Mass Historical Society: Immigration, Race and the Tea Party Movement


Tuesday, October 27, 2015, 5:15pm


Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02215-3695

Luis Jiménez, University of Massachusetts—Boston
Comment: Theda Skocpol, Harvard University

To what extent has racial anxiety played a factor in the formation of the tea party movement? Previous literature, ethnographic work and anecdotal evidence point to a complex mythology of taxpayers versus freeloaders that appears to not have any empirical basis, but rather rests on racial cues. This paper tests these hypotheses through a number of measures at different levels--state, congressional, and county units. It finds that tea party behavior was more pronounced in states, districts or counties with disproportionate numbers of Latinos, or people perceived as an immigrant other.