A University of Washington survey released last month that purports to find strong racist tendencies among supporters of the Tea Party movement is continuing to be much discussed.
Comedian harbors highly suspect views on race.
New York Times op-ed columnist Charles M. Blow cited the research again this weekend in a piece whose opening line was: "Racist. Tea Party. Are those separate concepts or a single one?" By the end of the column there's little doubt about where Blow comes down on that question.
There's no doubt about where University of Washington social scientist Christopher Parker comes down either. "The Tea Party...appear[s] predisposed to intolerance," he declares in a summary of his survey results.
But if you look at some of the questions posed by Parker's survey, you'll see that only the most simplistic, PC answers to racial questions are allowed. Bill Cosby himself wouldn't pass this test.
What are examples?Well, let's see. There's this one: "Irish, Italians, Jewish, and many other minorities overcame prejudice and worked their way up. Blacks should do the same without special favors." You better immediately and strongly disagree with that one or else you're displaying "racial resentment," according to Professor Parker.
Then there's this one: "Over the past few years, blacks have gotten less than they deserve." Don't agree? Sorry, you go into the racist column.
Or there's this one: "If blacks would only try harder they could be just as well off as whites." An extremely arguable point for sure and also one that a number of conservative black thinkers themselves have advanced. So what of Bill Cosby, who said of his community: "It's not what they're doing to us; it's what we're not doing"? Into the racist camp, according to the UW's methodology.
In other words, if you don't loyally mouth PC views about the continuing evils of discrimination and the need for extra government help, you are, by this study, dinged as a prejudiced person.
Talk about intolerance.
The Tea Party may well be full of racist Obama-haters. But sometimes the conservative conspiracy theorists really have a point.