July 14th, 2010
07:19 AM ET
13 years ago

Sarah Palin responds to allegations of Tea Party racism

(CNN) - Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin published the following message on her Facebook page on Tuesday night:

The Charge of Racism: It’s Time to Bury the Divisive Politics of the Past

I am saddened by the NAACP’s claim that patriotic Americans who stand up for the United States of America’s Constitutional rights are somehow “racists.” The charge that Tea Party Americans judge people by the color of their skin is false, appalling, and is a regressive and diversionary tactic to change the subject at hand.

President Reagan called America’s past racism “a legacy of evil” against which we have seen the long struggle of minority citizens for equal rights. He condemned any sort of racism, as all good and decent people do today. He also called it a “point of pride for all Americans” that as a nation, we have successfully struggled to overcome this evil. Reagan rightly declared that “there is no room for racism, anti-Semitism, or other forms of ethnic and racial hatred in this country,” and he warned that we must never go back to the racism of our past.

His words rang especially true in the immediate aftermath of the 2008 presidential election. It seemed that with the election of our first black president, our country had become a new “post-racial” society. As one writer in the Washington Post stated: “[Barack Obama’s] election isn’t just about a black president. It’s about a new America. The days of confrontational identity politics have come to an end.”

We, as a united people, applauded that sentiment. We were proud of that progress. That’s why it is so sad to see that 18 months later, the NAACP is once again using the divisive language of the past to unfairly accuse the Tea Party movement of harboring “racist elements.”

Having been on the receiving end of a similar spurious charge of racism (in a recent frivolous lawsuit which was finally dismissed by a federal judge), I know how Tea Party Americans feel to be falsely accused. To be unjustly accused of association with what Reagan so aptly called that “legacy of evil” is a traumatizing experience, and one of which the honest, freedom-loving patriots of the Tea Party movement are truly undeserving.

On this subject, I can recommend the statement issued by a man I was proud to endorse, Tim Scott, the GOP candidate from South Carolina’s First Congressional District. Tim, poised to become the first African-American Republican Congressman from the former Confederacy since Reconstruction, is himself a sign of a hopeful, truly post-racial future for our country. It gives added meaning to his warning that “the NAACP is making a grave mistake in stereotyping a diverse group of Americans who care deeply about their country and who contribute their time, energy and resources to make a difference.”

The only purpose of such an unfair accusation of racism is to dissuade good Americans from joining the Tea Party movement or listening to the common sense message of Tea Party Americans who simply want government to abide by our Constitution, live within its means, and not borrow and spend away our children’s futures. Red and yellow, black and white, this message is precious in all our sights. All decent Americans abhor racism. No one wants to be associated with any organization that is in any way racist in sentiment or origin. I certainly don’t want to be. Thankfully, the Tea Party movement is not racist or motivated by racism. It is motivated by love of country and all that is good and honest about our proud and diverse nation.

Like President Reagan, Tea Party Americans believe that “the glory of this land has been its capacity for transcending the moral evils of our past.” Isn’t it time we put aside the divisive politics of the past once and for all and celebrate the fact that neither race nor gender is any longer a barrier to achieving success in America – even in achieving the highest office in the land?

I just spent a few beautiful Alaskan days with some beautiful Americans in my husband’s birthplace – they are Todd’s family and they are Yupik Eskimo. In the decades that our families have blended, I have never heard one proud, patriotic member judge another member based on skin color. Both Todd and I were raised to measure a person according to their capacity and willingness to love, work, forgive, contribute, and show good character. We’re joined by the vast majority of Americans in this belief whereby we measure a man by his character, not his color. Because of amazing efforts and accomplishments by those who came before my generation, it is foreign to us to consider condemning or condoning anyone’s actions based on race or gender. Being with our diverse family in a melting pot that is a Native village just days ago reminded me of that.

So to leave that remote village and return back to “modern civilization” only to hear of the NAACP’s resolution today suggesting that we Tea Party Americans don’t respect equality makes me sad for those who choose to divide these great United States. It is time to end the divisive politics.

– Sarah Palin

Filed under: NAACP • Popular Posts • Sarah Palin • Tea Party movement
soundoff (84 Responses)
  1. acura2010

    Sarah Palin inflamed this rhetoric. Is America showing her ugliness of bigotry all over again! Where were the anger during Bush/Cheney instigated this crisis?

    July 14, 2010 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  2. kim

    As an AA I am ashamed of the NAACP, every group has extremist but you cannot label an entire group of people like that. This foolishness needs to stop.

    July 14, 2010 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  3. tony

    Very thoughtful.... too ba she didnt write it. Anybody who is any type of writer can detect the tone and pattern of a writer. This was obviously written by somebody else. Her basic argument is very flawed as well in the piece. There is evidence connecting many of the Tea Parties to racially divisive groups. Clean your own house before you try to clean our country, goofs.

    July 14, 2010 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  4. Chris

    you're preaching to the choir Palin. how about you and the GOP tell some of that to the Tea Party.

    July 14, 2010 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  5. That Woman Is Still an Idiot

    She can take that speech and shove it where the Sun doesn't shine with her "bated breathing."

    July 14, 2010 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  6. Robert

    This is really rich, coming from the queen of divisive, mean-spirited politics. All the quotes from Ronald Reagan and references to the Constitution can't cover-up what Sarah Palin truly represents – nor all the racist content of many signs and sentiments expressed at Tea Party rallies. Pathetic.

    July 14, 2010 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  7. Greg

    Sarah Palin asking to stop the the divisive politics is like Jeffrey Dahmer asking people not to kill. This woman is an idiot. She spews more hate than oil in the gulf. At least she finally got a Reagan quote right. Now she just needs to realize he went to college in Michigan and not Euraka California. Complete idiot. Here we go, another message posted on Facebook. What is she, 16? She does it because she can take five hours and write it. Every time she speaks so just sounds stupid. Let's not forget Sarah's racist past as part term governor. She the perfect example of what the NCAAP is talking about.

    July 14, 2010 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  8. James Hull

    I agree with Ms. Palin that "the charge that Tea Party Americans judge people by the color of their skin is false, appalling, and is a regressive and diversionary tactic to change the subject at hand." Where was the NAACP resolution condemning the clearly racist Black Panther actions of intimidation of poll watchers with para military club wielding door keepers? Where was the NAACP resolution condemning the overtly racist Black Panther screaming "kill all those crackers, and their cracker babies . . ."? In the absence of making an honest, even handed condemnation of all racism in the USA, the NAACP resolution can only be seen as a contemptible "playing of the race card" for the sole purpose of denigrating the entire Tea Party membership . . . a clearly diversionary political tactic. You cannot have it both ways, NAACP. Condemn the overt racism of both blacks as well as whites.
    James Hull

    July 14, 2010 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  9. Dan

    She seems to ignore the fringe element of her party. Spouting about Ronnie doesn't change the fact that the Tea party activist are racist whne they compare the President to Hitler and show placards with a bone in his nose, etc. They called it like it is.

    July 14, 2010 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
1 2 3 4