It’s About Race

 

How The Left Portrays The Tea Parties The Tea Parties and their supporters are much maligned by the Liberals. Those Liberals have taken great pains to paint all dissent against President Obama’s Leftist agenda as racist, but have taken especial pains to paint the Tea Parties and their supporters as a latter day Klu Klux Klan.

In truth, it’s an easy bit of rhetoric for the Liberal politicians, power brokers, and their MSM operatives such as Olbermann and Maddow, to use against the Tea Parties, since it resonates with both a large segment of the Black population and Leftist Whites as well.

It’s a simple fact that, when you’re a Liberal who is supporting America’s First Black President, who you’ve decided cannot be allowed to fail, a crowd of angry White Americans protesting his policies and agenda is both a danger and an opportunity.

Three Tea Parties, Three Seas Of Angry White Faces

After the Internet allowed the Tea Parties and alternate or citizens’ journalism outlets to largely refute the Liberals’ and their MSM operatives original tactic of only depicting and reporting upon the “lunatic fringe” of the protesters at the various rallies the Liberals fell back on a simple statement to continue to paint the Tea Parties as racists:

You never see Blacks at the Tea Party protests and rallies; the Tea Party is all White and, therefor, must be racist. No matter what the Tea Partiers are saying, it’s really all about race.

This is, admittedly, a somewhat alluring argument. The Tea Parties, after all, do seem to be a White phenomenon; one rarely, if ever, sees a Black among the crowds shown during coverage of the events. This means it’s certainly reasonable to question why there is such a seeming racial disparity between Blacks and Whites in the Tea Parties.

Is this racial disparity evidence of the racism of the Tea Party supporters or is this disparity caused by factors other than racism, prejudice, and animosity?

Statistical Data On The Tea Party

There’s currently very little demographic and/or statistical data available on the Tea Party movement and it’s supporters, but CNN and Opinion Research did recently perform a poll of the Tea Party movement and its supporters.

Opinion Research conducted interviews by telephone with 1,023 adult Americans, including 954 registered voters on February 12-15, 2010. They claim the margin of sampling error for results based on the total sample is +/-  3% overall.

Population and Party

Analysis of what percentage of Tea Party supporters should be Blacks based upon US racial demographics and political affiliation:

  1. Blacks are 12% of the total US Population
  2. Blacks are 80% likely to support Democratic Candidates

It’s a simple equation.  12% of population – 80% opposing ideology = 2.4% of Blacks should support the Tea Party on the basis of simple population and political viewpoint. CNN’s poll showed 2.0% of the self-identified Tea Party supporters were Black. Given the small sample size, that’s a within the realm of probable overall statistical error and only 1% above Opinion Research’s stated sampling error rate.

Furthermore, CNN’s poll had a total of 11% Black respondents, not 12%. That changes the baseline demographic projection to 2.2%, and an even closer match.

Economics And Income Bracket

  1. 66% of Tea Party supporters make in excess of $50K per year
  2. 32% of Blacks make in excess of $50K per year

Assuming that there is an economic component to support of the Tea Party movement – an unproven but seductive supposition,  then Blacks would be roughly 50% less likely to be among them.

Urban vs. Non-Metropolitan

  1. 91% of Tea Party supporters are Suburban or Rural dwellers
  2. 58% of Blacks are Urban dwellers

Assuming that there’s a direct correlation between living in suburban or rural communities and supporting the Tea Party movement – again an unproven but seductive supposition, only 42% of Blacks would be in a similar situation as the bulk of those supporters.

Correlating The Data

Simply put, the available data-set isn’t granular enough to allow one to properly correlate its various parts. The is no way to determine how to weight each individual factor, nor were notations on possible overlap of factors being present, e.g., what percentage of the rural Blacks make less than $50K per year or voted for Democratic candidates respectively.

One can, however, state that Blacks are a minority population who: tend to vote for politicians that are not favored by the Tea Party supporters; are largely not within the same economic strata of the Tea Party supporters; and who do not live in the same sorts of areas of America as the Tea Party supporters.

The Unquantifiable Factors

Of course the above data and limited analysis was only that which has been quantified by the CNN / Opinion Research poll on the Tea Party supporters. It did not even attempt to factor in various unquantified – and likely unquantifiable – factors that might affect the racial demographics of the Tea Parties and their supporters.

