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

williebkind

October 21st, 2010
9:30 am

HDB

October 21st, 2010
9:13 am
It ends whent he minority cannot dictate to the majority and everyone is responsible for themselves.

Scout

October 21st, 2010
9:32 am

Ms. Cynthia:

Other than the copyright problem, what if the Tea Party had named themselves the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Caucasian People) ?

Even though they have many non-white members, liberals believe they are racists anyway and the others are ignorant Uncle Toms, etc..

Georgian

October 21st, 2010
9:32 am

Some people are stupid,

I was just making the point that they are “good people” ie Christian like. Dont overanalize everything, its not becoming.

Yeah the ACLU is for blacks, liberals, “women”, gays, trans, yada yada yada

paleo-neo-Carlinist

October 21st, 2010
9:34 am

CT, I have tried to comment on the Juan Williams situation, but my posts are disappearing. I don’t think I’ve used any banned or verboten words/text.

JKL2

October 21st, 2010
9:34 am

paleo- the tea party floated a constitutional myth

So everyone in the tea party got together and decide Hitler started “seperation of church and state”? Good to see you speak for all of them. I thought the big complaint with the Tea Party is no one person is in charge of it.

John

October 21st, 2010
9:34 am

Cynthia, I can’t beleive I’m hearing this from you, but you are 100% right. The downfall or lack or credibility of the NAACP is thier claims of racism everywhere. And yet most Americans thought when Obama was President, all racism would be on the way to recovery. In result, it’s the total opposite. Now, if anyone disagrees with Obama or his policies, they are labeled racist. Of course Americans are not that stupid(well most of them are not). If anything, Obama being President has made race relations worse. It’s a total joke!

All the liberals can scream racism all they want but tell me what gender would be classified as racist? When over 50% of whites voted for Obama or when 90% of blacks voted for Obama? Humm… I know it’s a hard question but the answer is so obvious.

Of course I’m not calling Blacks racist but if the numbers were reversed, the NAACP would be going nuts!

JKL2

October 21st, 2010
9:41 am

paleo- let go of the whole “anchor baby” issue.

I guess this does fit right in with todays topic. The anchor baby clause was added so that freed slaves could become citizens. Since we got rid of the slavery sometime back, maybe we should get rid of the anchor baby clause since we’re the only country in the world that has it.

Tech Man

October 21st, 2010
9:43 am

HDB
October 21st, 2010
9:26 am

Can you post a link? I would like to see those.

Tech Man

October 21st, 2010
9:44 am

HDB
October 21st, 2010
9:26 am

I think that stinks. I listen to WABE in the car on occassion. Never thought this would happen.

HDB

October 21st, 2010
9:44 am

williebkind
October 21st, 2010
9:30 am
“It ends whent he minority cannot dictate to the majority ….”
So…you agree with Jim Crow and segregation?? In that aspect, the majority was shown to be WRONG!! The minority had to dictate so that the MAJORITY would recognize them!!

It ends when the MINORITY is considered as EQUALS to the MAJORITY!!

hobby

October 21st, 2010
9:45 am

CT
seems to me that KEEP UR JOB has given you a veiled threat. Don’t forget your roots or you will be out of the club! This is just the type of thing that you should write about—the racism inherent in black groups like the NAACP, SCLC, etc.

Tech Man

October 21st, 2010
9:45 am

OOPS. I ment to copy Paeo, Sory HDB

barking frog

October 21st, 2010
9:46 am

Having watched the advancement of African Americans since
the Fifties I believe the NAACP should immediately attack any
group that even hints at hindering or reversing that advance.
If you believe racism especially for blacks has ended you
are wrong. The diversion of illegal mexicans has not ended
predjudice against blacks in this country.

