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Claim that Blacks back the Tea Party is Pure P.T. Barnum Bunkum

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P.T. Barnum would steal this one if he were still around. That's the claim that more blacks than ever now say they back the Tea Party. This bunkum comes courtesy of Pajama TV's tracking poll that purportedly found that more than one out of three African-Americans supports the Tea Party. And even more incredibly back the movement strongly. Even more incredibly still, the poll claims that almost forty percent privately say they like the Tea Party.

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The poll can be hacked to pieces from just about any angle. It's too small. There were only 543 "likely voters" who are African-American in the poll. The methodology: What were they asked? How were they asked it? And who asked it? PJTV doesn't say. The bias, PJTV is a hard line right wing echo chamber. The pool of alleged respondents it chose to make the case that there are untold thousands of blacks that reject President Obama's policies and person is deeply suspect coming out the gate.

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The poll is, of course, pure balderdash. No reputable political analyst or observer who's even a step removed from comatose would give any credence to it. In the November mid-terms, black voters will back Democrats by the same crushing margin they always have. And despite some private grousing that Obama hasn't said and done enough on black concerns, they will still back his reelection bid by off the chart margins. But that won't stop PJTV and the right wing attack dogs from using this rump poll as proof that there's a hidden army of disgruntled blacks who will bail from Obama the first chance and vote for a Tea Party candidate.

This type of raw, in your face, propaganda can't or shouldn't be cavalierly shrugged off. The Tea Party has been masterful at trotting out a few show piece, handpicked, blacks to rail against big government, taxes, the constitution, and immigrants. The near textbook example of Tea Party race manipulation came a few months back in the immediate aftermath of the NAACP challenge to the Tea Party to purge racists and racism from its ranks. Palin, Glenn Beck, and a bevy of Tea Party luminaries, loudly protested that the party is not racist, and to prove it shoved their same hired gun black faces in front of TV cameras, and microphones to counter the NAACP claim of racism. This charade is not new. In 2000, the nation watched a bevy of black gospel singers, Christian evangelicals, young professionals on the make, and the one or two black GOP elected officials on stage and in front row seats at the GOP national convention in Philadelphia ooze praise of Bush and the GOP. This template has been used repeatedly whenever the issue of GOP racism crops up. And that's often, since the GOP can be depended to oblige on that.

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Don't be surprised then to see some black Tea Party hack wave the PJTV poll around on Fox News, some radio gab show, or at a staged rally to prove that legions of blacks are Tea Party converts in waiting. Pt Barnum would love this one.

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Earl Ofari Hutchinson is a nationally acclaimed author and political analyst. He has authored ten books; his articles are published in newspapers and magazines nationally in the United States. Three of his books have been published in other (more...)

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