Washington (CNN) - The perception that Tea Party anger is fueled by racism has nagged the movement since it began. A fresh poll indicates that while Tea Party supporters say the movement is not prejudiced against President Obama, critics believe it is.
In an ABC News/Washington Post survey released Wednesday, 87-percent of Tea Party supporters said that racism does not play a part in the movement's opposition to the president's policies. A small number, one in 10, said that anger at having an African-American president is a reason to support the Tea Party movement.
While a vast majority of the movement's supporters questioned in the poll, deny that prejudice is at play – the survey suggests that the Tea Party may have a tough time convincing its critics.
According to the poll, 57-percent of Tea Party opponents believe that racism is fueling the movement. Meanwhile, 24-percent of Americans who have a neutral view of Tea Parties also feel that racism is a factor.
The poll also delves into a long-debated question: is racism still a major problem in America? Overall, 75-percent of people questioned believe it is, but that belief drops to 61 percent among conservative voters and 58 percent among Tea Party supporters.
The survey identifies 81-percent of Tea Party supporters as white, compared to roughly three-quarters of the general population.
The ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted April 22-25 and questioned 1,001 adults by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
The fact that our country still continues to discuss racism with the Tea Party unfortunately speaks volumes. It seems no coincidence that tea partiers have sadly used signs with a witch doctor, white-faced joker, etc. from misguided groups of overwhelmingly Caucasian, rich, older men. Can we please get beyond the nonsense and into the 21st Century?