Howard Beale

October 21st, 2010
9:52 am

To Cynthia, “Keep Up The Good Fight” and others of like mind — yes, there are still a few pockets of white supremacists left here and there. I can’t change that – can you? On the other hand, how are those dumb, ignorant crackers hurting YOU or holding you back? Yes, some dummy in a Wal-Mart in the middle of nowhere told blacks over the loudspeaker to leave, and of course that made national headlines. So what? How does that hurt YOU? Yes, things were still bad 50 years ago. But just how does that still affect you today? Let’s keep this in perspective. As a nation, we desegregated decades ago, enacting federal laws making it a crime to discriminate in the workplace, in the housing market, or anywhere else; we implemented affirmative action, basically setting up quotas in an attempt to level the playing field; we have for years elected african-american mayors and chiefs of police; and we have now even elected an african-american president. Yet still, many people of color are not yet satisfied. Anytime a white person decries our overtaxation or the nation’s crumbling social values, that person is instantly branded a “racist.” Apparently, some can dish it out but they just can’t take it. Yes – race IS far from a dead issue in America. And no, I’m not wearing a sheet; I’m just an American, excercising my right to free speech, just as you are. Get over it already! The sooner you do, the better off we’ll all be. No one is holding you back. Plenty of african-americans succeed in this country. You can, too. Why are you so obsessed with what white people do or say? Our words and actions are not hurting you. Stop being a victim and take charge of your own life. Start a business, or outwork/outperform/outTHINK your white coworker. Living well is the best revenge. Cynthia, you have a pretty good job. How am I holding YOU back? How am I holding President Obama, or Oprah back? I am a typical white American; I have my opinions and I’m entitled to them, just as you are to yours. I am not a tea-partier. I don’t want to take anything from you. But nor do I owe you anything. Live and let live.

Keep up the good fight!

October 21st, 2010
9:52 am

I heard the same arguments made in the 70s about affirmative action and when will “white” people have their rights protected. Like somehow magically prejudice has ended. Georgian prior comment mights as well have been “there are good N and there are N” — it was just as insensitive and just as racially based. There are good people and there are others.

Separate but equal was a concept to deprive blacks of education. Schools were not equal.

“Coloreds” only bathrooms and water fountains.
Locations on the bus.

There is an entire past that some want to believe just disappeared…first when slavery ended and then with the Civil Rights Act of 1964. To ignore the important role that the NAACP played in that history and bringing about change is just ignorance. To claim that racial issues are at an end in this country ignores reality. To claim that somehow “whites” need more protection ignores reality. There is not time or energy to rehash the studies and the evidence of racism in 2010 in a blog.

And yet most Americans thought when Obama was President, all racism would be on the way to recovery. In result, it’s the total opposite. Now, if anyone disagrees with Obama or his policies, they are labeled racist.

Lies like this dont help. While some may have said the election of a black president showed the growth in America on the race issue, it did not mean race issues were over. In fact, it was acknowledged that Americans ignored having hard discussion on race issues.

And just because someone disagrees with Obama does not make them a racist. However if your “disagreement” goes to running pictures of the President as an african witch doctor, calling him an N, calling others a N, those have racist tones. Do all tea partiers use such terms and language..absolutely not. Do all republicans…absolutely not. Do all conservatives…absolutely not. Do all liberals..absolutely not. Do some of each of these groups use those terms…absolutely.

So John….when do you acknowledge that some tea partiers and republicans are racists and supremecists?

Contractor

October 21st, 2010
9:55 am

The NAACP is starving for some air time because they are a cancer that no one wants to hear from anymore. These members bleed the system and it’s donator’s dry with harmless and untruthful threats. It’s insane to believe this country would regress back to the times the NAACP speaks of. Do any of you honestly think that this country is going to send black people back to the plantations and their slave huts, make blacks walk on a different side of the road than whites, negate woman’s rights, etc? I mean, if that isn’t a sign of struggling to stay alive, I don’t know what is. For the first time ever, I agree with your article. It is crazy to think Barry is a Nazi, that is extreme, but he is a fool. But you are right on this one. Still trying to believe I’m actually agreeing with you for once on 90% of this. I just don’t think the NAACP is going to help any black people with the way they handle business. They are dried up and wasting away, just like everyone is wishing for.

AmVet

October 21st, 2010
9:55 am

SPSU, you are hysterical.

First you claim Byrd is a bigot. And then you turn right around and say he supported a “black” candidate for POTUS.

In fact his later-in-life record on civil rights legislation is exemplary.

So which is it? Are you referring to the 50 and 60s Byrd or the one who came later? (Warning the answer will require some intellectual honesty.)

And let me guess, in your book, Wallace was not a conservative, but a liberal, right?

Ditto the Tea Party? All libs, right?

And for gawdsakes pay NO attention to George “Macaca” Allen, David Duke, Jim Russell, (a perennial GOP in NY), Tom Tancredo, and on and on…

Yes, these are isolated incidents, but you cons really think your slate is snow-white (get it?) don’t you?

To wit, I don’t believe I have once even read where a die-hard Republican on these blogs has even admitted to some of the filth in their party. Must be Reagan’s 11th Commandment at worry, don’t you think?

Like I said, you assertion that liberals and not conservatives are the documented bigots and racists in this country is hysterical.

