In the history of mankind, many republics have risen, have flourished for a less or greater time, and then have fallen because their citizens lost the power of governing themselves and thereby of governing their state. TR

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NY Times Book Review Likens Tea Party to the Klan

A piece in Sunday’s New York Times book review section compared the Tea Party to the Ku Klux Klan.

The review, written for the Times by historian Kevin Boyle, evaluates two new books on the Klan. It opens with an indirect but unmistakable suggestion that the Tea Party is a modern version of the racist white supremacist organization.

Imagine a political movement created in a moment of terrible anxiety, its origins shrouded in a peculiar combination of manipulation and grass-roots mobilization, its ranks dominated by Christian conservatives and self-proclaimed patriots, its agenda driven by its members’ fervent embrace of nationalism, nativism and moral regeneration, with more than a whiff of racism wafting through it.

No, not that movement. The one from the 1920s, with the sheets and the flaming crosses and the ludicrous name meant to evoke a heroic past. The Invisible Empire of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, they called it. And for a few years it burned across the nation, a fearsome thing to ­behold.

That a portrayal of the Tea Party as a racist and intolerant movement could get past the editors of the New York Times is perhaps not surprising, given what I think are widely held assumptions about the movement among the Northeast’s liberal ruling class.

What is somewhat shocking is the prevalence of these views given the fervent – even stubborn, in my view – embrace by the Tea Party of Herman Cain. I don’t think any of the GOP candidates has aroused more passion among conservatives this year, including Newt Gingrich.

Beyond probably being racist, the Tea Party is generally thought – in the non-conservative sectors of my city, Washington – to be amply comprised of boneheads and jerks.

For example, you cannot in polite company in Washington say, “You know, those Tea Party people, I think they have some really smart ideas,” without being laughed out of the room or, at best, have people quietly go back to their typing and try to pretend nothing just happened.

I am sure that Tea Party members are viewed in negative terms by the Obama people, most of whom fit quite nicely into mainstream Washington. The upcoming campaign, which will feature corrosive attack rhetoric against Republicans from the president, will no doubt exacerbate the misperceptions and suspicions about the Tea Party.

The Times, which thinks of itself as our nation’s newspaper of record and which at the very least helps shape elite opinion, should be combating dangerous stereotypes, not promoting them.

742 thoughts on “NY Times Book Review Likens Tea Party to the Klan”

  1. Teabaggers are a bunch of ignorant hicks – can you imagine anyone actually wanting to cut spending to sustainable levels and compel the federal government to abide by limits placed on it by the constitution. Pure crazy.

  2. Boyle is so wrong in so many ways! The Klan was created by bored, post college young men in the middle 1850’s. They wanted to create some excitement by disguising themselves and disrupting parades, speeches, etc. It had NOTHING to do with evil until the democrats infiltrated and eventually took over. This guy is perpetuating the already old and debunked theory that they set out kill blacks. NOPE….that was ALL the left!

  3. So this history prof is showing just how little of American History he knows and even less of what he understands.

    I am part of the Tea Party and I am no racist and have the family history to prove it. Anyone who thinks they are superior hasn’t taken an honest look at their family tree

  4. As a tea party supporter I am sick and tired of these intellectually inferior progressives defining me and others without a shred of evidence. I can’t stand Obama and it isn’t due to his color it’s due to his comnsistent stupididty. I had been a supporter of Herman however he appears to have the morals of a Democrat, IE Wiener, John Edwards, Clinton, etc. I know many tea party supporters and they are all decent, God fearing people who want limted federal power and adherence to the constitution the document that secures all of our rights with regardless to color.

    1. You were making sense until you had to bring that God thing up. Why don’t you know that there is no God? And as for that constitution, it tis but a piece of paper, merely a guide to use as we, the left, the arbiters of truth, justice and fairness (as we see it anyway) change it to whatever serves our political interests at the time.

      1. Joff,

        Your brain washing is complete. You are so stupid that you don’t understand what the constitution is. You worship the liberal state. I know there is no god, but I don’t spit on those who still believe. It provides spiritual strength for them and that is not a bad thing, It means they don’t need the state for their well-being.

  5. This guy is an idiot and I agree…he knows nothing about history…I can equate the OWS movement to any other disreputable organization…it’s all BS. By the way, Rubio my Senator from FL is a respected candidate of the Tea Party…he’s Cuban by the way. Herman Cain is beloved by the Tea Party…by the way, he is Black…West, a representative from FL is a Tea Party guy…by the way he is black…ridiculous notion.