Some of those unquantifiable factors include:

  1. The inherited fear and resentment of Whites that many Blacks were taught as children -  A large group of angry Whites does seem an unlikely group for many Blacks to feel comfortable going near, much less joining. Some lamentable portions of American history would certainly support such an avoidance strategy.
  2. The converse of above – Many Tea Party supporters might feel an initial distrust towards any Black approaching them. They have, after all, been labeled as racists by the MSM and 95%+ of the record number of Black voters did support Obama in 2008.
  3. Racial Solidarity – There is an undisputed tendency for Blacks to avoid criticizing other Blacks in the public sphere unless that Black is seen as a sell-out, race traitor, or “Uncle Tom.”
  4. Obama’s Symbolism – Many Blacks see Obama and his election as POTUS as an important symbol, both for themselves and for their children who are in desperate need of Black male role-models. For some unknown number of them it was the primary reason for their voting for him in 2008.  It’s highly unlikely that they’d protest against him without dramatic and overwhelming provocation.
  5. The Smear Campaign – It quite possible – probable even – that many Blacks believe that the Tea Parties and their supporters are racists who are protesting against the current administration because President Obama self-identifies as Black. If so, it’d be close to inconceivable that Blacks would want to associate themselves with them even if they agreed with some of the Tea Parties’ voiced complaints.

I’m fairly sure that every one of the above factors, plus a great number more that I didn’t list, negatively impact the number of Blacks that support the Tea Party movement. I can’t, however, make any judgment as to how much they affect it.

Conclusion And Opinion

As far as I’m concerned the most compelling part of the data is the racial population demographics combined with the longitudinal support of Black for Democrats, a brand of politician largely unfavored by the Tea Parties and their supporters. Those numbers alone put Opinion Research’s finding of 2% of  Tea Party supporters being Black as actually being very close to the statistically predicted and expected number.

All the other quantifiable data that the Opinion Research poll provided was either non-informative  – e.g., education levels, which are comparable between Blacks and Tea Party supporters – or served to further point out the dissimilarity between the lifestyles, circumstances, and probable viewpoints of the majority of Blacks and the supporters of the Tea Party movement.

There is just no measurable basis for the Liberal politicians, power brokers, and their MSM operatives argument that the lack of Blacks in the Tea Party movement is proof or evidence that the Tea Parties are racist or have a racist agenda.

Are there racists who are Tea Partiers? In the words of Sarah Palin, You Betcha! ;-) You can find racist in any group of people, Black, Brown, White, Yellow, or Red, so of course you can find them in the Tea Parties as the MSM has taken great pains to do.

Is there any indication that they are anything more than a fringe element of the movement? No so far, but better and fuller judgment of the matter would have to wait for more data and analysis.

Is it about race? Is the lack of Black members and supporters an indication or proof that the Tea Parties are racists? The statistics indicate otherwise – and voluntary membership demographics are both a poor and frankly dangerous measure of racism for anyone to espouse using.

Shall we apply the same standard to: the NAACP, the Congressional Black Caucus, La Raza, or the “Historically Black Colleges” as the Liberals apply to the Tea Parties? Those other groups, after all, are even quite open about their having few, if any, White members or supporters and are, by their very natures, based upon purely racial and racially biased agendas and goals.

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One Response to “It’s About Race”

  1. mm Says:

    Good analysis, especially considering how little correlate-able data exists at this point. One thing that I would like to disagree with is the follow:

    The Unquantifiable Factors

    1. The inherited fear and resentment of Whites that many Blacks were taught as children – A large group of angry Whites does seem an unlikely group for many Blacks to feel comfortable going near, much less joining. Some lamentable portions of American history would certainly support such an avoidance strategy.

