(CNN) - The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People released a new study Wednesday that claims to tie members of the Tea Party to white supremacist groups, anti-immigration organizations, anti-semitic groups and independent militias.
The study, conducted by the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights analyzed the membership of six Tea Party organizations in the country.
(CNN) – NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous, speaking at the "Reclaim the Dream" rally Saturday, castigated the message of the Glenn Beck rally across town in Washington.
"For a year and a half, we've been subjected to small hearts and small minds on our small screens," he said, referring to conservative ideas on media. Beck is a conservative talk show host, with a program on Fox News as well as several radio programs.
Urging people to continue to fight for issues like health care and the ideas of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., Jealous said, "It's time to make sure our country - when they turn on the TV - sees itself reflected back."
(Updated at 2:45 p.m. ET)
Washington (CNN) - The Rev. Al Sharpton and a range of activists on Saturday fervently marked the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech and some delivered pointed remarks about conservatives rallying nearby at the site where King delivered his seminal address.
Sharpton spearheaded the "Reclaim the Dream" rally at Dunbar High School in northwestern Washington, addressing a throng that later embarked on a march to the planned King memorial after they listened to speaker after speaker extol the virtues and visions King stood for.
Sharpton and others couldn't resist discussing the controversial event at the Lincoln Memorial organized by conservative talk show host Glenn Beck, a rally Beck called "Restoring Honor." Beck, who has a program on Fox News as well as several radio programs, was criticized for holding his rally at the site of King's speech on the anniversary.
"They may have the mall," Sharpton said, "but we have the message. They may have the platform but we have the dream."
Washington (CNN) - Just over three weeks after the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People passed a resolution accusing the Tea Party movement of harboring racist elements, a group of African-American conservatives joined hands in a chorus saying: "we are not racists."
On Wednesday, over two dozen black conservative leaders sang the praises of the controversial, grassroots movement during a carefully-organized press conference at the National Press Club in Washington. But the tone grew coarse as the assembled Tea Party supporters, one-by-one, offered scathing rebukes of those who say the movement is rife with racism.
"The Tea Party movement represents one of the greatest citizen uprisings in our young nation's history," prominent activist Selena Owens said as she opened up the event.
Atlanta, Georgia (CNN) - The NAACP has retracted its original statement condemning comments made by a former Agriculture Department official who resigned after a video clip surfaced of her discussing a white farmer.
The NAACP said in a statement Tuesday that it was "snookered by Fox News" and conservative website publisher Andrew Breitbart.
"Having reviewed the full tape by Shirley Sherrod, who is the woman who was fired by the Department of Agriculture, and most importantly heard the testimony of the white farmers mentioned in this story, we now believe that the organization that edited the documents did so with the intention of deceiving millions of Americans," the statement from NAACP President Benjamin Jealous said.
Washington (CNN) – Andrew Breitbart, the conservative blogger who published video of a speech by former USDA employee Shirley Sherrod, said Tuesday that his decision to release the video was not motivated by wanting to target Sherrod, the African-American woman shown in the footage talking about racially-charged matters at an NAACP event.
Instead, Breitbart told CNN he released the Sherrod video because he believes it shows the NAACP itself tolerates racist behavior within its ranks – a stinging accusation just one week after the civil rights group made a similar charge against the conservative Tea Party movement.
Related: Sherrod resigns after video released
"This was not about Shirley Sherrod," Breitbart said Tuesday in an interview set to air on CNN's John King, USA.
"This was about the NAACP attacking the Tea Party and this [the video of Sherrod] is showing racism at an NAACP event. I did not ask for Shirley Sherrod to be fired. I did not ask for any repercussions for Shirley Sherrod. They were the ones that took the initiative to get rid of her. I - I do not - I think she should have the right to defend herself."
Breitbart also described his decision to publish the Sherrod video as an effort to expose what he sees as the NAACP's hypocrisy when it comes to allegations of racism.
(CNN) - One day after the National Tea Party Federation expelled the Tea Party Express and its spokesman Mark Williams, the racial controversy that has ensnared the conservative grassroots movement is becoming an issue in Nevada's Senate battle.
The Federation, a three month old organization that seeks to represent the Tea Party political movement around the country, ousted Williams Sunday because of an inflammatory blog post he wrote last week about the NAACP. Williams wrote the incendiary blog post in response to an NAACP resolution that called on Tea Party leaders to crack down on racist elements in the movement.
Eager to seize on the controversy, the Nevada State Democratic Party released an email Sunday evening reminding voters that Republican Senate nominee Sharron Angle stood next to Williams on stage at an event where she accepted his group's endorsement.
"Mark Williams' offensive rhetoric is deplorable, and the refusal by the Tea Party Express to denounce his radical viewpoints is shocking," said Nevada State Democratic Party communications director Phoebe Sweet, in a release. "If Sharron Angle does not immediately leave the bunker to denounce the man who stood by her as the Express endorsed her, it is tantamount to backing his disgusting writings. Like the Tea Party Express, Angle has shown a reluctance to admit when she's gone too far, but to continue to associate with a group that supports its spokesman's over-the-top, racist statements is unacceptable and extreme."
(CNN) – Tea Party activist Mark Williams says he's done discussing the controversy stirred up by his attack on the NAACP, accusing a fellow movement leader of turning the debate into "a World Wrestling style personality conflict."
The National Tea Party Federation, an organization that seeks to represent the Tea Party political movement around the country, has expelled Williams and his Tea Party Express organization because of the inflammatory blog post Williams wrote last week, federation spokesman David Webb said Sunday. In response, Williams announced in another statement on his blog that, "I am refusing all media requests on this" and canceled a scheduled interview on CNN to discuss the controversy Sunday evening, citing a last-minute change in travel plans.
"That careless individual tea partier who assumed the mantel of 'leadership' did so long enough to turn a critical and serious movement and delicate peace with skeptical groups into a World Wrestling style personality conflict with me at the center," Williams said. "There are internal political dramas amongst the various self-anointed tea party 'leaders,' and some of the minor players on the fringes see the Tea Party Express and Mark Williams as tickets to a booking on "Fact [sic] the Nation.' "
(CNN) - The National Tea Party Federation, an organization that represents the Tea Party political movement around the country, has expelled conservative commentator Mark Williams and his Tea Party Express because of an inflammatory blog post he wrote, federation spokesman David Webb said Sunday.
Appearing on the CBS program "Face the Nation," Webb said that Williams and the Tea Party Express - which has held a series of events across the country to generate support for the movement - no longer were part of the National Tea Party Federation.
"We, in the last 24 hours, have expelled Tea Party Express and Mark Williams from the National Tea Party Federation because of the letter that he wrote," Webb said of the blog post by Williams that satirized a fictional letter from what he called "Colored People" to President Abraham Lincoln.
Webb called the blog post "clearly offensive."