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

QueDawgMuPsi

October 21st, 2010
2:14 pm

Enter your comments here

George W

October 21st, 2010
2:14 pm

Everyone leave?

willie lynch

October 21st, 2010
2:16 pm

George W,

What would that arguement be?

George W

October 21st, 2010
2:17 pm

He made a comment that he get nervous when he gets on a plane with a Muslim. Dont we all to some extent? Isnt that him just voicing his opinion?

Big D

October 21st, 2010
2:20 pm

CT…The NAACP has run it’s course and it is now no more than a source of income for the proprietors.
We have a black President and some the most lucrative payed individuals in the world.
Anything else that they do will be a detraction form previous accolades.

Georgian

October 21st, 2010
2:21 pm

QueDawg,

You dont think there were white slaves?

And how do you know your ancestors were killed for no reason or even slaves? You must have a better record of your family’s history than most! Fact is none of you know what it was truly like then or what your individual family faced. It was different for each one.

pat

October 21st, 2010
2:23 pm

@quedawg~ The NAACP has it’s fair share of racists too. Yes, black folks can be racist too. That doesn’t mean the whole damn thing is racist.

Big D

October 21st, 2010
2:28 pm

Georgian…I have Indian,Black and Irish….
I believe I could hate somebody all day, everyday if I used the same line of reasoning my fellow blogger s use. Damn that Cromwell….Vikings…Jackson….Custer….Forrest…
No more excuses people…

Dick Hertz

October 21st, 2010
2:30 pm

Ms. Tucker needs a Niemoller refresher I guess. Maybe a review of the life of Ernst Rohm as well.

HDB

October 21st, 2010
2:33 pm

QueDawgMuPsi
October 21st, 2010
2:14 pm

Lambda Iota — Fall, 97!!

George W

October 21st, 2010
2:59 pm

I guess everyone is out…..have a good day.

CDWTX

October 21st, 2010
3:03 pm

You are absolutely right, it is obvious that the NAACP has become an arm of the Progressives, and is abandoning the incredible work done against racism, by using the names and tragedies that led to the changes we have seen so far, to promote attacks against people who simply care about America and its future as a free, and successful society.

AmVet

October 21st, 2010
3:04 pm

“Dont we all to some extent?”

No. But the more easily frightened do…

George W

October 21st, 2010
3:07 pm

OH GREAT AMVET IS HERE!

CopyandPaste

October 21st, 2010
3:31 pm

CT,
WOW. I can’t believe you are critical of a liberal organization. Nice going. It seems you can think for yourself.
You will be like Nostradamus on this one. Your prediction will come true.

everyoneknows

October 21st, 2010
3:36 pm

NAACP is on par with the KKK. Neither is worth a minute of thought in these modern times.

Atico

October 21st, 2010
3:40 pm

All human beings are racist. Some more than others. So what’s new? The above fact was true 9000000BC and will remain true until the end……..of course this is when you die!

Nothing Is Free

October 21st, 2010
3:58 pm

Ms Tucker

Bravo!! Bravo!! Bravo!!

If everybody is a racist, then nobody is a racist.

G. Jeremy

October 21st, 2010
4:05 pm

I am the Tea Party and you are right, the Tea Party will use the NAACP’s own words against them. To call someone a racist because they disagree with our liberal president is inexcusable.

Keep up the good fight!

October 21st, 2010
4:06 pm

Well finally Nonsense you admit you are a racist…and definitely a nobody.

Jack

October 21st, 2010
4:07 pm

Just noticed that Juan Williams was fired by NPR for making a “bigoted” remark.

Keep up the good fight!

October 21st, 2010
4:08 pm

Jeremy..I posted the statement of the NAACP President…did you bother to read it. The NAACP has not called every tea partier a racist.

Nothing Is Free

October 21st, 2010
4:09 pm

Keep Up

Having a bad day, little boy?

Keep up the good fight!

