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

Real American

October 21st, 2010
8:53 am

Heh…whateva Cynthia! The teabaggers ARE racists….they’ve been quacking and waddling like racists so why not call them what they are? LOL

Georgian

October 21st, 2010
8:54 am

Keep up the good fight,

No that was not a racially insensitive remark. It was a basic fact. You have the NAACP, ACLU, ghetto crowd that is all about controversy and mayhem. Then you have good hardworking honest Christian common sense black people that you can count on for anything. Those are the differences. And why did I use black people as the example? Simple. We are discussing the NAACP and black people sir/ma’am. Its that simple. No racial intentions, just stating facts.

williebkind

October 21st, 2010
8:54 am

The NAACP must cry race every month or so to maintain the federal funding. Else the leaders would have to get a real job. How much education does it take to stand behind a lecturn and shout racist. What kind of salary do these leaders make? I know donations are down so the tax payer is footing the bill. I have a right to know what their salaries are!

James

October 21st, 2010
8:55 am

Keep up- “while I agree that all not all…” Guess what, it is a fact and doesn’t need you to agree or disagree. What a silly little ego.

Georgian

October 21st, 2010
8:57 am

Keep up the good fight,

Race is an issue because blacks and liberals keep bringing it up as an issue. They WANT to teach their children that “most” whites are racist and “you wont ever get a fair break because youre black”. If blacks and liberals would stop teaching their kids that “most” whites hate them, the problem would go away. But until blacks get over events of over 150 years ago, we aint never gonna get past it. We dont owe you nothing cause your black.

Keep up the good fight!

October 21st, 2010
8:57 am

Joel…its been demonstrated consistently that “ignoring” it does not make it go away. We can attack it and show the weakness of the thought/opinion in action. Yes I believe in defending the rights of people so yes I do not ignore when someone violates the rights of others. You can disagree all you want.

williebkind

October 21st, 2010
8:58 am

“Race is far from a dead issue in America.”
I agree! But not the violent discriminating version spewed by organizations like the NAACP. It has been recognizes through some observations that people segregate themselves from other groups or races. There is not harm in that until one group, like the progressive liberals, try to dictate the lives and earnings of others.

Gary

October 21st, 2010
8:59 am

Hell has frozen over…. I agree with Cynthia

I got bored last night and watched some CSPAN coverage of many of the debates around the country. I was actually embarrassed for both parties. We should not tolerate half of these morons getting elected. Their behavior in the debates borders on insanity or incompetence or both in some cases. How can we not find qualified intelegent articulate individuals who will focus on issues and avoid the attacks on the person and the parties. They sound like children. I later watched the debate of the new budget in the UK. I watched with envy ans they discussed real plans to address their crisis. I am a little embarrassed today to be associated with our political process.

Georgian

October 21st, 2010
8:59 am

Keep,

So what if whites attacked the thoughts and opinions of blacks that spew out nonsense. What then?

James

October 21st, 2010
8:59 am

Juan Williams fired from NPR for the below remarks. First, NPR is worthless. Second, Juan Williams is a fantastic reporter/commentator who happens to be (I think) African American. There should be outrage from the left (and the right) for an intelligent man expressing what he honestly believes. Note that he didn’t say “you should…” he says “I…” The continued down fall of relevance of media.

Williams responded: “Look, Bill, I’m not a bigot. You know the kind of books I’ve written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous.”

carlosgvv

October 21st, 2010
9:00 am

There was a time in America when the only real hope people of color had was the NAACP. Officials of the NAACP were threatened, beaten up, unjustly jailed and had many other kinds of sufferings imposed on them but they kept on fighting for justice. It is indeed heartbreaking to see what they have become now. I can only conclude that for them, as well as for Democrats, Republicans, Tea Partys and others, good leadership has become very difficult to find.

ken R

October 21st, 2010
9:00 am

Keep up the good fight,

This is hard to believe but I assure you that Race is more alive in the Black community that the White community. Our Gov’t. has done almost everything possible to appease Blacks and it never seems to be enough. People are finally getting tired of the word Racism and when it really happens it’s not taken seriously.

There will always be some kind of discrimination in any country whether it’s by Color, Nationality, Wealth, Religion, Education et’c. People need to realize that and be above it.

