Black Tea Partiers Speak
See why the angry, largely white grassroots movement appeals to them (and why Uncle Tom was a hero).
The song and other performances have garnered fiery criticism from liberals and Democrats, said Marcus, whose towering presence is hard to miss at the tea parties. He said many opponents have written him passionate hate mail. Yet, he continues to perform the anti-Obama song, which he wrote out of unmitigated disappointment.
"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.
"I am talking about ending social welfare for everyone, white and black,'' Marcus said. "Sure people will need a hand up sometimes, but to put people from cradle-to-grave support is evil. It doesn't allow them to blossom the way they should.''
Confessions of a Boot-Strapper
Marcus' conservative leaning began at an early age. Decades ago, he grew up in a gleaming, new housing project in Baltimore, Md. But he saw it decimated and ghettoized by ungrateful tenants, he said.
"They had no ownership,'' he said of the tenants, which turned him off of the idea of social welfare. "Here you had these folks getting all of this free health care and housing, yet they were angry and bitter.''
He said his family was rescued from the housing project when his father broke the color barrier to become one of the first blacks to enter the Baltimore Fire Department.