Professor accuses Tea Party supporters of being racist, ‘intolerant and dangerous’

In an op-ed published Tuesday, a professor of History at Illinois College, called tea party supporters “intolerant and dangerous,” and accused them of hating “poor people,” “immigrants,” and of entertaining “negative beliefs about African-Americans.”

Illinois College Professor Steve Hochstadt argued in his weekly column for the Jacksonville Journal-Courier that “[t]ea party politicians don’t like people who are out of work.”

“In Congress and in campaigns they consistently oppose paying unemployment insurance to the most distressed citizens, those who have been out of work for the longest time,” Hochstadt writes.

Hochstadt also accused tea partiers of xenophobia.

“They don’t like immigrants. Most of those who identify with the tea party want to deport all undocumented immigrants,” Hochstadt writes. “But tea party supporters don’t like immigrants in general: Over half think that ‘immigrants’ take away jobs from ‘Americans.’”

The professor also implies that tea party backers are guilty of racism, citing a 2014 Pew Research study.

“[Tea partiers harbor] generally negative beliefs about African-Americans,” Hochstadt writes. “A 2010 study found that among whites who approve of the tea party movement, ‘only 35 percent believe blacks to be hardworking, only 45 percent believe blacks are intelligent, and only 41 percent think that blacks are trustworthy.’”

According to Hochstadt, “[t]he tea party is nothing like their namesakes. They do not believe that all men have inalienable rights. Only they have the right to say what is right. They don’t want to govern, they want to dictate. They don’t like most Americans, who don’t agree with their ideas. They probably don’t like you.”

“They are intolerant and dangerous.”

According to his website, Hochstadt joined Illinois College in 2006 after teaching for 27 years at Bates College in Maine. He is a weekly contributor to the JacksonvilleJournal-Courier and LA Progressive.

Hochstadt has made it clear that his writings do not speak for any institution he represents.

“I want to be sure that everyone who reads my column understands that here I write and speak for myself. I don’t speak for any institution I am associated with, not for the Sino-Judaic Institute, a small faraway educational organization, nor for Illinois College,” he wrote in 2011.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter @CalebBonham