That the left was afraid of the Tea Party gaining traction among mainstream America was evident by the constant use of the word “racist”. The NAACP got into the fray by asserting that only the white sheets were missing. However, nothing could be farther from the truth. Oh I am sure that there are some racists in amongst the Tea Partiers but there are racists in the Democrat party as well. The only qualifications to being in the Tea Party are a desire to have smaller less intrusive government, lower taxes and positive incentives for economic growth. I have spoken to Tea Party rallies and although there have not been a lot of black faces, there were always some – which is remarkable given the paucity of blacks in East Tennessee. I have yet to have heard mention of two black tea party candidates being elected to the House: Allen West in Florida and Tim Scott in South Carolina. West is the army colonel who was forced to retire because he held a gun to the head of an Iraqi to get him to talk. He is also from Atlanta and a UT graduate – so a little pride there. The election of West and Scott actually is a return to black roots where the first black congressmen were all Republicans (elected prior to 1900) and until Franklin Roosevelt, most blacks were Republicans. All in all there were 14 black GOP congressional nominees most of whom were supported by the Tea Party. Incidentally, how foolish is it to call tea partiers racist when an Indian-American republican woman is elected governor of South Carolina? Another Indian-American is the republican governor of Louisiana. Two republican Hispanic Americans were elected governor: Susana Martinez in New Mexico and Brian Santoval in Nevada (beating Harry Reid’s son Rory). Also don’t forget Marco Rubio a Cuban-American elected as a republican to the senate from Florida. Rubio is also one to watch for the national scene. He is charismatic, young, gives a great speech and has vision. If he stays true to his principles he may make a run for the White House either in two years or later. Right now, my dream ticket would be Chris Christie for president and Rubio for vice president. One can only hope.
Harold A. Black is professor emeritus in the Department of Finance, University of Tennessee, Knoxville having retired after 24 years of service. He has served on the faculties of American University, Howard University, the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill and the University of Florida. His government service includes the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and as a Board Member of the National Credit Union Administration. He also has served on the boards of directors Home Savings of America and its parent company, H. F. Ahmanson & Co., Irwindale, California prior to its merger with Washington Mutual Savings Bank, on the board of New Century Financial Corporation, Irvine, California, then the nation’s largest real estate investment trust and as director and later chairman of the Nashville Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. He writes an occasional article for the Knoxville News-Sentinel at http://www.knoxnews.com/staff/dr-harold-black/. His web page is haroldablackphd.com