  6. The Tea Party has not done one thing that resembles the KKK. They are orderly, polite and leave the grounds they were on spotless. I am just sick of other people’s opinions. It all comes down to ideology anyway. There are just too many blatherers around today. Those that talk the most (i.e., New York Times) have the least to say. I wish they would zip their lips and just go away.

    1. Yea, Truth Not Tool, conservatives lynch black people all the time. Your comments are exactly why the majority in this country REJECT you and your comrades. Please carry on, you are a big help in the battle to defeat liberalism. Thanks.

  7. The reviewer doesn’t know his a$$ from a hole in his head. I’m a Tea Partier and I’ve never had even the remotest thought of joining the KKK. No one I’ve ever talked to – Tea Party or otherwise – has ever said anything about the KKK. Fools rule.

  8. Racism is one of those overly used words that the majority of those who fling it about don’t know the real meaning of. The term is used because it sounds cool, and everyone is saying it. And no one wants to be branded, “Uncool.”
    Take the word Atheist five years ago didn’t even know what the word meant. Now in order to be popular in government run schools and college academia a person has to publicly declare themselves an, “Atheist, and anti-Semite.”
    Those who declare that members of the Tea Party are racist in nature only need to look in the mirror, and they’ll see what a racist looks like.

  9. Obviously Keith is not a student of history. The Klan was established as the enforcement arm of the Democratic Party. Its original mission was to kill or intimidate black’s, and black sympathizers who were elected to, or ran for, political office. The Democrats funded, managed, and led the Klan for over 100 years, up to and including the early 1980’s.

  10. On average, one person is murdered every day in Los Angeles County by minority gangs.
    The KKK has not murdered any one in 50 years.
    Your HATE is misplaced.
    Savage liberal facism.
    Welcome to the DEMOCRAT PLANTATION.

  11. Revisionist historians run amuk on the left – the have buried the facts that they were the segregationists, those who opposed civil rights in 60s and they look the other way about Ted Kennedy and Robert Birds horrible behaviors. The left is a predator looking for young minds and recent immigrants, that is their power base now. They wouldn’t be interested in unions one IOTA if they leaned right. Deny it you cannot if you are honest inside. – democratsagainstagenda21.com

  12. When I was growing up the New York times seemed so special. A massive newspaper that let you in on the happenings of the nation and the world. Sadly, we are living in a time where it and so much of our once great newspapers are dying.

    A key element of the decline is obvious. Today, the NYT editorial staff seems as interested in keeping stories out of its pages as much as keeping a “politically correct” slant on so many of its stories.

    In college I spent so many Sundays in the library reading the Sunday NYT, the Times of London and other papers to try and understand the world. Now, well, I going to the international papers web sites and it is amazing what never makes in into US publications.

    So does it surprise me that a piece ran in Sunday’s New York Times book review section comparing the Tea Party to the Ku Klux Klan. Not at all. I think the tea party has a full range of advocates from some obvious loons to those very concerned about of faltering economy and government spending gone nuts. Only an idiot trying to make political points could compare it to the murderous KKK. Then again where are the NYT stories on who is financing the Occupy movement? If the NYT spent half the space it has used to investigate and criticize the Tea Party concerning the Occupy movement – there would be charges and trials! The Occupy movement has been embraced by both communist and fascist movements – strange how such rarely gets written about.

    But we live in a time when the great newspapers are fast becoming irrelevant. The New York Times’s masthead logo, “All The News That’s Fit to Print,” dating back to 1896, should be changed to: “Only The News That’s Fit to Print,” And so Twilight falls… How sad.

  13. The KKK was formed in Tennessee in 1865.
    THEY WERE PRIMARILY WHITE, SOUTHERN, AND DEMOCRATIC.
    THE KLAN WAS A MILITARY FORCE SERVING THE INTERESTS OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY, THE PLANTER CLASS, AND ALL THOSE WHO DESIRED RESTORATION OF WHITE SUPREMACY.
    It aimed to reverse the interlocking changes sweeping over the South during Reconstruction: to destroy the Republican party’s infrastructure, undermine the Reconstruction state, reestablish control of the black labor force, and restore racial subordination in every aspect of Southern life.

    Read more: http://www.answers.com/#ixzz1RKV7iW5R and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KKK#Creation_and_naming

  14. OWS = Occupy Without Soap. Smelly, stinking, law breaking, parasitical Obamabaggers freeloading in fetid, putrid, dirty,malodorous Obamavilles. Soap and Work = antidote to faux hope & change empty slogans from the illegal-loving, job-killing, non-stop-vacationing/golfing messiah of spending and intrusive nanny state government growth. Bath time for losers!