Time to cue up the Barack the Magic Negro clip or maybe the cartoon depicting the commander in chief as an out of control chimpanzee – both promulgated by GOP operatives.

paleo-neo-Carlinist

October 21st, 2010
9:55 am

JKL2, I am not going to parse sentences with you. Christine O’Connell is an embarassment and the sooner the “tea party” cuts her loose and moves on, the better for all concerned (save the Democrats, who will ultimately benefit from her nomination). O’Connell is the one who brought up the profound observation that the words “separation of church and state” do not appear in the first Amendment. it was O’Connell who attempted to use this widely accepted fact as evidence of her understanding of the Constitution. I merely pointed out that it was (some members of ) the tea party, in an attempt to paint Obama and ‘liberals” as nazi’s and socialists, who ‘disremembered’ Hitler coining the phrase separation of church and state. ergo, a completely baseless “fact” presented as truth. ditto the 14th Amendment. the intent of the 14th Amendment aside, the law does not refer to “slaves” or specify that it applies only to the children of slaves (who, ironically, were also the source of cheap labor). my point was; if O’Connell et al are so determined to embrace the letter of the law when it comes to the words “separation of church and state” they need to admit the words children of slaves do not appear in Article I of the 14th Amendment.

HDB

October 21st, 2010
9:56 am

Tech Man October 21st, 2010
9:43 am

As per your request —

estergoldberg. typepad. com /views_from_a_broad/2010/10/a-conservative-group-tried-to-run-an-ad-telling-latinos-dont-vote.html#tp
(This is the ad telling Hispanics “Don’t Vote!”)

msnbc. msn. com/id/26315908/ns/ msnbc_tv-rachel_maddow_show/#39770051
(Here’s the one about suppressing the black vote in Texas!)

Bob

October 21st, 2010
9:57 am

Keepupthefight, when do you acknowledge that some NAACP and dems are racists ?

RGB

October 21st, 2010
9:57 am

“..the GOP is running ads out west telling Hispanics NOT to vote…..”

Prove it. Provide a link.

Also, the individuals who have been engaging in voter intimidation recently are the New Black Panthers. News Flash: These people are not Tea Party Members.

As we all know, AG Holder and Obama refused to take appropriate action against these thugs. They were dressed in paramilitary uniforms and carried batons. Is non-prosecution of thugs at the polls something you favor?

I guess it’s OK if the intimidation is on “your side.”

Maybe we need a new Voting Rights Act to protect decent individuals from the people now holding office.

Tech Man

October 21st, 2010
9:58 am

Keep up the good fight!
October 21st, 2010
9:52 am

“when do you acknowledge that some tea partiers and republicans are racists…”

Virtually everyone in the USA realizes there are racists in EVERY political group.

Keep up the good fight!

October 21st, 2010
9:58 am

Howard….Anytime a white person decries our overtaxation or the nation’s crumbling social values, that person is instantly branded a “racist.”

bull…however when a white person decries an issue with a portrayal of the President as a “african witch doctor” that is racist. When a discussion of “entitlements” has interjected into it that one race is just too lazy..that is racist. When a republican party chair puts out an email that his dog is lazy and black so he gets welfare, that is racist.

When the tea partiers remove the racial issues from their attacks, they remove the cause of the NAACP concern.

Burberry

October 21st, 2010
9:58 am

Cynthia……………is this your lame attempt at trying to win back some of your white detractors? You almost made it across the finish line, but stumbled at the end. Don’t be so blinded by the fact that your credibility among white Georgians is (AT ANY POINT) in jeopardy. Same thing happens to us at work………white managers have very little patience (and tolerance) for their black employees……………hence the phrase “Last Hired, First Fired.” It’s a typical knee-jerk reaction due to their inherently negative perception of us. Trying to appease them will only win you scant praise, if any…………which will last for all of a nano second. See how they criticized Obama after ONLY 18 months in office? The “tolerance bombs” starting ticking the MOMENT he won the election. They started exploding within months!!!!

wtf?

October 21st, 2010
9:59 am

Simple truth….NAACP is in the business of staying in business….racial controversy is good for business. Isn’t it odd that when a person even refers to a topic from 1964ish civil rights era, they are blasted as being stuck in the Jim Crow style of thinking, but the NAACP who did their best work around 1964 is praised for sticking to Jim Crow era type thought processes? It’s like they own the naming rights to all things civil rights, others can’t even speak certain words without someone crying foul.

Remeber all the black americans in utter shock (picture Oprah with her mouth open in disbelief)that a black man was actually elected president by white america? Doesn’t that say something profound. White people are not as racist as you think, so put down your defenses, let’s move forward, get out of the Jim Crow era already.

