Rasmussen’s new poll on racism is out, and it turns out that 70% of Republicans don’t think “most” Tea Partiers are racist. While it’s not surprising that a majority of them would defend their allies, 70% seems kinda low. Which suggests that the TPers creep a significant chunk of sane Republicans right the hell out too.
By happy coincidence, this poll happens to follow right on the heels of a Public Religion Research Institute poll (PDF) which actually asked the Tea Partiers some questions which might reveal their attitudes towards minorities. The results:
- 64% agreed that “It is really not that big a problem if some people have more of a chance in life than others,” compared with 41% overall.
- 58% agreed that “Over the past couple of decades, the government has paid too much attention to the problems of blacks and other minorities,” compared with 37% overall.
- 65% agreed that “Immigrants today are a burden on our country because they take our jobs, housing and health care,” compared with 48% overall.
That sounds maybe just a teensy bit… tolerance-impaired to me, yet Tea Partiers and Republicans are always terribly indignant that anyone might ever possibly think of them as racist, and conservative pundits love to talk about how they went to a Tea Party or Glenn Beck rally and didn’t see a single racist sign. Well, maybe that’s so, or maybe they just don’t recognize it when they see it.
In order to clear up this confusion, I have compiled a helpful list of possible signs of racism. If they don’t apply to you, then congratulations, you’re just as not-racist as you think you are. But if they do, please stop complaining about what a bum rap you’re getting.
If you incite and exploit hatred and resentment against minorities to get white votes… you might be a racist.
If you regularly vote for the candidate who incites the most hatred and resentment against minorities, especially if that’s why you vote for them… you might be a racist.
If you think that black people are lazy Cadillac-driving welfare queens stealing your hard-earned money and oppose any measures to alleviate poverty… you might be a racist. [Note: If you don’t actually think this but assert it anyway, that counts too. The same applies for all the other “If you think” entries.]
If you think home loans to minorities caused the housing crash… you might be a racist.
If you think minorities are engaged in rampant voter fraud and intimidation… you might be a racist.
If you are systematically attempting to disenfranchise minority voters (or think that’s a damn fine idea)… you might be a racist.
If you think the police should stop people just because they look black or Latino… you might be a racist.
If you advocate putting undocumented immigrants into concentration camps… you might be a racist.
If you think Barack Obama was born in Kenya… you might be a racist.
If you think Barack Obama is a Muslim… you might be a racist.
If you think Barack Obama is a racist who hates white people, or that white people are somehow an oppressed minority in America… you might be a racist.
If you’re so convinced all of Islam is collectively responsible for 9/11 that you think the Park51 community center is a “Victory Mosque” and terrorize the imam’s family with death threats… you might be a racist.
If you think the indefinite detention, torture and murder of Muslims is not a problem because they must surely be evil terrorist barbarians… you might be a racist.
If you compare Michelle Obama to a gorilla… you might be a racist.
If you forward e-mails showing a watermelon patch on the White House lawn, or a “Historical Keepsake Photo” of Barack Obama as just a pair of eyes against a black background, or anything else along those lines… you might be a racist.
If you show up at a political rally with a sign showing Barack Obama as an African witch doctor with a bone through his nose, or urging him to go back to Kenya, or, well, pretty much any of these… you might be a racist.
If you track down the one black guy at a Glenn Beck rally so you can get your picture taken with him while holding a “Do We Look Racist?” sign… well, I’ve got some disappointing news for you.
This is only a partial list, but hopefully it’s enough to clear things up a little.
(Thanks to Peterr for helping compile these)