NAACP to Tea Party: ‘Expel the Bigots and Racists’
July 14, 2010
(ChattahBox)—- The NAACP, the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization has taken direct aim at the racism and bigotry within the tea party. The group passed a resolution demanding that tea party leaders repudiate the extremist elements within its membership. Predictably, tea party leaders responded to the resolution with anger and derision, denying that racism and bigotry exists within the movement. The St. Louis Tea Party issued its own resolution, attacking the NAACP as a “political attack dog organization” using a “gutter tactic” and calling on the IRS to take away their tax-exempt status. And Mark Williams, the Tea Party Express spokesperson known for his incendiary vitriol, attacked the NAACP as a racist organization. The NAACP is a “vile racist group” that makes “more money off of race than any slave trader ever,” said Williams.
The resolution passed unanimously by over 2,000 members, calls upon “all people of good will to repudiate the racism of the Tea Parties, and to stand in opposition to its drive to push our country back to the pre-civil rights era.”
Our country has witnessed the mostly white group of angry teapartiers, for nearly two-years, take to the streets carrying bigoted, racist and offensive signs. But when called on it, tea party leaders deny it occurred or blame the behavior on a few bad apples.
Ironically, during the time when the NAACP was gathered at its an annual convention to vote on the resolution condemning tea party racism, the North Iowa Tea Party paid for an incendiary billboard in Mason City, comparing President Obama to Adolf Hitler and Vladimir Lenin. “Radical leaders Prey on the Fearful & Naive,” as well as the phrase “Live Free of Die,” declared the billboard’s message.
After receiving criticism, including from another tea party leader, the North Iowa Tea Party papered over the billboard. But this isn’t the first such attack on President Obama by teapartiers and it won’t be the last.
And NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous in a press release, is demanding that tea party leaders either condemn the racism within its ranks or own it:
“The resolution condemns the bigoted elements within the Tea Party and asks for them to be repudiated. The NAACP delegates presented this resolution for debate and passage after a year of vitriolic Tea Party demonstrations during which participants used racial slurs and images. In March, members of the Congressional Black Caucus were accosted by Tea Party demonstrators and called racial epithets. Civil rights icon John Lewis was spit on, while Congressman Emanuel Cleaver was called the “N” word and openly gay Congressman Barney Frank was called an ugly anti-gay slur. We take no issue with the Tea Party movement. We believe in freedom of assembly and people raising their voices in a democracy. What we take issue with is the Tea Party’s continued tolerance for bigotry and bigoted statements. The time has come for them to accept the responsibility that comes with influence and make clear there is no place for racism & anti-Semitism, homophobia and other forms of bigotry in their movement.”
Jealous gave a rousing speech on Tuesday before passage of the resolution. “Expel the bigots and racists in your ranks or take the responsibility for them and their actions,” Jealous said.
“We will no longer allow you to hide like cowards and hide behind signs that say ‘Lynch Our President’ or anyone else,” he said. And Jealous also turned his attention on national tea party leaders half-governor Sarah Palin and Rand Paul, challenging them to become true leaders, rather than purveyors of fear, and repudiate the bigotry and racism in the tea party.
But little chance of that happening. Palin’s response was to post a snide comment on twitter. “I’m busy today so notify me asap when NAACP renders verdict: are liberty-loving, equality-respecting patriots racist? Bated breath, waiting…”