  15. I think that mainstream press has no clue what and who the Tea Party comprises, and are willfully ignorant of what it represents. Most media today is distrusted by mainstream America, and their time is very, very limited. Jus watch in 2012. You;ll see what became of the Tea Party.

  16. As Archie, of “Duffy’s Tavern” radio show used to say, “Don’t confuse me with facts; my head is already made up!”

    One has to wonder if the left-wing sycophants realize what happens when you piss into the wind.

  17. When leftist reporters start using KKK analogies they’ve reached their wits end and feel that no one’s taking them seriously. We understand the symbolism but they need to come up with some better and more modern examples rather than reaching back into history to demonstrate their point.

    1. Right out of the racist playbook. Recruit academic elites, baffle undeducated minorities with your bs, and enslave them forever. What liberals do.

  18. This is a complete LIE I dare you to show any trouble at any of the ralleys.
    You people are known to be habital LIERS. One of these days you will stand before your maker and I feel sorry for you. Have you no shame.

  19. A slight majority of whites in the USA, historically a white European country, realizes that everything we’ve historically cared about – religion, independence, freedom, our language, our history – are under constant attack by a combination of self-flagellating liberal whites and socialist unions along with all the non-white political groups such as La Raza, the CBC, CAIR, etc.

    Finally, the white Europeans are starting to wake up and say that the actions of our own government along with these groups is to destroy most of the things that make (made?) the US the destination the rest of the world flocked to for so many years.

    Is that racist? No. Just pretend it’s a black person or illegal alien saying “I’m proud of my heritage” but if you’ll allow, a white person actually said it.

  20. It’s nauseating how the leftists in the media continue to perpetuate this kind of crap. Have the media ever reported the fact that Fred Phelps of the hateful Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas is a registered Democrat? In fact, he has run in various Democratic Party primaries five times. Most people don’t know this. Had he been a Republican, everyone on the planet would have known.

  21. Historian….my nuanced, sophisticated, intellectual butt! Tea Party members tend, in the main, to be conservative Republicans while the klan was founded by and has always been infested by democrats.

    ..

  22. Did the reviewer happen to mention that the KKK was started by Democrats? No, didn’t think so as that would hamper his viewpoint of only Republicans and conservative/middle of the road independents being racist. It’s going to be difficult to get any reality during the upcoming elections with the MSM running blocking interference for the progressive liberals. And, there in no longer any attempts to be subtle about it anymore. Bought, paid for and deep in the pocket of progressives.

    Gonna be a rough election campaign.

  23. Can you believe that anyone but liberal idjits would think the NY Backwards Times is anything but a propoganda rag for the Dems. It is so obvious it is disgusting. Lie LIe LIe…and distort, or not report is their byline. If you go to NYt online, the comments are filled with literally liberal boneheads that spout nonsense about conservatives.. well the liberals are going to get another beating in 2012… you can’t anger smart people and call them names and think they are going to vote for your candidate. Obama is writing off the white working class. So be it. The Dems own the OWS mob defecating, breaking the law, and rioting all for the cause of “give me more of your’s”.

  24. The New York Times and its editors would make my waste basket liner smell like roses. The Times held Mussolini in high regard during WWII. So we must consider the source when reading anything, even a book review, within its pages.

  25. The Tea Party is “like” the KKK in the same wat that OWS is “like” the Communist Party. The modern Klan (unlike the 19th century version) was a nonviolent conservative movement which was similar to previous nativist parties such as the Know-Nothings. It also had aspects of other fraternal organizations such as the Masons. The OWS is a violent, anti-capitalist revolutionary movement (symbol: Che) that seeks to overthrow the existing constiutional order “by any means necessary”.

  26. I think that a more acurate analysis of political movements in today’s America would be to equate the ‘Occupy’ protestors to Stalin’s goose steppers.

  27. I missed it. I thought he was talking about the OWS folks.

    “I am veteran White House reporter Keith Koffler. White House Dossier is dedicated to preserving freedom by holding the White House to account”

    Keith has a lofty self-perception. Keith if you are dedicated to preserving freedom by holding the WH to account, you are failing miserably….

  28. With the exception of “whiff of racisim” in the first paragraph Boyal has just discribed 99% of action groups/organizations. Making a suggestion that the Tea Party is racist is an old argument by people that are afraid of the truth, yet back the “occupiers” in cities accross the nation. If you compare the “occupiers” message and the Tea Party you will find a large number of similarities. Why not report on that?

  29. Let’s see, how is the Tea Party like the KKK?…..

    OK, what about OWS? Rampant anti-semitism. David Duke supports OWS. Thousands of arrests. Rapes. Murders. Destruction of property. Sexual assaults. Defication in public. Fornication in public. Masterbation in public. Pedophilia.

