Democratic Congressman depicts tea party as Ku Klux Klan
October 22nd, 2013
02:49 PM ET
10 months ago

Democratic Congressman depicts tea party as Ku Klux Klan

Washington (CNN) – Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Florida, used an image of a burning cross in an email to his supporters that compared the tea party movement to the Ku Klux Klan.

Next to the tall "T" of the burning cross are letters superimposed on the image that spell out "Tea Party," while KKK members stand in the background.

Grayson, who's known for making inflammatory remarks, said in the email the Republican Party does not want to do "anything useful" and they "simply want to bring about the End of Days, as quickly as possible."

"That is the ultimate Tea Party Republican desire, to bring about the End of Days," he continued. "The Republican Party has become the largest suicide pact in history. And I hope they don't take us with them."

News of the email quickly drew sharp reaction.

Republican Jorge Bonilla, who's challenging Grayson in 2014, said the email is "despicable and needlessly hurtful to the many millions of families that still deal with the wounds of racial prejudice."

Jennifer Burke, national outreach director of TheTeaParty.net, said the email is "deplorable."

"As a black Tea Party activist, I could say that there's nothing more offensive than equating the Tea Party with the Ku Klux Klan," Burke said. "The hate speech uttered by sitting congressman Alan Grayson is deplorable, even by the low levels reached in recent years when Democrats routinely call us racists and suicide bombers."

Republican operatives at the Republican National Committee, as well as the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee, called on the President and their Democratic counterparts to condemn the language.

Defending the email, the Congressman released a statement pointing to examples of racism expressed against the President and attributed those sentiments to the tea party.

"For example, when the President visited my home of Orlando, Tea Party protesters shouted 'Kenyan Go Home.' Other examples include Tea Party chants of 'Bye Bye, Blackbird,' and Tea Party posters saying 'Obama's Plan: White Slavery,' 'Imam Obama Wants to Ban Pork' and 'The Zoo Has An African Lion, and the White House Has a Lyin' African,'" he said.

He went on to list other examples against African Americans and Hispanics.

"One could go on and on, because there is overwhelming evidence that the Tea Party is the home of bigotry and discrimination in America today, just as the KKK was for an earlier generation," he said. "If the shoe fits, wear it."

– CNN's Kevin Bohn and Gloria Borger contributed to this report.


Filed under: Alan Grayson • Tea Party
soundoff (63 Responses)
  1. rs

    A hypothetical- is having one's party portreyed as being a part of the KKK worse than, say portreying the President as the Joker, with a bone in his nose or with a Hitler mustache? The TEA Party perpetrated those, and worse. As Boehner says" what goes around comes around". That "Birther" Karma will take a long time to wear off.

    October 22, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  2. Data Driven

    (Shrugs)

    Truth is truth.

    Birth certs ... "you lie!" ... Muslim ... Kenyan ... government shutdowns ...

    I think that, rather than be shocked by Grayson's words, we need to acknowledge the truth of them. And not just acknowledge, but PROCLAIM.

    October 22, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  3. Larry in Houston

    Breaking on CNN – Brooke Baldwin is interviewing a Judge in Texas – he ends up switching – (yes, that's what I said) He Is "switching" From Republican To the Democrat Party....Why ? he is also saying that the ultra right wing of "his" party got Hi-Jacked......LOL

    October 22, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  4. Pander Bear

    Cue the faux outrage from the people who call Liberals Nazis and Socialists, who make racist comments about the President and his wife and who call taking care of the poor "tyranny". Own it Tea Baggers.

    October 22, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  5. Marie MD

    How does that saying go?
    You don't have to be a repug to be a racist, but if you are a racist you are probably a repug.
    Has anyone been paying attention since November 4, 2008? Better yet, while most of the country was celebrating and watching our 44th sworn in the repugs were hiding in some dark and dank basement plotting how to make our duly elected President a one term president and how to go against everything and anything he proposed. Dam the country and all Americans and their oath.

    October 22, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  6. Hector Slagg

    Aw Gee,
    You wouldn't Con me would you, Grayson. Sure you didn't get the Tea Party mixed up with the Liberal's. Go ahead. Bite the hand that feeds you. When the money runs out, ask yourself why.

    October 22, 2013 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  7. teaparty days are numbered

    Duh! everyone with even a half a brain knows this is a fact jack.

    October 22, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  8. Bill

    The truth hurts, doesn't it teabaggers? Bigots and haters – that is what they are.

    October 22, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    Sniffit

    ""If the shoe fits, wear it.""

    If the hood fits, wear it.
    ---------------–
    Man, I choked on my oatmeal cookie. Cut the crap.

