This week, the NAACP approved a resolution condemning what it called “racist elements” within the Tea Party movement. “You must expel the bigots and racists in your ranks or take full responsibility for all of their actions,” NAACP President Benjamin Jealous said. Conservatives and tea partiers immediately took offense. Rush Limbaugh called the resolution “not true,” while Sarah Palin said it is “false” and “appalling.” Sean Hannity claimed he “can’t find any” racist Tea Party signs, while Tea Party Express founder Mark Williams attacked the NAACP, claiming it makes “more money off race than any slave trader ever.”
But as ThinkProgress has documented, there is racism in the Tea Party movement. Moreover, a new report from the Kansas City Star digs deeper into the racist elements of the Tea Party and citing various instances of racism linked to the movement, concludes that “it’s clear that some with racist agendas are trying to make inroads into the party,” noting that “in several instances, tea party members with racist backgrounds”:
Billy Roper is a write-in candidate for governor of Arkansas and an unapologetic white nationalist. “I don’t want non-whites in my country in any form or fashion or any status,” he says.
Roper also is a tea party member who says he has been gathering support for his cause by attending tea party rallies. “We go to these tea parties all over the country,” Roper said. “We’re looking for the younger, potentially more radical people.”
The Star also found that “white nationalist groups are encouraging members to attend tea parties”:
The Council of Conservative Citizens, a St. Louis-based group that promotes the preservation of the white race, has sponsored its own tea parties in some Southern states.
The council’s website has referred to blacks as “a retrograde species of humanity” and said non-white immigration would turn the country into a “slimy brown mass of glop.” Gordon Baum, the group’s founder, told The Star that the council encourages members to participate in tea parties. [...]
Roper, a former organizer for the neo-Nazi National Alliance and now chairman of White Revolution, said he has been attending tea party rallies to recruit members and garner support for his 2010 write-in campaign for Arkansas governor.
“Liberals think these are all poor, angry, working-class whites, but that’s not true,” said white nationalist movement scholar Leonard Zeskind. “It’s a solid middle class. The belief that these are people hit by the economic downturn is a myth. It’s people who have what they want and don’t want it taken away. They’re defending white privilege. Their slogan is ‘We want our country back.’”
Indeed, a New York Times/CBS poll found that 52 percent of Tea Party supporters said “too much has been made of the problems facing African-Americans” while 28 percent of Americans overall said the same.