Following the NAACP's resolution condemning racism within the Tea Party, the anti-tax movement is giving it right back. Writing op-eds and appearing on television, a number of Tea Party leaders and conservative pundits want to make it clear: they're not racist, the NAACP is. Here's a glimpse of the back and forth:
- NAACP Should Look in the Mirror, writes Michael Graham at the Boston Herald:
Here's a tip for my friends in the NAACP: Next time you vote on a resolution denouncing racism, don't let the Rev. Jeremiah Wright count the votes.
I'm kidding, of course. Wright - the openly racist, anti-Semitic conspiracy kook - hasn't spoken at an NAACP meeting in months.
No, they asked Louis Farrakhan instead.Another joke - really... he's been pushed aside to make room for more moderate voices. Like Al Sharpton.
You may recall some of Rev. Al's more memorable speeches like when he referred to Jews as "diamond merchants" with the "blood of innocent babies on their hands." Or his speech about "white interlopers" outside Jewish-owned Freddy's Fashion Mart, where a Sharpton supporter later shot four people and set the place on fire.All of which makes the NAACP's resolution declaring the Tea Party movement a haven for racists so outrageous. When you're looking for bigots at a Tea Party rally, they're on the fringe. When you're looking for them at the NAACP, they're on stage.
- Just One Second, writes liberal columnist E.J. Dionne at The Washington Post:
Good for the NAACP. We need an honest conversation about the role of race and racism in the Tea Party. Thanks to a resolution passed this week at the venerable organization's national convention, we'll get it.
The minute you say there are racist elements in the Tea Party -- reflected in signs at rallies, billboards and speeches from some of its major figures -- the pushback goes from cries of persecution to charges that those who are criticizing divisiveness are themselves the dividers.
So let's dispense with the obvious: Most of the opposition to President Obama comes from people who are against his policies, not his race. The Tea Party is motivated primarily by right-wing ideology, not by racism.But guess what? Nothing the NAACP is saying contradicts this. Its contention is that there are clearly racist strains in the Tea Party and that the movement's leaders and the politicians who profit from its activism should denounce them plainly and unequivocally.
Let's Fight It Out CNN's Roland Martin and Tea Party Express Spokesman Mark Williams tussle it out on television:
- We'll Denounce Racism, Will You? ask Jenny Martin and Mark Meckler, co-founders of Tea Party Patriots, in a column for Politico:
When Kenneth Gladney, a black conservative activist was brutally beaten by SEIU thugs at a protest outside of Rep. Russ Carnahan's (D-Mo.) office, the NAACP and the liberal left refused to intervene. To the contrary, at an NAACP press conference in St. Louis in May, Gladney was referred to as a "Negro," an "Uncle Tom," and someone not worthy of the protection of the NAACP, because he's working for the "other side."
The NAACP has defended the thugs who beat Gladney. At the press conference, money was raised for the defense of the "brothers."
At Tea Party Patriots we will continue to condemn the fringe elements of the movement and any expression of racism or bigotry. We sincerely hope that the Obama While House, the NAACP, and the liberal left will follow our lead and do the same in their own ranks.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.