NAACP considers resolution condemning racism in Tea Party movement.

At the organization’s national convention this week, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) will propose a resolution “condemning racism within the tea party movement.” The resolution calls upon “all people of good will to repudiate the racism of the Tea Parties, and to stand in opposition to its drive to push our country back to the pre-civil rights era.” NAACP leaders said the resolution was “necessary” to make people “seriously” consider what leaders “believe is a racist element within the tea party movement.” Tea Party leaders, however, vehemently deny allegations of racism and call the proposed resolution “unfair”:

I just don’t see racism in the tea party movement,” said Brendan Steinhauser, director of campaigns for FreedomWorks, which organizes tea party groups. “Racism is something we’re absolutely opposed to.”

“The NAACP has more of a political agenda now, but I would hope that they would appreciate the fact that the tea party movement has a lot in common with the civil rights movement. I’m personally inspired by what the civil rights movement did, and I want them to know that.”

Steinhauser’s memory is conveniently short-term, ignoring the Tea Party’s well-documented history of racism and wrongful co-opting of the civil rights movement. Last year, Tea Party members analogized President Obama to a “monkey.” In March, Tea Party protesters hurled racist epithets at civil rights hero Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) and spat at Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO). At a recent July 4 rally in Lexington, KY, Daily Kos documented Tea Party members selling shirts declaring “Yup, I’m a Racist!”


Nina Bhattacharya