    There too many examples of Tea Party racism to recite. We've almost forgotten about most of them. One that comes to mind is the email sent out by the head of the California Republican Party, a Tea Party member of course, that showed Mrs. Obama's new White House garden as being full of watermelons. Uh, huh. They thought we'd forget about it. Nope, not me.

    October 22, 2013 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    "freedom" hears soft music out of his right ear and "inflammatory rhetoric" out of his left ear. Most tea partiers do.
    They are a "do as I say, or we will primary you" party of fear mongering and hate.
    That is why Judge Carlo Key of Texas switched from Repub to Democrat. He could no longer take the hatefulness
    of the Teapublicans. Google him, his words are eye-opening and heartfelt.
    Wonder why there is no story on this. Texans are waking up, slowly but surely.

    October 22, 2013 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  11. marc in california

    Compared to what ive been calling them. saying the tea party is like the ku klux klan is being kind.

    October 22, 2013 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  12. The Real Tom Paine

    Not exactly the best way of bringing the subject up, but Grayson has never been known for being subtle. Did the GOP condemn Steve King for his remark characterizing Mexican immigrants as illegals who got " hundred pound calves from hauling sacks of marijuana"? Not at all. The GOP's vaunted "outreach" should be seen for what it is: window dressing. Since the Dixiecrats left the Democratic Party over a generation ago for the party that made naked, ugly, race-based appeals, the Democrats have come to terms with their past mistakes and charted a course towards being a truely American party, not one that makes crass appeals to patriotism and inclusion while seeking to strip people of their most basic rights.

    October 22, 2013 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  13. $$$$

    @Marie MD
    How does that saying go?
    "You don't have to be a repug to be a racist, but if you are a racist you are probably a repug."
    ---------
    Sorry to disagree.

    Racism is when 93% of an ethnic group (African-Americans) voted for a candidate who is an African-American (Obama) in 2012.

    October 22, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  14. Bubba

    I doubt the Tea Party will be around as long as the Klan. The Tea Party is becoming toxic, except for backward places like Texas, who are typically slooowweeerrr than the rest.

    October 22, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  15. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    For example, when the President visited my home of Orlando, Tea Party protesters shouted 'Kenyan Go Home.' Other examples include Tea Party chants of 'Bye Bye, Blackbird,' and Tea Party posters saying 'Obama's Plan: White Slavery,' 'Imam Obama Wants to Ban Pork' and 'The Zoo Has An African Lion, and the White House Has a Lyin' African,'" he said.

    He went on to list other examples against African Americans and Hispanics
    -------------------------------------------------
    Gee, I was going to say something along the lines of taking the high road and two wrongs don't make a right but I hadn't even heard of the examples that he cited, so....yeah KKK seems like a pretty accurate albeit tame description of the Party of Teatards.

    A spade is a spade.
    They took off the hoods we're taking off the gloves.
    Keep calling them like you see 'em Rep Grayson.

    October 22, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  16. Wake up People!

    Of course the truth hurts. The only difference is the klan wore sheets and hoods but the Tea Party wears thousand dollar suits. And anyone that thinks it's not true, just take a look at the racist, nasty things they have said about the First Family over the past 5 years.

    October 22, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  17. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @Wake up People!!
    Here you go baby girl!
    This buds for you!!!!!

    October 22, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  18. Malory Archer

    lost in USA

    How far will the Liberals stoop? im am not a big fan of the tea party,but how dare an elected official call my fellow american brothers and sisters klan members? very stupid comment.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    That's nothing compared to what the teabag toddlers call President Obama and the dems, or the things they accuse them of doing/saying.

    October 22, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  19. Moores rule

    They are more like the nazi party to me

    October 22, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  20. Switters

    I agree with Representative Grayson.

    Old, angry, left-behind, white Republican and Southerners – I've seem the all my life – now they want take the name of a "Yankee" group........

    October 22, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  21. Moores rule

    They are like the nazi party, but higher up the chain, next to the David Duke group

    October 22, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  22. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©™

    The Tea Party is not quite the Klan. The image from Grayson is clear, but he loses credibility by such hyperbole.

    October 22, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  23. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Racism is when 93% of an ethnic group (African-Americans) voted for a candidate who is an African-American (Obama) in 2012.
    -------------------------------------------------
    So what does it say when 100% of an ethnic group (Caucasians) vote for a candidate who is White?
    And what does it say when 100% of an ethnic group (African-Americans) have ALWAYS voted for a candidate who is White?
    Shut up and sit down, you bore me.

    October 22, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  24. Malory Archer

    Matt

    Disgusting. Not one tea party rally I've ever heard of has burned a cross or lynched anyone.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    No but they sure like to parade around and stand outside the WH under the confederate flag – INCLUDING your rethug elected officials.

    October 22, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  25. Rich

    Laugh not. I bet Obamacare won't past 12/31/15. He suckered you fools.

    October 22, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
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