October 21st, 2010
4:16 pm

I’ll post it again. But you can view the report to naacp.org.

We know the majority of Tea Party supporters are sincere, principled people of good will. That is why the NAACP—an organization that has worked to expose and combat racism in all its forms for more than 100 years—is thankful … this report that exposes the links between certain Tea Party factions and acknowledged racist hate groups in the United States. These links should give all patriotic Americans pause.

I hope the leadership and members of the Tea Party movement will read this report and take additional steps to distance themselves from those Tea Party leaders who espouse racist ideas, advocate violence, or are formally affiliated with white supremacist organizations. In our effort to strengthen our democracy and ensure rights for all, it is important that we have a reasoned political debate without the use of epithets, the threat of violence, or the resurrection of long discredited racial hierarchies.

This July, delegates to the 101st NAACP National Convention unanimously passed a resolution condemning outspoken racist elements within the Tea Party, and called upon Tea Party leaders to repudiate those in their ranks who use white supremacist language in their signs and speeches, and those Tea Party leaders who would subvert their own movement by spreading racism.

The resolution came after a year of high-profile media coverage of racial slurs and images at Tea Party marches around the country. …
At first, the resolution sparked defensive, misleading public responses from the usual corners. First, Tea Party leaders denied our claims were valid. Then Fox News repeatedly circulated the false claim that we were calling the Tea Party itself racist. Then their commentators and other media personalities said the Tea Party was too loosely configured to police itself. Local NAACP volunteers and staff members around the country were barraged by angry phone calls and death threats. Yet, amid the threats and denials, something remarkable began to happen: Tea Party leaders began to quietly take steps toward actively policing explicitly racist activity within their ranks.

Before the end of July, the Tea Party Federation had expelled Mark Williams, then-president of the powerful and politically-connected Tea Party Express for his most-recent racially offensive public statements, a move they had previously refused to make. The move was significant for three reasons: 1) it proved wrong those national leaders and news personalities who said the Tea Party was too loosely configured to insist its leaders act responsibly, 2) it sparked a rift among Tea Party leadership between those who are tolerant of racist rhetoric and those who would stand against it, and 3) it showed our resolution was having an impact. Soon after, Montana conservative Tim Ravndal was fired as head of the Big Sky Tea Party Association after local media published messages posted to his Facebook account that appeared to advocate violence against gays and lesbians.
In the midst of all this, Tea Party leaders moved quickly to take on a communications strategy typical of corporate crisis public relations. A “Uni-Tea” rally to promote Tea Party diversity was hastily organized, while FreedomWorks launched a “Diverse Tea” web initiative to spotlight pictures of nonwhite Tea Partiers. There was a Tea Party leadership “race summit” facilitated by Geraldo Rivera.

In August, Fox News personality and Tea Party icon Glenn Beck instructed his followers to leave all signs at home in the lead-up to his rally on the National Mall to avoid media scrutiny, and has since admonished Tea Partiers across the nation to “dress normally,” lest their signs and t-shirts distract from the fiscal message for which he would prefer the Tea Party be recognized. In some areas, the response appears to have spread beyond the Tea Party itself. In September, former Florida Republican Party Chair Jim Greer made a surprise public apology for the “racist views” among some members of his party.

These are welcome first steps. They promote diversity and acknowledge the inherent perception problem that plagues the Tea Party: that while many of its leaders are motivated by common conservative budget and governance concerns, for too long they have tolerated others who espouse racism and xenophobia and, in some instances, are formally associated with organizations like the Council of Conservative Citizens—the direct lineal descendant of the White Citizens Council.

This report, from the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights, serves as a cautionary reminder that Mark Williams is not unique within Tea Party leadesrhip circles and that ties between Tea Party factions and acknowledged racist groups endure. It is the most comprehensive research to date into the Tea Party’s scope and emergence onto our political landscape.

