NAACP should have left the tea party alone

There are about 100,000 excellent causes the NAACP could take up right now— countless crusades that would elevate people of color, strengthen human rights and weaken discrimination. Launching a broadside against the Tea Party isn’t one of them.

I am disappointed that Ben Jealous insisted on forging ahead with a campaign against the Tea Party. It will backfire badly. The WaPo’s Dana Milbank outlines some of the more inflammatory rhetoric that NAACP officials used in a conference call yesterday:

The Rev. William Barber, president of the North Carolina NAACP chapter, used his time on the conference call to liken the Tea Partyers to southern racists during Reconstruction and church bombers and assassins during the civil rights era.

“We have to have particular concern about supremacy attitudes, violence, hate language, particularly when it’s rooted in notions of restoring or taking back or redeeming the country,” Barber said. “Because, in the American social-historical-political psyche, we have historical markers that tell us how dangerous this is to be given legitimacy.”

For instance:

“We know in 1867 when the Ku Klux Klan, for instance, laid out its political purposes, it was about restoring and re-enfranchising, if you will.”

“And then when you go to the Reconstruction Era, you find this same attempt to spew this division, this hate language out…. ‘We need to restore America. We need to take it back.’”

Barber moved on to 1963. “When George Wallace used this language and themes of division, very vitriolic hate language,” Barber said, “Medgar Evers was killed in June of that year… We had the bombing of a church, four girls were killed at Sunday school and then we had a president assassinated.”

Oh, for heaven’s sake. I remember the church bombings of 1963. I remember George Wallace. And I tell you that these times are nothing like those. Barber is guilty of doing the very things that so many tea party activists do — making such exaggerated claims that they hold absolutely no credibility. Obama is a Nazi? That’s crazy. Tea partiers are like Birmingham church bombers? That’s crazy, too.

Here is my prediction: Tea party supporters will use the NAACP’s report to claim that the organization painted all tea partiers — and all Obama critics — as racists. And the tea party will win the cage match.

479 comments Add your comment

Bob

October 21st, 2010
7:42 am

Why, they needed something to get their name in the news.

Peadawg

October 21st, 2010
7:46 am

It seems like they don’t have anything else better to do. NAACP should left a long time ago. What’s their purpose anymore anyways? Has the NAACP done ANYTHING lately?

Tommy Maddox

October 21st, 2010
7:50 am

Just like the word ‘racist’, they have no meaning anymore.

buck@gon

October 21st, 2010
7:51 am

“Oh, for heaven’s sake. I remember the church bombings of 1963. I remember George Wallace. And I tell you that these times are nothing like those. ”

So….the title of this blog post could be:
“NAACP abandons reason and reality….”

Peadawg

October 21st, 2010
7:51 am

Tommy,

You must have missed few blogs ago. “Bigot” is the new card these days.

Joel

October 21st, 2010
7:54 am

One thing Barber forgot, all of the people/ movements he compared the Tea Party were Democrats.

Joel

October 21st, 2010
7:56 am

Barber is guilty of doing the very things that so many tea party activists do — making such exaggerated claims that they hold absolutely no credibility.

You tried, but you just could not make it through the whole article with a jab at the tea party.

hobby

October 21st, 2010
7:58 am

is “colored” another word that only blacks can use?

hobby

October 21st, 2010
7:59 am

Enter your comments here

ctucker

October 21st, 2010
8:00 am

Joel@7:56, I wasn’t trying that hard.

Joel

October 21st, 2010
8:02 am

CT, whats new.

paleo-neo-Carlinist

October 21st, 2010
8:05 am

finger pointing is finger pointing; “real” Americans vs. “illegal” Americans, red states vs. blue states, liberals vs. conservatives, paleo-Carlinists vs. neo-Carlinists; does it really warrant our attention? these spitting contests sustain the plutocracy. again, the bookie doesn’t care who wins the contest or even if the game is played fairly. he sets the line based on a “number” that will production action from both sides of the line. it’s what happens when you have a two party system. the ‘two parties” (plutocracy) benefit from the he said/she said bickering. what’s most amazing is the idea that either the NAACP or tea party is morally superior than the other. it’s yin/yang, good cop/bad cop. need any more insipid analogies?

Peadawg

October 21st, 2010
8:05 am

Joel @ 7:56, Cynthia can write a very very good article and ruin it w/ the last sentence(she’s done it many times) and just destroys the credibility of the article.

Dave from GT

October 21st, 2010
8:08 am

What is all the fuss about. This is what NAACP geezers do !!!!!!

Jesse, Al………. what have you done to improve the lot of the CP ???!!

jt

October 21st, 2010
8:11 am

Government and progressives at work. To avoid discrimination lawsuits, an employer must descriminate. Weird.

An American employer WILL have a government approved blend of races.

“Title VII of the Act, codified as Subchapter VI of Chapter 21 of 42 U.S.C. § 2000e [2] et seq., prohibits discrimination by covered employers on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin (see 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2[30]).”

