Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tea Party and racism?

The Christian Science Monitor published a piece on the NAACP's resolution denouncing racism in the Tea Party. It's an interesting read but only begins to explore the poll numbers, via a Gallup analysis, and I think there's much more to analyze and research here.

For example:

Data from an April University of Washington poll “paint a more complicated picture” of the tea party, according to Schaller (of the political blog Five Thirty Eight).

This survey found that only 35 percent of tea party adherents rated African-Americans as “hard-working.” Among whites who disapprove of the tea party, the comparable figure was 55 percent.

Some 45 percent of tea partiers judged African-Americans “intelligent,” according to the University of Washington poll. By comparison, 59 percent of anti-tea party whites viewed African-Americans as intelligent.

What's shocking to me here is not only the responses of tea partiers, but of white Americans who disapprove of the tea party: 45% of them did NOT respond that African-Americans are hard-working? 41% of them did NOT respond that they view African-Americans as intelligent??

Are you kidding me? And these are the people who do NOT identify with the tea party. This is gravely, gravely concerning to me.

In related news, a refreshingly candid and progressive viewpoint on all this: Sally Kohn published a fabulous article in the Huffington Post about this. This is a must-read. Kohn tells it like it is: she calls out Tea Partiers and their bias, as well as providing a great analysis of race and politics. It won't be new to people of color who have been following this stuff, but it's well-said and invigorating. Worth reading.