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back to top
Report Table of ContentsTHE REPORTAll of Tea Party NationalismForeword
Introduction
Origins of the Tea Parties
Racism, Anti-Semitism and the Militia Impulse
Who is an American? Tea Parties, Nativism and the Birthers
Correlation Between Unemployment and Tea Party Membership?
Tea Party Factions
FreedomWorks Tea Party
1776 Tea Party
ResistNet
Tea Party Nation
Tea Party Patriots
Tea Party Express
Report Authors
Endnotes 1-100
Endnotes 101-200
Endnotes 201-280
Acknowledgments

THE DATA Report Data and VisualizationsTea Party Geography
Tea Party Growth Chart
Tea Party Chapters Map
Tea Party Rallies Map
Tea Party Caucus Map & Table

P.O. Box 411552. Kansas City, MO 64141.
P.O. Box 33344 Seattle, WA 98133.
© Copyright 2010. Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights. All Rights Reserved.

About Us The Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights (IREHR) is a national organization with an international outlook examining racist, anti-Semitic, white nationalist, and far-right social movements, analyzing their intersection with civil society and social policy, educating the public, and assisting in the protection and extension of human rights through organization and informed mobilization. Main MenuThe Report
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Nothing Is Free

October 21st, 2010
4:20 pm

Keep Up

REally god job of cut and pasting. I really like the fact that you also included the links at the bottom of the page.LOL

Damn, you are dumb.

Keep up the good fight!

October 21st, 2010
4:23 pm

Today’s discussion is for grownups Nonsense.

Trot along Nonsense, dont let your hooves trip you on the carpet. The door is on the left since it must be hard to see with your head up your tushy.

Mary T. Rosenello

October 21st, 2010
4:24 pm

II figured the Naacp was just another arm of the Democrat’s when they came out against school vouchers ( not exactly clear thinking)

Nothing Is Free

October 21st, 2010
4:29 pm

Keep Up

Since you have no life and live here, perhaps you should brief me.

But considering your emotional maturity, your lack of education and your lack of decency, it is obvious why you spend your pathetic life on a computer blog.

Nothing Is Free

October 21st, 2010
4:31 pm

Yet another reason to put the Republicans in charge in two weeks:

If NPR is so much against freedom of speech, pull their funding and take away their freedom of speech.

CUT THEIR FUNDING COMPLETELY!!!!!!

Let liberals support them. they will be gone in two weeks.

Ivan Cohen

October 21st, 2010
4:33 pm

Miss Tucker, the title of this article infers you people(NAACP) are getting out of your place. The time for shuffling, buck dancing and going yassir master is over. You and the black President are the indirect beneficiaries of the Civil Rights Struggle. He remembers every now and then the bridge which brought him over, too bad the same thing can’t be said about you.

Keep up the good fight!

October 21st, 2010
4:34 pm

Nonsense…speaking of pathetic and dumb moves…This discussion is race…NPR is on Jay’s blog. Do try to keep it straight chucklehead!

Betty

October 21st, 2010
4:35 pm

Couldn’t agree more, the NAACP should not waste its resources fighting the tea party

Nothing Is Free

October 21st, 2010
4:36 pm

Keep up

Understand your importance in deciding what other people should do.

Just because the bum lives under the railroad bridge does not make him the president of the railroad.

Twit.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

October 21st, 2010
4:51 pm

Israeli and Palestinian officials told McClatchy Tuesday that efforts to reach a compromise would continue until at least Nov. 3, a move they said “served the current American government.”

“The time frame we are following has been designed around the elections in America,” said a senior member of the Palestinian negotiating team. “We have been asked not to issue announcements that could embarrass negotiation officials.”

Um, didn’t they just do what the dummycrats asked them not to?

T-Town

October 21st, 2010
5:05 pm

The NAACP is trying to make themselves relevant again by taking aim at the Tea Party and rendering them as filled with racist. They have to justify their existence and their salaries. I agree with Ms. Tucker that this will not be a very smart move on the NAACP’s part. A better move would be to advertise and enhance their stance on the issues and leave the dirt and mud slinging to the professionals: politicians.

