AP Stereotypes Tea Party Race Demographics; Ignores Gallup Poll Showing Numbers in Line with Public

It's incredible to see how many ways the mainstream media are able to analyze and dissect the Tea Party movement phenomenon on a regular basis. But lately it has been en vogue to challenge this movement on merits of race - a popular ad hominem talking point for opponents of the movement.

However, the Associated Press, an organization known for its extensive fact checking of conservatives, took a look at the other side of racism in the Tea Party movement - the backlash against "black conservative Tea Party backers." An April 6, 2010 AP story by Valerie Bauman spelled out all the ways these black conservatives have been labeled by opponents - with curiously little or no outrage from the same members of the media quick to advertise alleged Tea Party protest indiscretions.

"They've been called Oreos, traitors and Uncle Toms, and are used to having to defend their values," Bauman wrote. "Now black conservatives are really taking heat for their involvement in the mostly white tea party movement-and for having the audacity to oppose the policies of the nation's first black president."

But despite all these derogatory labels reported by the AP, Bauman wasn't quite ready to declare the racial makeup of the Tea Party movement. She instead based it off was is "believed."

"As a nascent grassroots movement with no registration or formal structure, there are no racial demographics available for the tea party movement; it's believed to include only a small number of blacks and Hispanics," Bauman wrote.

However, an April 5 Gallup Poll has attempted to determine the racial demographics of the Tea Party movement. And surprise - they're not that far off the country as a whole, as the poll showed.

"In several other respects, however -- their age, educational background, employment status, and race -- Tea Partiers are quite representative of the public at large," the Gallup Poll reported.

According to that poll, 79 percent of the respondents labeled "Tea Party supporters" are "Non-Hispanic white" versus 75 percent of all U.S. adults being "Non-Hispanic white." Respondents labeled "Non-Hispanic black" were 6 percent, while 11 percent of all U.S. adults are "Non-Hispanic black." And the category "Other" were approximately the same at 15 percent each.

 

Despite these numbers, Bauman gave the parting shot to Hilary Shelton, director of the Washington bureau of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, who offered a critique of black Tea Party supporters.

 

"I'm sure the reason that (black conservatives) are involved is that from an ideological perspective, they agree," Shelton said to the AP. "But when those kinds of things happen, it is very important to be careful of the company that you keep."