MSNBC Host Chris Matthews railed against the tea party again Wednesday night when he invited a guest who claims the movement is racist, homophobic and xenophobic.
Mr. Matthews interviewed a University of Washington assistant professor, Christopher Parker, who conducted a study that found strains of prejudice within the tea party.
“My study suggests that there is a strain of racism in the tea party,” the professor said. “There’s definitely a racist strain, but it goes beyond racism. It goes to homophobia and xenophobia as well, Chris.”
The “Hardball” host then went on to speculate that tea party folks want America back to the way it was before the Civil War.
“Is it like that old, dreamy nostalgia you get in the old movies? Like ‘Gone with the Wind?’” he posed. “Is it that kind of America they want to bring back or what? When there were no gays, where blacks were slaves, where Mexicans were in Mexico. Is this what they want?”
Mr. Parker firmly agreed, saying that where moderate conservatives recognize that politics change, tea party conservatives are “reactionary” and “actually want to go back in time.”
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The professor ties tea party conservatives to the Know-Nothing party of the 1850s, the KKK of the 1920s, and the John Birch Society of the 1950s and 1960s, in that tea partiers are “scared of losing the America that they know and love to these other groups of people.”
“It does sound like pure racism,” Mr. Matthews jumped in, “if you want the country to be tribally white 100 years from now.”