I would like to open up a discussion on the TEA Party Movement (hereinafter “TPM”) and race. Before we get started, let me first say that discussing race in the context of the TPM is not, in any way saying that the TPM is racist. Every time that the questions regarding race and the TPM are asked, the answers in defense of the TPM are, almost unfailingly, that (1) there is no proof of racism and/or (2) the asker is racist for simply asking the question. Please note that neither of these responses are actual answers to the questions that I am about to ask. I also don’t really want to hear about other movements or administrations – I am looking ONLY at the TPM. I simply want to discuss race and whether or not it matters in the context of the TPM.
In order to get a discourse going, let’s lay out a few basic parameters and assume the following to be true:
(A). The TPM is disproportionately made up of non-Hispanic whites. I understand some people will disagree with this; however all polls that I have looked at estimate the non-Hispanic white demographics in the TPM to be anywhere from 79% to 89%. The corresponding numbers for non-Hispanic white US citizens in general is 75%.
(B). There have been some incidents of racism in connection with the TPM. This means ONLY that there have been specific examples of either overt racism or racial insensitivity either at TPM events or voiced by TPM-identified people. “Some” is intentionally vague. But there have been “some.”
(C). There is a perception that the TPM has a problem with race.
(D). The TPM as repeatedly stated that it is a diverse group and that all people are welcome.
Bearing in mind (A) through (D), I would like to pose some initial questions.
(1). Do you think that it is appropriate to even discuss race in the context of the TPM? Why or why not?
(2). Why do you think that there are not more non-whites in the TPM?
(3). What do you think about MSM coverage of the TPM?
(4). How do you think the TPM should handle allegations of racial insensitivity?
(5). How do issues of race affect how you feel about the TPM?
(6). Do you think that the TPM would have gotten so much support if McCain had been elected president? Why or why not?
(7). Please share any *actual* personal experiences that you have had with the TPM.
So let’s discuss. Please keep it respectful. Cookies for all…