AmVet

October 21st, 2010
9:01 am

George Wallace = Democrat Conservative
Robert Byrd = Democrat Conservative

Tea Party = Not Democrat Conservative

Really, really easy concept here.

None are/were liberals or progressives.

Get a clue…

Georgian

October 21st, 2010
9:01 am

Hey GARY,

THEN MOVE TO THE UK, IF YOU ARE EMBARRASSED BY OUR NATION!!!!

Keep up the good fight!

October 21st, 2010
9:03 am

Georgian…nice try…1960s are 150 years ago? Is that new math? Telling all blacks to leave a Walmart over a loud speaker is how many years ago? No one teaches that “most” whites are racists. However your statement was clearly part of the problem and there currently is a Republican candidate in NY, Jim Russell. There are any number of white supremecists groups. So when does it end again?

James

October 21st, 2010
9:04 am

progressive= tea party. cute little monikers to feel better about oneself

joe

October 21st, 2010
9:04 am

For about the 2nd or 3rd time ever, I agree with you CT. NAACP needs to focus its efforts on elevating its members and community, starting with education and personal work ethic. They need to send up positive messages to young kids- stay in school, keep off drugs, go to college, become something, raise a family, contribute to society, etc.

Call it like it is

October 21st, 2010
9:04 am

So many groups around these days that really have no purpose. They just hang around taking in peoples money and shout and scream till they get some attention. In the 21st century do we really need groups, magazines, TV stations that seperate theirselves due to their color anymore? The NAACP, The Black Caucus, The 100 Black Men, BET, Ebony.
Really. When does it end.

RGB

October 21st, 2010
9:05 am

The NAACP is simply peeling back the thin veneer that has covered the organization for many years. Jealous is revealing the organization’s true character. The NAACP’s mindset is shared by most black politicians though they are a little more discreet about it.

If they abandoned their reason for existence (slaying their conjured-up dragon), they would be unemployed. So the NAACP will continue being the NAACP and Jessee Jackson, et. al will continue to shake down corporations. As a society we’ve recognized it as yet another cost of doing business–akin to protection money. It’s a sad waste of human potential.

A Patriotic (unlike CT) American

October 21st, 2010
9:06 am

WOW, Cynthia, just when I thought you were just beyond redemption, you go and write a column like this. I’m so utterly confused I probably need to go back to bed and sleep a little while longer and maybe I’ll wake up and know it was all a dream. :) BTW, I’ve often wondered……”What would happen if I formed an organization and named it……NAAWP…..The National Association for the advancement of White People?” I’d like to see your answer……write a column on it…..oh, I’m a little low on cash so send me half your fee for the idea. Thanks!!!!!

Keep up the good fight!

October 21st, 2010
9:07 am

ken R…hate to tell you…but white people are typically not the victims of race discrimination. But many race supremecists are white (although there are other races too).

HDB

October 21st, 2010
9:08 am

ken R
October 21st, 2010
9:00 am
“Our Gov’t. has done almost everything possible to appease Blacks and it never seems to be enough.”

Appease?? Are you saying that to FINALLY being afforded constitutional protection as American citizens is appeasement? Are you saying that being allowed unfettered access to the voting booth is appeasement? Are you saying that being allowed access to employment and education so that we can progress in similar manner as our Caucasian contemporaries is APPEASEMENT??

How often do you iron your sheets??

stw

October 21st, 2010
9:09 am

CT: You will never again write an article with the vast majority of the comments being positive. Follow the old saying and…..Quit, while you’re ahead !!

hobby

October 21st, 2010
9:10 am

If th NAACP really wanted to help, they would forget the likes of Jesse, Al, Dexter, et al. and recruit Bill Cosby to rebuid the organization with a new purpose–to help themselves rather than just crying ‘racism’ and demanding more reparations. But alas, Bill was villified for telling the truth. Any black that does not toe the line and stay on the ‘victimhood’ message is labled an ‘uncle tom’ and kicked out of the club.

paleo-neo-Carlinist

October 21st, 2010
9:10 am

JKL2, who ever said it was? this is the classic neo-con/tea party ruse. if you recall, the tea party floated a constitutional myth (the internet is a great tool for the ignorant) that the phrase ’separation of church and state’ originated with Hitler, when in truth, it was used by Thomas Jefferson in 1802 as he described the intent of the First Amendment (”to build a wall of separation between church and state.”). the only thing O’Connell has proved is, the words separation of church and state do not appear in the Constitution, and as I said this “revelation” is nothing new.