How many EEOC lawyers are in China? The NAACP should concentrate their efforts there. We have had enough of their race baiting here.

arnold

October 21st, 2010
8:11 am

Joel

October 21st, 2010
7:54 am

“One thing Barber forgot, all of the people/ movements he compared the Tea Party were Democrats.”

True. However, those Democrats have unanimously turned into Republicans. The south has switched political parties, but the members remain the same.

JKL2

October 21st, 2010
8:14 am

Almost like comparing those evil Americans who torture with rock music and embarrassing photographs to the third world dictators who chop off body parts, rape children, and push people in handcuffs off three story buildings.

paleo-neo-Carlinist

October 21st, 2010
8:14 am

Peadawg, c’mon, “credibility”? what is the value of “credibility” in an editorial screed? there is nothing to “destroy”. if you’re like me, you come to these blogs to state your case and maybe engage he other guys in a spirited virtual debate. is Christine O’Donnell “credible” when she opines about the First Amendment? was Bush “credible” when he warned of WMDs? were his sources “credible” when he tried to link Iraq to 9/11? is Obama “credible” when he pats himself on the back for “reforming” Wall Street or the healthcare industrial complex? “credibility” is a word people use to influence the thoughts and behaviors of others.

JKL2

October 21st, 2010
8:23 am

paleo- is Christine O’Donnell “credible” when she opines about the First Amendment?

Not sure how credible she is, but she was correct in saying seperation of church and state is not in there.

Van Jones

October 21st, 2010
8:25 am

Oh my, better watch out for pigs and donkeys flying while the devil builds a snowman – I agree with Ms. T.

Chasing Windmills

October 21st, 2010
8:27 am

You are soooo right. The way to win this fight is to register you base to vote and make sure they go out and do it.

Jethro

October 21st, 2010
8:27 am

The tea party will win this cage match. The NAACP has not been able to grow its message with the times. It is not so much the message that has become irrelevant. Rather, it is the way in which that message is delivered – or not delivered – that has become irrelevant. Same with the SCLC.

If an idea cannot grow, it will die. The NAACP seems intent on bringing about the death of its own message. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Mike

October 21st, 2010
8:29 am

Finally something on which I can agree with you. Not your usual liberal, left wing jibberish.

SPSU

October 21st, 2010
8:30 am

The CP in NAACP = Clueless people.

George Wallace = Democrat
Robert Byrd = Democrat

Tea Party = Not Democrat

Really, really easy concept here.

ctucker

October 21st, 2010
8:30 am

Jethro@8:27, I agree wholeheartedly.

quod erat demonstrandum

October 21st, 2010
8:30 am

The NAACP, a worthy and commendable organization, has fallen for the leftist, elitist paradigm. If it is conservative, if it doesn’t come from the DNC, if it does not match the daily talking points – denounce it. A page right out of the leftist play book.

As Saul Alinsky would have said – a group or organization should begin the task of agitating: rubbing resentments, fanning hostilities, and searching out controversy.

This the NAACP has done or I should say started.

Georgian

October 21st, 2010
8:32 am

Cynthia,

Its what the NAACP is best at, crying RACE every time something happens or a group other than a black man/woman or group wants change. If the NAACP wants to be taken seriously, they have to get their OWN RACISTS out of their group before they go attacking other groups and people that may/may not be racist.

Because the fact is, no one takes the NAACP seriously anymore. A group that should be worried about truly advancing colored people are not. They do not try to help young black men overcome and become better men, or to grow into good role models for their children later in life. They do not focus on the true issues that would truly enhance the people they so passionately defend.

Personally, I feel the NAACP is no different than the KKK. There should be no “Black History Month”, and special attention should not be made to “sucking up” to people of color. It really does them an injustice. Just imagine if years ago a national holiday or month had been created as “White History Month” or to have special occasions for certain white people that impacted America other than presidents. There would be an uproar as no other.

A nation that took God out of school, hates the Pledge, flag, and National Anthem would rather appease public opinion that do what is right. And that my friend, is the reason the United States of America is in the shape its in!

Bubba Bob

October 21st, 2010
8:32 am

I’ve had the same thoughts. This is one pot not worth stirring.

Tech Man

October 21st, 2010
8:32 am

Another great opening paragraph. Not quite up to the opening paragraph of the Newt piece, which was so well written it could be used as a beginning of a great book, but close.

The NAACP and the elitists are making the Tea Party members “victims” by falsely “piling on”.

Nice Guy

October 21st, 2010
8:35 am

Cynthia-

Good article. I’ll commend you for pointing this out, which you didn’t have to do. I’ll agree that the Tea Party has it’s own lunatic fringe, as does the NAACP. One of the underlying problems, though, is that many on the Left, not just the NAACP, have chosen the war strategy of painting the Tea Party as racists. This simply isn’t true.

Georgian

October 21st, 2010
8:37 am

Why do liberals and blacks in general proclaim CONSERVATIVES as RACISTS?

SpaceyG

October 21st, 2010
8:38 am

Trust me, I’ve talked with far too many southern *Tea Partiers.* I know their kind. Same as the old kind. Some, not most, are indeed exactly like the Birmingham bombers. Except they’ve *evolved* to a point where they’re too snively and cowardly to actually do stuff. Such as violent acts of terrorism. Trust me, if they truly felt they could get away with it, in the way the Birmingham bombers were no doubt quite comfy about, they’d do the act too.

