NAACP and Tea Party feuding, but what will come of it?

A sign at a Tea Party rally that has Marx, Lenin and Stalin crossed out; below it says Obama, Pelosi, Reid.

From a March Tea Party rally. Image from Flickr.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Tea Party have begun a brouhaha.   The two sides are bickering over several things.   The NAACP says the Tea Party is directing racist rhetoric at the president and other government officials.   The Tea Party says the NAACP is covering up for racism and criminal behavior in the New Black Panther Party.  Pundits on both sides of the political aisle have weighed in, casting aspersions and making accusations of the other side.

What the NAACP said

Demonstrators outside of Tea Party rallies have been photographed with signs that many, including the NAACP, say are racist.  Of course, the people in the photographs don’t represent the entire Tea Party, but the NAACP is assigning guilt by association.  The heads of various Tea Party organizations have routinely denounced, and even barred people from, promoting racist materials or messages at Tea Party events.

What the Tea Party said

The Tea Party’s counter-claim is that the NAACP is helping cover up an incident involving some members of the New Black Panther Party.  A few members of the NBPP were acting suspiciously outside a voting station in Pennsylvania, during the election in November 2008, which the U.S. Attorney’s Office caught wind of and started prosecuting for voting abuses against several individuals and the NBPP itself.  The case was dropped, and accusations of a cover-up at the behest of Obama appointees began immediately.

Which one is the villain?

This controversy gives MSNBC and Fox News something to talk about so they can sell commercials for TV and talk radio shows.  But while this is going to amount to more ad revenue for political pundits, the bickering back and forth doesn’t do anything to advance the cause of either side, and doesn’t do anything to combat real racism.

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