Black Tea Partiers Speak

See why the angry, largely white grassroots movement appeals to them (and why Uncle Tom was a hero).

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Butler, who grew up middle-class in Pontiac, Mich. (his father worked at a Pontiac General Motors plant) has been a political operative in the Republican Party for over 25 years. A graduate from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Butler said he canvassed for votes on campus for Richard M. Nixon's presidential campaign in 1972.

The GOP 'Defended' Civil Rights

He said the Republican Party represents the core values of most blacks more so than the Democratic Party. "When it comes to black people and how we participate in the political and social practice, we're conservative,'' he said. "The myth of President John F. Kennedy and Franklin Delano Roosevelt is greatly exaggerated compared to Republican presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and Richard M. Nixon, who I consider great civil rights leaders.''

"[Slain civil rights leader] Dr. [Martin Luther] King had a number of things to say about JFK and his promise to use the signature of a pen to eliminate discrimination while appointing Southern segregationist judges to the federal bench for life,'' Butler said. "Republicans have never gotten the credit they deserve for defending civil rights.''

Butler also said the Democratic social welfare policies of Roosevelt and Kennedy negatively affected black people then and continue to affect blacks today.

Lloyd Marcus, a longtime black conservative from Orlando, Fla., agrees. He said Democrats are focused on keeping blacks thinking they are victims and dependent on social welfare. "They should be upholding [Supreme Court Justice] Clarence Thomas, and [former Secretary of State] Condoleezza Rice, [both Republicans] as shining examples of doing the right thing and working hard for their achievements.''

Singing the Tea-Party Blues

Marcus has attended 150 Tea Party Express events across the nation from Washington to California and was a fixture at events on Tax Day. He is best-known for his "Tea Party Anthem.'' The first stanza is: "Mr. President! Your stimulus is sure to bust/ It's just a socialist scheme/ The only thing it will do is kill the American Dream.''

"President Obama got 96 percent of the black vote,'' Marcus said. "I am convinced that most voted for him because he is black and didn't care what he was gonna do when he got into the Oval Office. That was a racist decision on their part. Now, simply because we are standing up and saying we don't want universal health care rammed down our throats, they are calling us racist. That is wrong.''

Marcus began attending Tea Party gatherings about a year ago. At first, he would spy about two blacks in the crowd, he said. Now, he sees up to 50. In talks with them, he learned that many are entrepreneurs. Some are former members of the military, he said, who have witnessed the negative effects of socialism in some countries abroad, he said.