Nothing Is Free

October 21st, 2010
5:11 pm

It’s very simple: Most Black people don’t get out and vote unless it is about race.

The National Association For The Advancement of Colored People is just trying to increase the democratic voter turnout. That may have worked in the past but now they are increasing the turnout of both parties, and as Ms Tucker said, they are going to lose this one.

LeBron

October 21st, 2010
5:13 pm

Playing the race card works for me.

Nothing Is Free

October 21st, 2010
5:18 pm

My last statement is inaccurate.

Let me rephrase:

Nothing inspires Black People to get out and vote like an issue of race.

ken R

October 21st, 2010
5:20 pm

Granny Godzilla, must be so upset about this blog today that she won’t chime in. She usually only want’s to rip on the articles that Tucker writes about Repubs.

You Asked

October 21st, 2010
5:21 pm

The Tea Party groups should all strongly disown any members with links to racist and supremist organizations. The overall grassroots movement to limit govermnet spending is valid. The GOP was smart enough to kick the Birchers to the curb decades ago. If they want to remain legitimte they should take the NAACP up on their advice and do the same to the fringes who would use them for unsavory purposes. The NAACP can do some house cleaning themselves as long as we are soul searching to insure that they are not linked (in reality or by association) with more radical hate based groups.

It would be a good exercise for all of us to disown the radicals who seek to piggy back on our messages. American politics is getting too polarized and it needs to stop.

You Asked

October 21st, 2010
5:23 pm

BTW- starting posts with phrases like “most black people” or “all Republicans” or “those Muslims” or any variation on the above screams stupid generalization so loud that it’s hard to read the rest.

willie lynch

October 21st, 2010
5:26 pm

Nothing,

Are you Black?

Nothing Is Free

October 21st, 2010
5:28 pm

willie lynch

I’m colored.

How about you?

Nothing Is Free

October 21st, 2010
5:30 pm

Willie Lynch

Your brow beating will need to wait. I’m out the door to socialize with a bunch of my colored friends.

Tomorrow maybe?

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

October 21st, 2010
5:32 pm

Cynthia Tucker

Tea party supporters: white, male, older and despise Obama

8:31 am April 15, 2010, by ctucker

Cynthia Tucker: Voter Anger Is About Racism – ‘Fear of a White Minority’

The role of racism in health care debate

7:22 am September 16, 2009, by ctucker

September 05, 2010

Yeah, stay off of her turf, y’all.

willie lynch

October 21st, 2010
5:42 pm

When they hired Mrs.Schiller at NPR the big buzz was why did they hire a republican to head what was perceived to be a liberal media outlet. Hmmm. Who fired Juan Williams?

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

October 21st, 2010
5:53 pm

“We need to face facts – our government is broke,” Boehner told the conservative National Review. “Washington is borrowing 37 cents of every dollar it spends from our kids and grandkids. Given that, I think it’s reasonable to ask why Congress is spending taxpayers’ money to support a left-wing radio network – and in the wake of Juan Williams’ firing, it’s clearer than ever that’s what NPR is.”

Now that’s what I’m talking about.

ODDOWL

October 21st, 2010
8:27 pm

The words racist, sexist, homophobic and zenophobic are very relevant and always will be. words have meaning. The words racist, sexist, homophobic and zenophobic identify the pre-sapians amonst us.

willie lynch

October 21st, 2010
8:52 pm

I report,

I’m glad you understand that we are currently paying for the massive Reagan spending.

ODDOWL

October 21st, 2010
8:57 pm

Attention all Black Men…. It is of the upmost importance that you remove those bling-bling ear rings from your ears, get rid of those Roman fetishes (Christian crosses) and pull your head out of the derriere of Jesus. Black Men need to wake up, Man up and smell the Black coffee.