This letter is a response to a letter that appeared in the Tribune June 3, titled "Tea party has a solid agenda." That previous Sunday a letter of mine appeared about racism in politics. Rod Zeck in essence claimed that I had exaggerated racism in tea party politics. Allow me to give a brief background to dispel the notion that my political convictions are born from little thought.
My earliest recollection of anything remotely related to the tea party was in December of 2007. A male who looked to be of Irish descent left some tea party flyers on the counter of a Kinko's printing store near downtown Chicago. I remember being inquisitive and defensive after reading some words on the flyer. It possibly was a Ron Paul rally and possibly related to the commemoration of the Boston Tea Party of more than 200 years ago. At that time Barack Obama was not a household name.
Since that memorable moment, I've followed the tea party from its infancy when it was a compilation of loosely uncoordinated grassroots movements to the present-day party it is now under with the influence of big corporate interests. Though its agenda has become varied and sophisticated, its immediate goal is to destroy the Obama presidency. Don't be misdirected by the recent tea party's victory in regard to Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin. The tea party's long-term goal is to one day reach a point of political dominance to ensure that what happened in 2008 never happens again.
As far back as Aug. 29, 2009, a letter to the editor of mine was published in the Tribune titled "Protesters' real issue colored by race." In that article I made the point that the tea party people were embarrassed by the Obama presidency. It is their belief that the founding fathers had not intended for a person of color to be president of this great nation. In the article I quoted a tea party activist. "This is our republic. It is our duty to maintain it. It's time we take our country back." It is my belief that these comments are typical of how most tea party people feel. In July of 2011, the New York Daily did a poll on the tea party and racism. Seventy-five percent of its respondents agreed that racism is at play in the tea party's disapproval of the president.
A preamble, a solid agenda and corporate monies do little to change the perception that many people have of the tea party. If the party is to survive, its membership needs to diversify. Its political positions need to reflect a genuine concern and respect for the office of the presidency. To be a viable voice in Congress, it must learn the art of compromise. And finally, this great nation was built with the toil and sweat of peoples. America belongs to its peoples.