    My belief is that very few black Americans were taught to “fear” white Americans and rarely experience “fear” solely resulting from being in the presence of white Americans. While growing up, almost all of my immediate friends were black. Through all the sleep overs, dinners, movie nights and trips to football practice/games I never once heard anything that would instill a fear of white people. Of course this does not mean it did not happen when I was not around and it does not mean that my 8 to 12 immediate friends represents a sampling from which assumptions should be inferred. Based on my interactions, I believe it highly unlikely that such fear would be taught or unknowingly handed down and I have never seen any evidence of fear. Additionally, when ~76% of the population is white, it makes it easier to become comfortable around white Americans if you are a black American. I could go an entire day without ever interacting with a black person; the reverse would be fairly tough.

    I do think the overall point you are making is still valid. Especially if a black American has only heard that the Tea Party is rife with angry white racists.

    Resentment of white Americans among black Americans probably does exist at some level and very likely is “taught” (loosely speaking) early on. I believe some of the resentment is understandable and justified. Some of it is learned via various media and cultural sources. Some if it is learned in the home as a result of resentment based on past events. Some of it is learned via life experiences. All of these chances to learn resentment are just that – chances – and not certainties. Finally, almost all of these chances to learn resentment exist for white Americans when it comes to black Americans (unfortunately).

    When discussions of differences between socio-economic groups come up in the media, they seem to be disproportionately white/black. Sometimes the discussion *is* a white/black discussion and no other groups need to be addressed. Many times this is not the case and the media will make the dynamic white/black only. Decisions to frame something in black/white terms can be driven by the goal of attracting readership and attention. However, if there is a decision to ignore (gloss over) groups other than white/black or if a decision is made to not cover something because that dynamic is missing from what is otherwise a story with strong socio-economic elements, then race and personal politics are over-influencing decisions. The main stream media does this all the time and tend to overstate white/black dynamics. A perfect example of media disparities between socio-economic groups is UC (California) acceptance standards. Often it is reported that black students are under represented in the UC system, with a call to remedy this unjust disparity. Another thing that comes up is that minimum entrance scores are higher for white students than it is for black students (without mentioning latinos or asians). When this is the case it is almost always to deal with the issue or affirmative action, which is always framed as a white/black debate. One side of the argument is “fair is fair”, while the other side is “fair was not always fair, so we made it fair-er”. Interestingly, when the debate over minimum entrance requirements comes up, the fact that Asian students are held to even higher standards than whites is usually unreported (and they actually break it down by country of origin – Chinese having the highest minimum requirement if memory serves me correct). Imagine that, there are minorities that *are* getting special consideration, however the result to make things more difficult. All of this in the name conceptually progressive goals.

    As a conservative, I simply do not care about skin color or country of origin. I only take not of citizenship of the United State of America and believe the ideals in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Besides, cultural similarities or even simple cultural knowledge have a lot more impact on inter-socio-group ties than something as meaningless as skin or eye color. I think this is commonly known but the mainstream media is not going to drop what seems to be an obsession with “race”. None of my conservative friends ever considers race when it comes to anything, especially when it comes to governance and politics. The fact that conservatives treat everyone the same and are not bending over backwards to cater (perhaps pander is a better word) to segments of society should be celebrated and should expose the left for wrapping highly political actions in a veil of good will. Then the main stream media does it’s part of legitimizing this ruse by doing their best to be hyper racial and particularly one sided when in their evaluation of racial matters.

    Finally, I live in Los Angeles and work in the dotcom industry. Even thought I stated it is possible for me to go an entire day without interacting with a black American, it is unlikely. Even more unlikely would be a day where I did not interact with someone who is latino or asian or indian. Many of the positions I have held in LA are dominated by the Chinese, Koreans and Indians. Los Angeles is probably the most diverse city I have ever lived (past cities include NYC and Miami). Sadly, even in a city where neither white Americans nor black Americans are the majority or the plurality (latino’s are), the media has a distinct white/black dynamic to everything that happens here. For example, there has been all out race war in this city for a number of years that gets very little press. Why? Because one key element is missing – whites are not part of this war (at least not directly or significantly). This war started in CA prisons between black and latino prison gangs. Rapidly this spread to the streets here in LA and even to LA schools. Of course if this were a white/black issue or to a lesser extent a white/latino issue this would have commanded national headlines for months and perhaps years. There would be public debates about what should or could be done to solve this critical rift in American society. I have not heard anything about the race war in months. My guess is that it is still going strong, with no end in site.

    Sorry this was so long.

    Again, great write up.

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