Charles Butler, a black, Chicago-based conservative talk show host, has been in shouting matches and called a traitor to his race because of his affiliation with the largely white Tea Party movement.
Lloyd Marcus, a black, Orlando, Fla.-based, conservative folk singer who wears a black panama hat, leather vest, white shirt and black pants, has been described as a minstrel, a buck dancer and a boot licker because he performs at Tea Party events, he said.
No matter. Butler and Marcus said they are used to getting flak over their membership to the nascent grassroots Tea Party movement. Members of the movement are raising vociferous opposition to issues that they believe are stunting the growth of America: Rising unemployment, expanding taxes, uncontrolled government spending and a mushrooming federal government.
Butler and Marcus are not completely alone in their march to the Tea Party movement. Scores of blacks and other people of color have joined it, though just how many is unknown. But it’s clear they are in the minority. The latest NewYorkTimes/CBS News Poll shows that the 18 percent of Americans who are members of the fledgling movement tend to be Republican, white, male, married and older than 45.