One Nation Under educated

October 21st, 2010
9:12 am

Really, really easy concept here.

That’s right, son. Its called Re-Alignment. based on race relations. And if you were paying attention, you studied that at SPSU. Don’t shame us alumni, son.

paleo-neo-Carlinist

October 21st, 2010
9:12 am

JKL2, oh and since you’re so dialed in to the Constitution, the words “born in the United States” ARE most definitely in the Constitution (14th Amendment), so O’Connell et al need to let go of the whole “anchor baby” issue.

CYNT U MUST KEEP UR JOB

October 21st, 2010
9:13 am

THEY ARE RIGHT, THE TEA PARTY IS NOTHING MORE THAN THE AMERICAN TALIBAN OR HEZBELLAH CHRISTIAN GROUP THAT LIKES BURNING CHURCHES,AND I THOUGHT THEY THE TEA PARTY WERE CHRISTIANS? YEAH RIGHT,THESE OLDER TEABAGGERS ARE THE SAME ONES WHO WERE HAVING KLAN RALLIES 40 YEARS AGO IN THE SOUTH!

HDB

October 21st, 2010
9:13 am

Call it like it is
October 21st, 2010
9:04 am

“When does it end.”

It ends when ALL minorities are considered as equals in American society (which has yet to happen!); it ends when everyone has similar economic opportunities (which has yet to happen — and NOTE I said opportunities – not outcomes!); it ends when people see that what you’ve noted are CONSERVATIVE approaches to what the market has borne!! It ends when elected representatives address ALL constituent issues…..

RGB

October 21st, 2010
9:14 am

@HDB:

Unfettered access to the voting booth has been guaranteed by U.S. law for nearly 50 years.

Do you wallow in all the problems that you’ve overcome 50 years ago.

You must be a busy person.

Even Christ forgives sin the first time and tells us that we need not repeatedly ask forgiveness for the same sin.

Be happy that all Americans can vote and celebrate it. Don’t revisit the past and try to live off of accumulated anger as it makes for an unhappy life.

Jack

October 21st, 2010
9:15 am

I nominate Tucker to head up the NAACP.

CYNT U MUST KEEP UR JOB

October 21st, 2010
9:15 am

WE NEED TO BRING BACK GENERAL SHERMAN TO FINISH UP THE JOB OF BURNING DOWN THE REST OF RURAL GEORGIA WHERE THE REDNECKS STAY!

Some People are stupid

October 21st, 2010
9:15 am

Georgian-

I didn’t know be christian was a part of being a good black….
The ACLU is for blacks by the way. They represent everybody.

dawg

October 21st, 2010
9:16 am

After reading this column I went back to sleep and woke up realizing I was living in a parallel universe.

globeflyer

October 21st, 2010
9:17 am

James, Juan only spoke the truth and it was “used” against him. I will have my say to NPR (which I have supported) and I have listened my last time. Political Correctness has been used to divert and avoid The Truth. “Sunshine is the best disinfectant” and “Don’t confuse me with the facts” are two quotes that come to mind.

CYNT U MUST KEEP UR JOB

October 21st, 2010
9:21 am

CYNTHIA TUCKER YOU ARE STARTING TO LOOK MORE LIKE CLARENCE THOMAS AND WARD CONNELLY!

CYNT WHY DONT THE JEWS TALK ABOUT THEIR JEWISH GROUPS LIKE BLACKS DO,MEANING YOUR TALKING DOWN ABOUT THE NAACP,AND IF IT WERE NOT FOR THE NAACP SCLC AND OTHER BLACK GROUPS YOU WOULD HAVE NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER GOTTEN THE JOB AT AJC!
DONT TURN INTO A UNCLE TOM CYNT? IT SEEMS LIKE ONLY OUR PEOPLE SELLOUT!

Some People are stupid

October 21st, 2010
9:21 am

Should read the ACLU is not just for blacks.