Middle and upper class well educated successfull blacks that listen to gangster rap, really? is that just to make sure a small part of them is ’staying black’ fist in the air style? That music is some o fthe most racist and anti-women crap out there, but noone seems to care, except Bill Cosby and he gets blasted for standing up to help his people.

I just get the feeling the majority of blacks are more interested in ’staying black’ than moving forward as a society, am i wrong?

Keep up the good fight!

October 21st, 2010
9:59 am

Tech man…read my entire post….I have already made that point.

So you acknowledge that the tea party has people in it who are racists and white supremecists.

Bradley G

October 21st, 2010
9:59 am

Needless jab in the last sentence aside, I’m going through the rest of my day excited about the day’s possibilities. If CT and I can almost agree on a topic, lottery numbers are calling my name!

frank

October 21st, 2010
9:59 am

if the tea party is racist someone forgot to tell herman caine

HDB

October 21st, 2010
10:00 am

Keep up the good fight!
October 21st, 2010
9:52 am

Spot ON….!!

Tech Man

October 21st, 2010
10:00 am

HDB
October 21st, 2010
9:56 am

Thanks!

I see you are as crippled as me in trying to post a link. We are far behind Granny and Kam in doing that. CT approved me to post one yesterday, but even with Granny’s and Kam’s help I am struggling on url’s. :)

HDB

October 21st, 2010
10:02 am

RGB
October 21st, 2010
9:57 am
“..the GOP is running ads out west telling Hispanics NOT to vote…..”
Prove it. Provide a link.

Note my 9:56 — just remove the spaces……

Bradley G

October 21st, 2010
10:02 am

Keep up the good fight!, when both parties acknowledge its memberships have an extreme group within its ranks, both parties (and the country for that matter) will be that much closer to civil discussion about the real issues affecting our nation. Every major news-making organization–Democrats and NAACP on the left and Republicans and Tea Party on the right–has extremists. Looking forward to the day when that argument is FINALLY a moot point.

Tech Man

October 21st, 2010
10:02 am

Keep up the good fight!
October 21st, 2010
9:59 am

READ MY POST! :)

I think the definition of “EVERY” covers my position my blogging friend.

HDB

October 21st, 2010
10:03 am

Tech Man
October 21st, 2010
10:00 am

I had to add spaces in the link address to get it past the system……just remove the spaces to load into the browser window….

Oh Please!!!

October 21st, 2010
10:04 am

NAACP complains about a splinter in the eye of the Tea Party while ignoring the board in their own eye.

Partisay

October 21st, 2010
10:04 am

“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!”

Georgian….who exactly hates the pledge, flag & national anthem? How many people do you know in that boat? (Please, not the standard “Liberals”). If you took a 1,000 people, how many of that do you think truly hates the pledge? Or really hates the flag? I have never heard of anyone actually “hating” the national anthem!

And just how did God get taken out of school? You mean teachers can’t stand in class and conduct a religous lesson of their choice? What if your kid had a teacher that just happened to be Muslim, would you want that teacher to push that religion on your kid or the rest of the class? Or what if he was Mormon, would it be ok then? Let me guess, if he was Baptist, bet it would really be ok then….

Religion is still in the schools. They have a moment of silence every morning in the school i work in. Kids pray every single morning. But thank goodness someone is not on the PA system saying the prayer. After all, may not be the relligion you are used to, or believe in. Let me guess. You are the type that says if it’s a minority religion the other students believe in, that’s just too bad. They would just have to listen to OUR prayers or pray to OUR God. Every Tuesday morning, the kids meet before school in my school for Fellowship of Christian Athletes. They talk about religion and do good things. Also, every Monday morning, about 50 kids gather around the flag pole, hold hands, and pray to start the week off. Would you consider that to be “religion taken out of the shcools”?

So tell me…if you could put relligion “back” into the schools, what religion would you put back in? Would it be OK if Catholics had their turn every now and then? Or what if there were 20 kids in the school that were Muslim, would they get a turn? Or would it be just majority rules. Which would it be?

WestH6

October 21st, 2010
10:06 am

Balanced common sense editorials like this from Cynthia on a regular basis a few years back would have saved the AJC millions of dollars in lost subscriptions and advertisement….keep it up and I may renew the subscription that I had for 20 years, but cancelled 2 years ago.

Joel

October 21st, 2010
10:07 am

Keep, do you disagree that racism is thrown around way to much and that it actually cheapens it when it actually occurs?

Fang1944

October 21st, 2010
10:08 am

I’ve read the NAACP’s report on the racist ties of some elements of the Tea Party, especially Tea Party Express, Tea Party Nation and 1776 Tea Party. They’re substantial, documented and convincing.

