Does the Tea Party Movement "Open Doors" to Discrimination?
Charles Postel, historian and author of "The Populist Vision," told Big Think that while racism may not be the driving force of the Tea Party movement, there is "no question that it opens its doors wide to those who do not like black people." He cited the "birther" movement, many of whose members are part of the Tea Party. Their challenge to Barack Obama's eligibility to be president is "clearly based on the color of his skin," Postel said. "No one asks for John McCain's birth certificate, and he was born in Panama."
The League disbanded in 1940, but the same sort of discourse reemerged shortly after World War II with the John Birch Society. "The John Birch Society wasn't interested in race," Postel insisted. "It was mainly concerned about corporate taxation and labor laws, but in order to build a political coalition they had to be very savvy about linking up with the segregationists." In the same way, the Tea Party movement is not a monolithic organization but rather a collection of disparate groups that share some common beliefs. The Tea Party supporters carrying signs equating President Obama to Hitler and denigrating minorities may not make up the bulk of the movement, but they certainly have gotten the most media attention.
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