Race and the tea party movement

Sarah Palin held a rally on Boston Common today on behalf of the tea party. Here’s a picture of the crowd. Click on the images to see the larger versions.




More shots of the crowd can be found at Boston.com.

The last time Boston had a big rally, the dastardly Red Sox won a World Series. Compare the face of Boston.


According to the census bureau, only 56% of Boston is white.

Today’s crowd was — as it was at the Palin rally in Minneapolis — exclusively white. That doesn’t make the tea party racist — an accusation that precludes a scholarly discussion — but it does indicate that the tea party doesn’t resonate with non-whites (and/or that it’s not as popular in Boston as the Red Sox).

What does this mean for the movement? Why doesn’t it resonate across race? And can it be a national party without creating — or at least, illuminating — a racial divide?

By the way, this sign at the rally should get some attention:


For more on the tea party, listen to today’s MPR Midday, which featured an analysis of the tea party movement.