Since the Tea Party movement's beginning, right after Barack Obama's election, there have been accusations from some quarters that there is a racist undertone to the movement.
A racist joke told at the annual Ozark Tea Party in Baxter County earlier this week by a Tea Party board member gives the “Is the Tea Party racist?” storyline serious credence.
Ozark Tea Party board member Inge Marler told the following racist joke in her speech before the 500-person crowd:
A black kid asks his mom, ‘Mama, what’s a democracy?’
“‘Well, son, that be when white folks work every day so us po’ folks can get all our benefits.’
“‘But mama, don’t the white folk get mad about that?’
“‘They sho do, son. They sho do. And that’s called racism.’”
The Baxter Bulletin captured the audio of this outrageous joke an
d you can hear Tea Party leader Marler change her voice and tell the joke as if she was on the “Amos and Andy” radio show. Listen in and you can hear the disgusting attempt at racial stereotyping in Marler's voice.
To make it even worse, the Tea Party audience laughed heartily and then clapped at the end of the joke. They clapped for a racist joke!
From the Baxter Bulletin's article on the event:
There were no objections to the “joke” from the floor and no one spoke with disapproval or objection to Marler’s comment except those pursued for comment by The Baxter Bulletin.
No one objected? It's the audience approval of the racist joke that really drives the point that there are some strands of racism in the Arkansas Tea Party. That is not to say, however, that just because you're a member of the Tea Party it means you're a racist.
What do Republican leaders in the Ozark area have to say about the racist joke and the audience reaction?
What do Senator Johnny Key, who just became Rick Crawford's campaign chairman, Sen. Missy Thomas Irvin, Rep. Linda Collins Smith, Rep. Lori Benedict think about this incident? Where do they stand and do they plan to publicly rebuke not only Marler, but also the audience, for this joke?
Frankly, I'm still shocked by this incident.
Got a tip or story idea? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.