The Tea Party movement is not about Sarah Palin: most Tea Baggers, while they love her inflammatory rhetoric, think she's unqualified to be president. The movement is not about taxes: most think the amount they pay is fair. And Tea Baggers really aren't angry about big government either: most love their Social Security and Medicare and wouldn't want to lose it. These and other unsurprising revelations are part of a NY Times poll released this week which reinforces the ugly truth about the role racism plays in the Tea Party movement.
Contrary to how the movement is portrayed as a non-partisan, multicultural, age/gender-diverse "big tent," most Tea Baggers are wealthy, white Republican males over 45, according to the poll. The poll chillingly illustrates what's really at the core of the movement: intense frustration, anger and resentment over the belief that a black president is giving taxpayer handouts to other blacks. In fact, 25% believe the Obama administration favors blacks over whites. As the Times reports, they believe that "too much has been made of the problems facing black people."
There's no denying the level of ignorance that permeates the Tea Party movement or the rampant racism in which it's rooted. Here's a classic example of Tea Bagger "populist rage:" "I just feel he’s getting away from what America is," said Kathy Mayhugh, 67, of Jacksonville, Fl. "He’s a socialist. And to tell you the truth, I think he’s a Muslim and trying to head us in that direction, I don’t care what he says. He’s been in office over a year and can’t find a church to go to. That doesn’t say much for him."
Clearly, in Ms. Mayhugh's America, blacks aren't supposed to hold positions of power. They're not supposed to benefit more than white people. In fact, white people are supposed to get all the goodies. And good, patriotic Americans are white, Christian and go to church regularly. So it's no stretch that in this America, if you're black and not a church goer, well then you must be a socialist, a Muslim (can ya be both, for Pete's sake?) and anti-American. Well, at least that's what shameless demagogues like Palin have brainwashed them to think.
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