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Obama: Race a Key Part of Tea Party Opposition to Him

In a private dinner at the White House last year, President Obama told guests that his Tea Party opponents are racially motivated, according to a new book, Family of Freedom: Presidents and African Americans in the White House, by veteran U.S. News & World Report White House reporter Kenneth Walsh.

Here’s part of a an excerpt that appeared in the magazine.

Obama, in his most candid moments, acknowledged that race was still a problem. In May 2010, he told guests at a private White House dinner that race was probably a key component in the rising opposition to his presidency from conservatives, especially right-wing activists in the anti-incumbent “Tea Party” movement that was then surging across the country. Many middle-class and working-class whites felt aggrieved and resentful that the federal government was helping other groups, including bankers, automakers, irresponsible people who had defaulted on their mortgages, and the poor, but wasn’t helping them nearly enough, he said.

A guest suggested that when Tea Party activists said they wanted to “take back” their country, their real motivation was to stir up anger and anxiety at having a black president, and Obama didn’t dispute the idea. He agreed that there was a “subterranean agenda” in the anti-Obama movement—a racially biased one—that was unfortunate. But he sadly conceded that there was little he could do about it.

So much for the post-racial presidency.

18 Responses to Obama: Race a Key Part of Tea Party Opposition to Him

  1. Always seems to me that with half black, half white, it’s a draw, but on the blogs, I do see a lot of racist commentary…It seems so stupid to me.. I would not tie it to the Tea Party, though–that I don’t get.

    • In all fairness, the remarks about “his people” should be taken in context to the whole conversation. MrHolder was referring to the struggle of Southern Blacks to get the right to vote.

      Most of us use that phrase when talking about our family, our religious brethren or our social groups.

      • I watched and listened to him before the panel and he was very passionate when describing what “his people” went through.

        I mean no disrespect to you, but I have never referred to my family, my church, or friends as “my people”.

      • I agree with SRDEM. Having grown up in Texas, many blacks use that term and its not meant to be racist. I think Holder was wrong to try to use it (since he’s an elitist) to defend the New Black Panthers but its usually a term that is not meant in any mean-spirited way. I was raised by a wonderful black lady who took some of the most incredible abuse from whites …. she forgave all of them (she told me that), “because they dont know what they do – they just hate black people.” She was right.


        Are there racists in the Tea Party? Yes.

        Are there racists in the Democratic Party? Absolutely.

        Instead of investigating and highlighting the anti-Semitic bigots in the Democratic Party (there are hundreds of thousands) the liberal MSM will shoot video of an overweight man with a baseball cap and a sign that has Obama’s face with the Dark Knight (Batman) makeup and use that as “tea party racism toward the President” having NEVER talked with the sign holder. The media automatically BELIEVES he is a racist. If he is WHITE, he is a racist. Granted, several signs I did see WERE racist … but the same can be applied within progressive, liberal protestors with their Soviet flags, burning of Jewish bibles and Israeli flags. I have seen that with my own eyes when I lived in the People’s Republic of Seattle.

        When it comes to racism, no ‘race’ has a monopoly on it. There is good and bad in every race.

  2. If someone can find a racial motive for Americans who agreed with the tea party revolting against Obamacare, higher taxes, the National debt and illogical government regulations, then, yes indeed, the tea party was racist.

  3. As a proud member of a TEA party organization, I can tell you it is not about the color of his skin. The movement is more about an awakening to what has been going on in Washington D.C. for a very long time. He just happens to be the catalyst for the awakening.

    • I hear from so many Tea Party members who would be just so distressed that this is how they are thought of, even by the president. It’s just the worst kind of tactic to demonize the opposition in this manner.

      • DEMONIZE is the key word Keith.

        When you disagree with Obama (and your white), you are a racist. If you disagree with Obama (and your black) you are an Uncle Tom.

  4. So everyone who believes in the free market, fiscal accountability, and Constitutionally limited government is racist? Sure they are. (heavy sarc)

    Barry is weak, afraid, and thin-skinned, so he plays the race card.

    Guess what Barry: The race card expired on Jan. 20, 2009.

  5. Well put.

    “Yes men get soldiers killed on the battlefield. To win, to be victorius, you must constantly and consistenly question.”
    -Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.

  6. It’s such an easy card for a Democrat to play- why not? The press has your back in this and all things…

    Of course then, the opposite is true: all of 0bama’s supporters do so because he’s black.

    (see what I did there?)

  7. The tea party movement ,aka the religious right are comprised of a lot of
    prejudiced people against the blacks, jews, and other minorities. They want to overturn our constitutional right to separate church and state, thus ovethrowing our government and instituting a state where the rich rule and are the common man is controlled by the militant right that think they are working on Gods behalf, when in truth they are being manipulated by the super rich. We have seem what this type of thinking has done to the good moslem people who were denied rights when their governments let their crazy conservatives take over their government. If we let the religious right take our rights away the way the moselms were tricked into giving up their freedom, then we can also find ourselves as enslaved by a ruthless puritian dictator carrying out the desires of the super rich that lead the average man, woman and child into slavery . The tea party aka religious right are self righteous and do not understand the true word of God. They are using the Bible the same way the ruthless moslem right used the Koran to enslave their own people.

  8. As a Tea Party member since 2009, I am qualified to comment on my own experience from within.

    I have NEVER heard ANY racist sentiment at my local Tea Party meetings. My local group (in a Southern state) includes “transplanted Yankees”, folks from other countries (including Israel), Veterans, local small business people, doctors, college students, and grandparents. I have NEVER seen anyone not welcomed at their first meeting.

    The local Tea Party an hour down the highway has a black president. The Tea Party has backed Rep. Tim Scott in SC, Rep. Alan West in FL, and Herman Cain got a good deal of Tea Party support in the primary. All black men.

    In my experience, the Tea Party doesn’t care what color you are, or where you’re from, if you share the values of Constitutional governance and limited government, you’re one of us.

    The Tea Party opposes Obama because of the radical left direction he is taking our country, not his color. We oppose Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi just as strongly. The last time I looked, they were white. Old, rich white people, as we are accused of being as a perjorative.

    As much as we have been maligned by the left as being racist, I can truly say that I have seen none of it. I have, however, been accused of being a racist and anti-Semite while standing between an Israeli and a young mixed-race couple by an Obama supporter. So much for the legendary tolerance of the left …