts to see the undercurrent of racism within this movement. Not "of" this movement, but "within" this movement.
The good side to this is it may be the "last gasp" of racism in this country. I really think that the "silent majority" folks so fondly like to claim as there own, are are more enlightened bunch than most give them credit. More so than the "vocal minority" Go ahead and get it all out of your systems now. I still hope for an enlightened society before I hit the dirt.

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Agnostick 3 years, 12 months ago

"Tea party anger has racial tone"

Well, of course it does. Silly...

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parrotuya 3 years, 12 months ago

I really hope that the dumb, stupid and ignorant Tea-Bangers take on the U.S. Army. It will be quite entertaining to see professional soldiers put down these morons once and for all. So, keep pushing it, tea-baggers. One pass of an Apache attack helicopter and the party is over. I certainly hope there is good video. I will watch it over and over. Oh, and I would really like one of those cool 3-pointed hats as a souvenir!

DOWn, baby, DOWn!

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Tom Shewmon 3 years, 12 months ago

The more Leonard Pitts and NBC's Kelly O'Donnell and Chris Matthews and Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann and Jon Stewart and Bill Maher and Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid and Joy Behar and the entire disgusting gang of race-baiting dishonest Obama worshiping zealots push this racism notion, the stronger the tea pary movement becomes and the lower Obama and Dems sink in public opinion.

President Obama is the only one who has not suggested this, at least not directly. But he has gone after Fox News, the primary target of the looney left regarding dislike for Obama being race driven.

We'll have solid proof of where this nation is at come November, and two years from then. Democrats have squandered their chance at success.

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75x55 3 years, 12 months ago

It's not even that Pitts is playing his usual race card, it's that he's just working the play sheet. Since the president is black (well, almost), then any opposition will be painted with the brush of 'racism', thereby getting instant support from those whose brains turn to the off position when they hear that word.

Throw in a few signs from some genuine nutjobs or infiltrators, and then paint ALL patriotic protestors with the label of 'racists', thereby effectively demonizing them and invalidating any opinion or point of view any of them may have.

Gotta love the open minds and celebration of diversity among the progressive liberals that foam about 'teabaggers' - I begin to think the progressive worldview is one supported mostly by irrational thinking that metastasizes into full-blown mental illness.

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BigAl 3 years, 12 months 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.

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Ralph Reed 3 years, 12 months 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?

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JustNoticed 3 years, 12 months ago

Denmark is the greatest nation on earth.

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Tom Shewmon 3 years, 12 months ago

"...poll offers strong evidence..."

"...Respondents were read loaded statements..."

Very convincing. Democrats are absolutely desperate to make this a racial issue---the backlash to Obama/Tea Partiers that is. It's caused a virtual on-air fist fight twixed Bernie Goldberg and Jonathan Stuart Liebowitrz. "Generalizations" aren't working anymore.

This is all Pitts is doing; generalizing. Pitts does not like facts, just conjecture and finger-pointing. He is bothered deep in his soul that for 13% of the population, 50% of violent crimes (not considered hate crimes mind you) are committed by black males. Prison populations have an enormously high proportion of black inmates, again compared to the black population of America. Pitts told Knoxville residents to "get over" a gruesome murder of two young whites by five blacks and told said to them in a column, "Cry me a river."

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.

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beatrice 3 years, 12 months ago

Some people just can't handle the truth.

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barrypenders 3 years, 12 months ago

If the Pitts didn't have his 'Pity-Guilt' for the tint of his 'Flesh' the poor little fella wouldn't have nothing to talk about. You have to hand it to the PADs though, they know how to use African decendents to the hilt. Just ask the vaunted face of their cause, Harry Reid.

Stimulus, Pity-Guilt PAD, and Posercare live unprecedented

Darwin bless us all

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Eybea Opiner 3 years, 12 months ago

Leonard Pitts injecting race? I can't believe it!

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Eybea Opiner 3 years, 12 months ago

Leonard Pitts injecting race? I can't believe it!

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jaywalker 3 years, 12 months 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.

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 3 years, 12 months ago

Why is Earth Day the same day as Vladimir Ilyich Lenin's birthday?

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Richard Heckler 3 years, 12 months 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!

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jaywalker 3 years, 12 months 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.

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barrypenders 3 years, 12 months ago

Keeping with the Tea Bagger Harry Reid 'Characterizations' of folk, The Pitts does have fair-to-Middl'n' "Light-Skinned" attributes. Is his dialect "Negro" though?

Hmm hm hm?

Stimulus, PAD Tea Baguettes, and Posercare live unprecedented

Darwin bless us

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BigAl 3 years, 12 months 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?"

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Richard Heckler 3 years, 12 months 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

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Richard Heckler 3 years, 12 months 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

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Richard Heckler 3 years, 12 months 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...

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rtwngr 3 years, 12 months 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

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Flap Doodle 3 years, 12 months 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.

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independant1 3 years, 12 months ago

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

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Flap Doodle 3 years, 12 months ago

Lenny's sticking with the party line.

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grammaddy 3 years, 12 months ago

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

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Brent Garner 3 years, 12 months 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!

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geekin_topekan 3 years, 12 months 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.

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barrypenders 3 years, 12 months ago

Tea Bagger Harry Reid had the best comment about Poser.

"Light-Skinned with no Negro dialect"

Stimulus, PAD Dialect, and Posercare live unprecedented

Darwin bless us all

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Liberty_One 3 years, 12 months ago

For those who will, inevitably, doubt that this is a trick question, here's a more obvious example of what they did:

Yes or no, do you think blacks should be able to own an AK-47?

95% of NRA members responded yes while only 5% of those who disagree with the NRA said yes. Hence those who disagree with the NRA are racists, right? It's really two questions but you can only answer double yes or double no.

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Liberty_One 3 years, 12 months 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.

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