Sarah Palin held a rally on Boston Common today on behalf of the tea party. Here's a picture of the crowd. Click on the images to see the larger versions.
More shots of the crowd can be found at Boston.com.
The last time Boston had a big rally, the dastardly Red Sox won a World Series. Compare the face of Boston.
According to the census bureau, only 56% of Boston is white.
Today's crowd was -- as it was at the Palin rally in Minneapolis -- exclusively white. That doesn't make the tea party racist -- an accusation that precludes a scholarly discussion -- but it does indicate that the tea party doesn't resonate with non-whites (and/or that it's not as popular in Boston as the Red Sox).
What does this mean for the movement? Why doesn't it resonate across race? And can it be a national party without creating -- or at least, illuminating -- a racial divide?
By the way, this sign at the rally should get some attention:
For more on the tea party, listen to today's MPR Midday, which featured an analysis of the tea party movement.
Okay, so maybe I buy the idea that the TEA party isn't fundamentally racist.
However, all of the people I know who identify with this group just happen to be some pretty racist individuals. It makes me wonder if the opposition to health care reform and anything else Obama supports is often a proxy for something that's not socially acceptable.
When you said look at the faces I assumed you were trying to point out how the red sox fans were happy, and the Tea Party folk, not so much...
Though if we are going with racism... don't tea parties already exclude the half of Americans that aren't republicans? or at least the half that isn't a particularly big fan of Palin?
Agreed the TEA party seems to pull from a smaller pool. I have seen, in person, a good number of people of color who claim to be TEA party folks. Not equal to population by anymeans.... But look at most political rallies (not membership) - I would bet most (not all most) lean VERY heavy on the white side. At least the ones I have been to tend that way. (I'm talking attending 4 different party functions and over 100 candidate events)
Incidentally, I know Boston Common pretty well and know exactly where the stage was. Looking at the images, I'd have expected a far bigger crowd. If there were "thousands" there, there weren't MANY thousands.
I don't really care if the Tea Party Movement is racist, and I'm guessing the Movement itself doesn't care much about it either. They probably don't resonate across race lines because at best they are a large fringe group and fringe groups usually don't hold a diverse population; they appeal to a specific segment of society. The segment of society that likes to use "ya" in place of "you".
Yes, that "Civil War 2012" should get some attention, but I doubt it will. I find the rhetoric troubling, and the implications more so. Would it be Tea Partiers mounting a real war against the rest of us? Left versus right? North versus South? And why should I feel OK that any segment of the population wants to wage a real war against people who hold the same ideals as I do? I don't.
I am willing to bet I knew at least one or two of those faces in the crowd, and that saddens me beyond words.
Are you kidding, Bob? You wonder why this so-called "movement" doesn't resonate with nonwhites? This is the same crowd that shows up at the "Values Voters Summit" to buy Obama Waffles with the Sambo-like caricature on the box. The same crowd who shouted the by-now well-known epithets at nonwhite and gay members of Congress outside the capitol. The same crowd that sports hateful anti-immigrant signs at their rallies. The same crowd that sneers when they call Obama by his middle (Eastern-sounding) name. Yep, it's a mystery to me why more nonwhites aren't falling in lockstep behind this bunch.
So what you are saying is: more black people like the Red Sox (at least 4 more) than like the government being fiscally responsible with taxpayer's money. Shocking.
It's never a good sign when one creates a new interpretation of what someone said and then dismisses said interpretation.
What do you mean by that, Chris? Seriously, it'd be great if you could explain your statement.
Just that conclusion that is being drawn from these pictures is ridiculous and starts the racial finger pointing process, which is clearly the goal here. The Tea Party is a group of people that are concerned about the way the govenment is handling our money. If there are no black people in attendance at the rally it only says to me that black people in Boston must not care that much about the govenment being fiscally responsible, at least not enough to go to the rally. Could it be that the only people at these rallies are the ones that have something to lose if the govenment continues to tax us into oblivion? In other words the ones that pay the most taxes?
I would not be there either if I had nothing to lose.But if you guys want to start the whole racial thing because that is your best shot at hurting the Tea Party, go ahead, the nation has grown weary of that claim, which is completely idiotic and false.
Btw, nobody in the Red Sox pic is over 25. Why is it that the Red Sox just don't seem to resonate with older people?
I still like you Bob :)
The goal is what the questions at the end asked. it's the discussion we're not having because we're back in the racist vs. not-racist thing, avoiding a more intellectual discussion.
So now the question is: Do we not have more intellectual discussions on sensitive topics because we don't WANT to? Or because we don't have the ABILITY to?
BTW, the reason groups have public rallies, is to get attention for your group or cause. You can't logically "harumph" because someone's paying attention to you.
Check out the video on this page.
I think the tea party movement is based on a financial arguement and premise, as are so many others like it. Unfortunately, a financial divide can lead to a racial divide also, which I believe is the case here. The fact that black people could be hesitant to stand against the current administration only creates a broader divide.
As far as the sensitive topics, I feel most people can let emotions take over too easily and conclusions drawn too soon. Discusions on sensitive topics are challenging, especially in this format where tone is hard to read and everyone is anonymous. I think for the most part people avoid sensitive issues, because it gets too emotional and they figure they won't change anyone's view anyways.
Here is the link, sorry.
i was there, at the Boston event, ( i'm the one with my hand over my heart in one of the pics) if you purposely don't photograph, or at least PUBLISH pictures of people of color, you can make it look any way you want. Clearly, you're of the opinion that if you tell a lie long enough and loud enough, sooner or later it'll become the truth. Well see how that truth holds up come November 2nd