NAACP vs. Tea Party feud over alleged racism re-emerges in report

tea party racist

An NAACP report on the Tea Party revived a clash that began in the summer when the NAACP accused the Tea Party of racism. Image: CC Pargon/Flicker.

A feud between the NAACP and the Tea Party erupted anew on Wednesday. In a report, the NAACP revived charges it made over the summer that the Tea Party is racist. An NAACP report titled “Tea Party Nationalism” states that the movement has given racists, bigots and white supremacists a political voice.

Tea Party Nationalism

The NAACP report on Tea Party Nationalism points out alleged ties among some Tea Party factions and “acknowledged racist hate groups.” What most people probably won’t notice is that the NAACP Tea Party report makes a point that it is not throwing a blanket allegation over the movement as a whole. A foreword to the report by NAACP president Ben Jealous states that most Tea Party members are “sincere, principled people of goodwill.” However, he goes on to say that Tea Party Nationalism sheds light on connections between some known racist groups associated with the Tea Party that “should give all patriotic Americans pause.”

Tea Party’s bad apples

The NAACP Tea Party report refers to signs at Tea Party rallies containing racial epithets about President Obama. Tea Party Nationalism recounts incidents when black congressmen accused Tea Party members of shouting racial slurs at them during a March 2010 protest against health care reform. In his foreword, Jealous challenged Tea Party leaders to denounce racism in its protests, as well as links the movement has to white supremacists and so-called “birthers” who deny that Obama is a U.S. citizen.

NAACP Tea Party resolution

The NAACP Tea Party feud began at the NAACP convention in Kansas City in July when NAACP members voted on a resolution condemning the Tea Party for racism. The resolution ignited a media fight, and certain Tea Party members reacted by calling the NAACP racist. Much like Wednesdays Tea Party Nationalism report, the NAACP Tea Party resolution said the presence of racism in the Tea Party came from a few bad apples and called on Tea Party leaders to clean up its act. The online network Tea Party Patriots admitted to racist behavior at Tea Party rallies but went on the record to say it wouldn’t be tolerated.


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