Monday, April 12, 2010

Race To The Bottom

When the tea party people claim that their protests have nothing to do with race, I’m reminded of the old reality that when someone objects to paying for something and says, “It’s not the money, it’s the principle,” you can be sure that it’s the money.

A new survey finds that among whites, southerners are 12 percent more likely to support the tea party movement than whites in other parts of the United States and that conservatives are 28 percent more likely than liberals to support the effort.

“The tea party is not just about politics and size of government. The data suggests it may also be about race,” says Christopher Parker, assistant professor of political science at the University of Washington.

The survey found that those who are racially resentful, who believe the U.S. government has done too much to support blacks, are 36 percent more likely to support the tea party than those who are not.


The survey found that 30 percent of respondents had never heard of the tea party, but among those who had, 32 percent strongly approved of it. In that group, 56 percent of Republicans strongly approved, 31 percent of independents strongly approved and 5 percent of Democrats strongly approved.

Among whites who approved, 35 percent said they believe blacks to be hardworking, 45 percent said they believe them intelligent and 41 percent said they believe them trustworthy.

Whites who disapprove of President Barack Obama, the survey found, are 55 percent more likely to support the tea party than those who say they approve of him.

“Are we in a post-racial society? Our survey indicates a resounding no,” Parker says.

That doesn’t mean that every teabagger out there is going to don a hood and burn a cross on the White House lawn. But they might stop by and toast a marshmallow or two.

HT to DougJ.