    Which side are you on, Kevin Boyle?? And exactly what are your “credentials” as a historian? Do you support Hitler? Stalin? Mao? Are you actually a commie?

  30. Calling for sharply lower deficits and objecting to a government mandate to buy health insurance. Tea-Party? Yes, and Barack Obama in the 2008 campaign. It’s funny how liberals forget, isn’t it?

  31. Wow! This is amazing. ‘Willful blindness’ would seriously understate this Boyle creature’s world view; it’s really “cool” the way NYT folk manage to parrot and promote the DNC & Obama talking-points into everything they ponder.

    How can anyone compare Tea Party people [who secured permits, paid fees, gathered peacefully, listened to speakers enthusiastically and respectfully, and cleaned-up after themselves – leaving the Mall and other areas where they “congregated” cleaner than they were before? No arrests, no defecating on sidewalks in public, no rapes, no assaults, no public sex, no “disorderly conduct”, no abuse what-so-ever in any of their gatherings… except for having to occasionally throw-out Obama’s agit-prop agents carrying nasty or provocative signs to libel the movement.

    Obama and the sycophantic, redistributive Left are in full-panic mode; they’ve strapped themselves to the scum and rabble calling themselves “Occupy [fill-in the blank]”, lauding their heroic sensitivity and courage in hopes of re-vivifying the street “actions” of the 60s & 70s. Meanwhile, the productive, hard-working, Liberty and Freedom-seeking Americans are repulsed and revolted.

    KKK indeed! mariana

  32. My God, this writer (Mr.Boyle) would actually think the founders of the U.S. would be KKK members, or racist terrorists, etc. People like Mr. Boyle have no clue about grass roots organizations. If an organization doesn’t come out of Moscow or the DNC in Mr. Boyle’s view it is bad. Who ever this writer (Historian,ha!) works for had better keep an eye on this loony.

  33. Wow, amazing bias by this “historian”. Besides being completely inaccurate, this “historian” simply refuses to put aside his biases and write an objective piece of work that could have some value. I attended several Tea Party events. I have first hand experience witnessing the tone and tenor of their rallies. I did not see a SINGLE racist sign or hear a single racist comment. But SOMEHOW, this “historian” infers that the Tea Party is as racist as the KKK! The KKK who openly HUNG blacks, and intimidated them continually with physical violence and cross burnings. I defy this “historian” to DEMONSTRATE one incident or observation that even came CLOSE to anything perpetrated by the KKK. Mr. Boyle, you are an utter disgrace and sully the reputation of all true historians.

  34. You say “Beyond probably being racist, the Tea Party is generally thought – in the non-conservative sectors of my city, Washington – to be amply comprised of boneheads and jerks.”

    I am a Republican/Conservative and Tea Party Member. It’s so funny to watch you out of touch “inside the Beltway” morons pontificate on a subject you obviously know little about. Very few, if any Tea Party members are racists. If by racist you mean we are against the rampant irresponsible dispensing of tax dollars to those who need to be working, who usually are minorities, sorry, but thats our stand.

    Why is it that when social programs are threatened with cuts you hear Jesse Jackson and Al (not very sharp) Sharpton screaming the loudest? Because blacks are the main recipients of the money.

    Over 90% of black voters voted for Obama. Isn’t that racist? Most didn’t even know who his running mate was or anything of substance about him. Did you look at Howard Sterns interviews on the street in Harlem? Funny and pathetic at the same time.

    The Tea Party is for smaller govt., less taxes and a return to the Constitution. In my group, we have balck and hispanic members. We also support Herman Cain and Marco Rubio. I personally like Rep Allen West, a black Congressman from South Florida. I also like Rick Perry and Ron Paul.

    But I am a bonhead, jerk and racist, supporting Herman Cain and I have a Masters in Engineering.

  35. The KKK rose from Southern DEMOCRATS and was populated with SOUTHERN DEMOCRATS. Just as the SLAVERY was promoted and protected to the point of CIVIL WAR by the SOUTHERN DEMOCRATS, just as the CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964 was attacked and almost defeated by SOUTHERN DEMOCRATS. The Democrats are so embarrassed and patently dishonest about this that that they promote the concept that Southern Democrats weren’t really Democrats, they were a hybrid group of Republicans. They had to be right? How could Democrats do such a thing. Folks, Archie Bunker was a DEMOCRAT! He wasn’t a Republican. Stop allowing Democrats to promote these lies and deceptions.

  36. Thank you Mr. Boyle. Your absurd pronouncement will only assist in the landslide election that will unseat this empty suit now residing in our White House. You are as much an historian as Stalin was a humanitarian. Shame on you and your ilk.

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