Those interested can download it at the NAACP’s website.

HDB

October 21st, 2010
10:09 am

wtf?
October 21st, 2010
9:59 am
“I just get the feeling the majority of blacks are more interested in ’staying black’ than moving forward as a society, am i wrong?”

You ARE!! We’re trying to move forward….but too many…particularly many conservatives…desire to BRAND us as everything BUT Americans. There are issues that political conservatives denigrate when minroities asked that they be address; there are realities that political conservatives wish to IGNORE…such as the GOP has become insensitive to minorities since 1964….and forget the history of the GOP, in that it was founded by black and white people and were considered the LIBERALS of their time!!

techengineer

October 21st, 2010
10:10 am

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.”

You are absolutely correct. Americans are not taught history any longer. They are absoultey clueless. The most degenerate dense ignorant people on the earth all by design. Thank a liberal marxist maggot for it!

ctucker

October 21st, 2010
10:11 am

WestH6@10:06, “Balanced” is that with which you agree, right?

Keep up the good fight!

October 21st, 2010
10:12 am

Joel…That is a nice way for many to try to deny racism. Not everything called racism is truly racism. Not everything denied as a wrongful play of the racism card is not racism, often it is. It is the honest discussion that is cheapened when people hide behind a ploy of the “race card”…..

But let’s not forget that the race card has been played by many this season including Beck, Rove and others to avoid honest discussion.

Georgian

October 21st, 2010
10:12 am

Keep,

That was not the statement I made, that is what YOU inferred and went with.

You dont have to forget it happened, you just dont have to bring it up every five minutes as a reason some group is formed. The TEA PARTY has nothing to do with race.

The NAACP of then is NOT the NAACP of today. Even common sense blacks will tell you that. Their focus is not the betterment of their people, but yet to cause conflict and trouble. And to spew out baseless accussations. You can live in the 1860’s or 1960’s if you want, but Im here living in 2010 and its not like then. Get over it.

Like another person said, race is an issue because your people keep making it one. The last presidential contest was all about getting your black president. Liberals ate it up because it got them in the White House and you were none the wiser. When will you wake up and realize they dont give a rats end about your betterment as black people.

Whites dont need protection? When Im walking down the streeets of ATL with my wife and kids and thugs are on the street and approaching you for everything, protection is needed. When muggings, robbery, and gang activity take place, protection is needed. When the NAACP makes wild accusations that could result in hate against whites happens, protection is needed. You really need to think before you go and put in an already volatile black young mans head that white conservative tea party is out to get him. There could be GREAT violence from that.

George W

October 21st, 2010
10:13 am

FINALLY CYNTHIA……You wrote a piece that is not completely garbage! Great job. BTW…..is there really a need for the NAACP anymore?

ctucker

October 21st, 2010
10:13 am

Burberry@9:58, You’re kidding, right? Why do I need to “win” anybody back? My detractors are reading my posts and commenting daily, if not hourly. Win them back from what?

techengineer

October 21st, 2010
10:15 am

I’m interested in the advocation of white rights and interests only. Am I a racist? lol I want to celebrate white heritage month and talk about all the accomplishments my people have had over the years? Surely we can agree upon that right? lol
Never ever forget people that it is all about race all the time. Diverstiy differences are for our destruction not strength. The biggest lie ever told and fools believe it.. lol

Howard Beale

October 21st, 2010
10:16 am

KUTGF – “Anytime a white person decries our overtaxation or the nation’s crumbling social values, that person is instantly branded a ‘racist.’ ” Was that the only segment of my long argument you could challenge? What about the crux of what I said? How do the fools depicting Obama as a monkey hurt YOU? Why are you so sensitive? I voted for Obama and I still like him. I sincerely thought that the election of a black president would ease racial tensions; but, unfortunately, it seems to only have made them worse (and this is the one point I will agree with you on). But There will always be differences between the races, and there will always be competition, comparison and resentment. Have you ever heard a “blonde” joke? These are told by white people with dark hair. I root for the Braves but hate the Yankees. We are us, and they are them. We are different, so we compete and compare. This is human nature, and there is NOTHING you or I can do about it. All I am saying is quit whining about it and go out and improve your OWN life! The NAACP cannot do that for you. The NAACP is NOT helping race relations in this country; on the contrary, it is merely stirring the pot.

George W

October 21st, 2010
10:17 am

I guess Cynthia would rather have people hate her versus write a piece that is fair and balanced.

George W

October 21st, 2010
10:17 am

Howard…..great post.