Pull My Finger

October 21st, 2010
8:39 am

I AGREE WITH CYNTHIA TODAY!!!! YAHOO!! :)

Keep up the good fight!

October 21st, 2010
8:40 am

While I agree that not all tea partiers/republicans are racists there are elements of racists/race supremecists that have come out from under the woodwork like roaches. It is a legitimate concern that there seems to a rise immediately after the election of a non-white president. It is equally concerning that there is a tolerance of these opinions (they are entitled to their opinion, society may also say that those opinions are not acceptable) and an aire of legitimacy. No matter where racism, supremecists or intolerance comes from, whether conservatives, liberals, dems, republicans, it needs to be stopped. And it is truly shameful that anyone would try to excuse current acts by claiming past acts were by one party rather than by the people.

JKL–let’s not rewrite and spin the O’Donnell mess. She did not ask about where the precise words “separation of church and state” were, she asked a general quesition. She also acknowledges, after her debate, that the 1st amendment includes the separation of church and state.

Bruce 53

October 21st, 2010
8:41 am

Times have changed since the era’s that cynthia is talking
about. It’s about class warfare.I have had many black friends
the topic of race will on ocassion come up.My stance anymore
is not about race but about class. We as the working class need
to form a coalation of ,black ,white,espanic.Naacp,Independit,
etc,etc

ken R

October 21st, 2010
8:42 am

Tucker, you just did the same thing that the Naacp did, you said many of the Teapartiers, you want to paint all for the misguidance of a few. You are no better than the few.

I would like to see your rantings if there was a group named NAAWP. You and the NAACP are the reason that there is such a polarization between White people and people of Color.

jms

October 21st, 2010
8:42 am

The NAACP is irrelevant in this day and age. The tea party platform that the government is spending too much of our children’s money is highly relevant.

Georgian

October 21st, 2010
8:42 am

Spacey,

You are a little spacey this morning. You need to get off the sauce and back to reality….

Georgian

October 21st, 2010
8:44 am

I have always said you have blacks and then you have BLACKS. And there is a BIG difference.

techengineer

October 21st, 2010
8:44 am

I will not even read your worthless thoughts anymore but I’m interestd in a group which will lobby and fight for white rights? After all whites are the backbone of the nation. We need a voice which will advocate for whites only. Any suggestion?

There you go again

October 21st, 2010
8:46 am

This might be the most agreed upon article CT has ever written…KUDOS!

tankntank

October 21st, 2010
8:46 am

I wonder when the NAACP will distance itself from the Nation of Islam and its racists leaders.

Keep up the good fight!

October 21st, 2010
8:47 am

Georgian…you dont think that I have always said you have blacks and then you have BLACKS. And there is a BIG difference represents a very racially insensistive statement. What you mean is that there are “uppitty” blacks and non-uppitty? There are “whites” and then there are WHITES? What precisely are you stating and you feel the need to use color as the factor rather than pointing out the people involved whether white, black or whatever.

Traitor

October 21st, 2010
8:48 am

Why hold the NAACP to a loftier standard than the tea party? Obama is christ, hitler and a voodoo witchdoctor. That’s the Tea Party. Racist seems an apt word for them. You see, the Tea Party cried witch so many times they conjured up one in their own midsts. That’s the level of sophistication we’re dealing with.

THere are not 100k issues that the NAACP could address, there is only one: history.

Turkey Slayer

October 21st, 2010
8:48 am

Why do we allow an organization like the NAACP to exist? I don’t think a organization for the advancement of White people would fly. This is extreme racism.

JKL2

October 21st, 2010
8:48 am

keep-

I believe it was 9 of the 13 colonies that had an official state religion. It was a judge that came up with the idea of “seperation of church and state”, not the Constitution.

ken R

October 21st, 2010
8:49 am

I read this morning that Juan Williams was fired over remarks about Muslims on the O’reilly show. I read his remarks and it’s a shame that NPR is so thin skinned.

Juan is one of the better people to listen to and he never should have been fired. The extreme left has totally lost it.

I’ll bet if he was ripping on Bush they would have given him a raise.

Keep up the good fight!

October 21st, 2010
8:50 am

I will not even read your worthless thoughts anymore but I’m interestd in a group which will lobby and fight for white rights? After all whites are the backbone of the nation. We need a voice which will advocate for whites only. Any suggestion?

Techengineer — the laundry called. Your sheets are ready.

Race is far from a dead issue in America.

Joel

October 21st, 2010
8:53 am

Keep, You can ignore it and make it a non issue, or embrace it and make it an issue. You do like fanning those flames dont you?

Keep up the good fight!

October 21st, 2010
8:53 am

JKL–I know your “beleives” are far from reliable. But we can have the discussion another day. Let’s remain on topic. We can agree that we will disagree and even Ms. O’Donnell says she disagrees with you (or is the witch lying?).