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SteepThe Precipitous Rise of the Tea Party$
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Lawrence Rosenthal and Christine Trost

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780520274228

Published to California Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520274228.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 17 May 2022

The Past and Future of Race in the Tea Party Movement

The Past and Future of Race in the Tea Party Movement

(p.152) Chapter 6 The Past and Future of Race in the Tea Party Movement

Joseph Lowndes

University of California Press

This chapter discusses the role of race and racism in the Tea Party movement. It argues that race is indeed central to the Tea Party movement, but in ways not fully appreciated by its supporters or its critics. First, while the movement inherits the racial framings of the modern conservative movement, the contemporary context alters its field of racial meaning. Second, while it is tempting to see the Tea Party disavowal of racism as merely color-blind window dressing, conservatives over the last decade have attempted to forge new interpretations of the civil rights movement. Third, the successful dismantling of welfare and the full realization of a prison industrial complex largely removed welfare and crime as animating policy issues for Tea Partiers. Thus, its targets have increasingly been nonracial, such as public-sector unions and universal entitlement programs. Ultimately, the Tea Party's racial ambivalence defines both its possibilities and limitations, and will reveal the historic importance of race to the modern conservative project.

Keywords:   Tea Party movement, race, conservative politics, conservatism, racism, welfare, civil rights movement

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