The Tea Party wants James Earl Jones to lower his booming bass voice.
After the Star Wars actor compared the Tea Party to his racist grandmother on National Public Radio’s “Smiley and West,” he drew the ire of Tea Party Patriots, the nation’s largest Tea Party-affiliated group.
“I think I have figured out the tea party,” the actor said on the “Smiley and West” radio show. “I think I do understand racism because I was taught to be one by my grandmother.”
“And she taught all of her children and grandchildren to be racist, to hate white people and to distrust black people,” he said. “But that allowed me to figure it out for myself. And I think I know what racism is better than anybody who has ever been a racist.”
Jenny Beth Martin, national coordinator of the Tea Party Patriots, emailed that Jones is “playing the politics of division and deceit.”
“It is time to come together as one nation to overcome the economic drag Washington politicians have imposed on all Americans,” said Martin.
“I think I figured out the Tea Party,” the actor said in the radio interview. “I do understand racism because I was taught to be one by my grandmother.”
Jones said his grandmother was part Indian, part black and “hated everybody. She taught all of her children and grandchildren to be racist.”
The interview was mainly about his role in the current Tony-nominated Broadway play, Gore Vidal’s The Best Man, but turned to politics after Jones mentioned that it was difficult to tell what race Muhammad Ali was by his voice and that President Obama “has the same advantage in a way.”