CYNT U MUST KEEP UR JOB

October 21st, 2010
9:22 am

TEA PARTY = AMERICAN KKK,TALIBAN AND HEZBELLAH!

Georgian

October 21st, 2010
9:22 am

Keep,

I was referring to slavery, which is where it all originates.

But yeah there was some bad things done 50 years ago that was an injustice, but havent you ever heard you cant go back and change things? You have to move forward, and the people of today are not the people of yesterday. Your view of me as a white person is that I wont give you a chance just like that racist white person then. That is not the case.

Yeah there are hate group. There are also black hate groups and ganga and everything else. Do white people form an association to combat that? One like the NAACP? IS that what you want?

Keep up the good fight!

October 21st, 2010
9:23 am

“Unfettered access to the voting booth has been guaranteed by U.S. law for nearly 50 years.”

And yet caging continues and is active republican tacit even in 2010. Republicans run adds to discourage latinos from voting. Race supremecists run as Republicans in 2010. Tea party signage and Crazy Carl sends out racially insensitive (being very nice) emails.

RGB…get real…this is not “revisting the past”. THis is today!

RURAL REDNECK

October 21st, 2010
9:23 am

KEEP UR JOB

YOU DON’T HAVE TO SHOUT!!
now back to playing my banjo—

HDB

October 21st, 2010
9:25 am

RGB
October 21st, 2010
9:14 am

When one hears of politicians clamoring for “voting tests” as it was in the Jim Crow South in 2010….the problems have NOT been completely overcome!! Many of the problems you feel have been overcome have yet to be in certain segments…..racism and discrimination still exists, but too many people, conservatives in particular….tend to marginalize that existence!!

I’m not living off of anger….I see the hope that America generates….but I also see the FEAR that people use to divide us!! That needs to be addressed at ALL points!!

CYNT U MUST KEEP UR JOB

October 21st, 2010
9:25 am

THE SO-CALLED EDUCATED PEOPLE LIKE CYNTHIA TUCKER FORGETS THAT NAACP IS THE GROUP THAT FOUGHT FOR HER CIVIL RIGHTS!

Tiny Tim

October 21st, 2010
9:26 am

Racism will end when people like Cynthia Tucker are no longer given free expression in newsrags like the AJC.

SPSU

October 21st, 2010
9:26 am

AmVet – very lame attempt on your part to rewrite history.

Bryd – supported Obama for the Democratic Nomination after his first choice the Hildabeast was not going to get the nomination.

Byrd – voted to support ObamaCare & was quoted as saying his vote was for his good friend Kennedy

etc.
etc.

Funny to see you label him a conservative. You know how to spot a conservative about as well as Granny knows how to spot a C140 manufactured by the government (aka Lockheed)

HDB

October 21st, 2010
9:26 am

RGB
October 21st, 2010
9:14 am

Almost forgot – the GOP is running ads out west telling Hispanics NOT to vote…..
Is THAT the America you see???

GT Man

October 21st, 2010
9:27 am

Maybe the first article I’ve totally agreed with you. I don’t hate the Tea Party as much as you do, but I do appreciate the good reporting that for once doesn’t imply that white people are evil!

JKL2

October 21st, 2010
9:28 am

keep- “By the year 1702 all 13 American colonies had some form of state-supported religion. This support varied from tax benefits to religious requirements for voting or serving in the legislature.”

You’re right as usual. Only 8 (not 9) of the original colonies had an official religion. Georgia being one of the “heathen” states for you.

American Citizen (White)

October 21st, 2010
9:28 am

Why does NAACP have to throw the race card at everything it disagrees with ? It has become an old mechanism that has been so overused that reasonable people now resent it’s misuse.
Tea Party activitsts may be extreme in some of their views but they are not racist, we all can see that.

Bob

October 21st, 2010
9:29 am

The group that claims to be in existance to promote ones own race whines about a group that complains about spending. Libs cry racism because most are against Obocare, yet most were against the gov takeover under Clinton. In fact, the black man received more support for his takeover than the white man, and libs still try to make it a race issue. HDB, minority set asides, affirmative action, race norming, all lib examples of appeasement. Race norming should have been looked at as in insult to blacks since the whole point of it was that blacks can’t score as well as whites and should not be compared against whites, Pathetic.