As I watch the news coverage of the Tea Party phenomena I don’t see but one or two Blacks participating in any of the demonstrations. I suppose it is because they are easy to spot in the crowd of Caucasians. Regardless, it dumbfounds me to see African America’s supporting a cause that does not speak to the issues that affect our current state of America. With that said, I came across an article in “The Root” written by a Chicago-based writer Lynette Holloway who wrote a story that I felt the need to share and thought it was worth offering my “Thought Provoking Perspective”.
She wrote about two Tea Party Negro’s who are proud of their affiliation. Charles Butler, a black Chicago-based conservative talk show host often called a traitor to his race because of his affiliation with the largely white Tea Party movement. Lloyd Marcus, a black Orlando, Fla. based conservative folk singer who has been described as a minstrel, a buck dancer and a boot licker because he performs at Tea Party events, he admits.
Both said they are used to getting flak over their membership in the nascent grassroots Tea Party movement. Like all members of the movement they are raising vociferous opposition to issues they believe are stunting the growth of America like rising unemployment, expanding taxes, uncontrolled government spending, a mushrooming federal government and strict Constitutional adherence – yada, yada, yada.
They are not completely alone in their march to the Tea Party movement. Scores of blacks and other people of color have joined, although just how many is unknown. Yet it’s clear they are in the minority and according to the latest New York Times/CBS News Poll those who are members of the fledgling movement tend to be Republican, white, male, married and older than 45.
Butler said he is a member because his hometown leader, President Barack Obama, is offering the wrong solutions to the nation’s problems. He is very vocal about it on his show “The Other Side with Charles Butler,” which airs weekday evenings on Chicago’s WVON, 1690-AM and has been on the air since 2007. Within the next several weeks, he plans to host a Tea Party on Chicago’s South Side, Obama’s old stomping grounds, which should be interesting.
Noticing that the Tea Party movement has flourished under Obama much like the militia did while Bill Clinton was President. The article referenced that some on the left have accused blacks like Butler and Marcus of being pawns in an odious, racist attempt to block the president’s success. Indeed, racial animosity reared its ugly head when some people hurled racial epithets at black elected officials during a protest of health care reform.
Butler said during their interview that “I’m involved in the Tea Party movement and the Republican Party because I feel that people should be able to express themselves and their values without a filter of some other group, as if he were on air. “People call you a traitor. They call you all kinds of disparaging names. I couldn’t care less about being called an Uncle Tom, because again, that leads to the Mis-Education of the Negro. Anyone who has read the book by Harriet Beecher Stowe would know that Uncle Tom was a hero. We have a lot of those fallacies going on in the community, like the Democratic Party has helped black folk. That is patently untrue.”
Butler does not hesitate to turn racially charged rhetoric on other blacks. When a Tea Party protester tried to interrupt a meeting last year, which was attended by Michael Steele, chairman of the RNC: “I told him, ‘We’re not having any of this [N-word] [expletive] today”. Butler, who grew up middle-class in Pontiac, Mich. has been a political operative in the Republican Party for over 25 years and also canvassed for votes on campus for Richard M. Nixon’s presidential campaign in 1972.
He said the Republican Party represents the core values of most blacks more so than the Democratic Party. “When it comes to black people and how we participate in the political and social practice, we’re conservative,” he said.”The myth of President John F. Kennedy and Franklin Delano Roosevelt is greatly exaggerated compared to Republican presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and Richard M. Nixon, who I consider great civil rights leaders.”
He went on to say Dr. Martin Luther King had a number of things to say about JFK and his promise to use the signature of a pen to eliminate discrimination while appointing Southern segregationist judges to the federal bench for life. “Republicans have never gotten the credit they deserve for defending civil rights.” Butler also said the Democratic social welfare policies of Roosevelt and Kennedy negatively affected black people then and continue to affect blacks today.
Lloyd Marcus, a longtime black conservative from Orlando, Fla., agrees. He said Democrats are focused on keeping blacks thinking they are victims and dependent on social welfare. “They should be upholding Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as shining examples of doing the right thing and working hard for their achievements.”
Marcus has attended 150 Tea Party Express events across the nation from Washington to California and was a fixture at events on Tax Day. He is best-known for his “Tea Party Anthem.” The first stanza is: “Mr. President! Your stimulus is sure to bust/ It’s just a socialist scheme/ The only thing it will do is kill the American Dream.” The song and other performances have garnered fiery criticism from liberals and Democrats whose towering presence is hard to miss at the tea parties. He said many opponents have written him passionate hate mail. Yet, he continues to perform the anti-Obama song, which he wrote out of unmitigated disappointment.
“President Obama got 96 percent of the black vote,” Marcus said.” I am convinced that most voted for him because he is black and didn’t care what he was gonna do when he got into the Oval Office. That was a racist decision on their part. Now, simply because we are standing up and saying we don’t want universal health care rammed down our throats, they are calling us racist. That is wrong.” He believes more blacks will be drawn away from the Democratic Party, as Obama administration initiatives such as health care reform and “cap and trade” policies begin to negatively affect Americans.
“I have been interviewed all over the world and asked why there aren’t a lot of blacks in the Tea Party,” Marcus said, “And what it should do to attract more blacks and women. I tell them, ‘What it’s doing right now.’ We don’t need to pander to blacks or women. I think we have too much identity politics.” Wow!!!
This article was reported in the Root, written by Lynette Holloway a Chicago-based writer and a former New York Times reporter and associate editor for Ebony magazine. I found it interesting and decided to add my commentary to it for your informed reading pleasure.
Rarely am I at a loss for words. I understand that everyone has the right to think and believe whatever they want but Richard Pryor said it best when he titled one of his comedic albums. I would only ask what planet are they living on when they say the conservatives have help anyone but the rich and where were they from 2000 – 2008. Talk Mis-Educated Negro’s…