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. Hendrik

    And here comes Sarah Palin to the defense of the tea party (notice no caps). To think there is no racism in this "movement" is crazy. Look at the signs, listen to these clowns, as a matter of fact, listen to Sarah herself.

    This loon should NEVER be President. If she is then all hope for us as a country is gone. We need adult leadership; it is sorely lacking with the Republicans. They are the party of emotion and diviseness, and hate.

    July 14, 2010 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  2. works for me

    Just what kind of Tea is this "woman" drinking? This so called Tea Party is, in fact, mostly about racism as they "want their country back".
    Just who took "their country", anyway?? A black man the MAJORITY ELECTED. A man with intelligence, style and grace. A man that gathers all the facts before making decisions? He's who took your country??

    They are so afraid that he will bring this country, OUR COUNTRY back from the brink of disaster that they'll say and do anything to bring him down. Well guess what... he goes down... we ALL go down. Get over it folks. This is 2010.. NOT 1910!
    Please, please just shut up, Palin. You're as useless as a dull knife. Go shoot a moose or something!

    July 14, 2010 08:19 am at 8:19 am |

    Sarah Palin does not care about anyone but herself – not her family and certainly not America.

    July 14, 2010 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  4. Duck Fallas

    Some of my best friends are Yupik Eskimos.

    Palin- quick- spell "regressive."

    It IS time to end divisive politics. You first.

    July 14, 2010 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  5. chill

    Sarah, Ronald Reagan was not a hater or angry. He pulled people together in a positive way. I didn't agree with much of what supported policy-wise nor think he was that great a President. But I cannot imagine him as part of the Tea Party. And surely many of the Tea Party are not racist, but if you don't condemn the execesses of your own supporters then you are doomed to be sullied by them.

    July 14, 2010 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  6. jacq

    Lol hilarious

    July 14, 2010 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  7. NCAAP HATES Whites

    By default isn't the NAACP racist. Honestly, they are out to unilaterally advance one race and one race only. They don't help hispanics, asians, europeans, and certainly not white american. So wouldn't it be the sam thing as if the Tea Part passed a resolution that the NAACP is racist?

    July 14, 2010 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  8. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    BLAH, BLAH, BLAH! Shut up Sarah!

    July 14, 2010 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  9. Go USA!

    The conservative movement is a “legacy of evil” that has been traumatizing the middle class for almost 30 years...

    July 14, 2010 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  10. laura

    She can quote Reagan, but she cannot live up to his standards now and never will. Remember that she only represents those she chooses to call the "Real Americans". You know, like she claimed on her failed campaign for the veep seat. Since she herself is busy segregating people in her mind and heart, surely it would not be anything new for us to question her about HOW she does it and WHAT her standards are.Do you have to be White, Republican and a oil gushing gun owner before she will stand up for you and defend your right to be a REAL AMERICAN? I cannot tell you how tired I am of this not so bright demagogue. CNN, keep her off the news and maybe she will grow a brain, heart and soul.

    July 14, 2010 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  11. lsboogy

    When they ask the racists to leave their events, I will start thinking differently. And why do we keep listening to her anyway – her ignorance cost us the last election.

    July 14, 2010 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  12. Patriot

    Very well stated Mrs. Palin! Shame on the NAACP for playing the "race" card. We are facing more serious problems in this nation that warrant our attention and theirs. The last thing we need is an attempt at division among us based on our skin type and for what?.... to serve as a simple political tool of disparagement...... that is exactly what this is! It's an affront to the intelligence of the American people – red, white, blue, brown and black!

    July 14, 2010 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  13. rgray222

    It is very sad that the media in this country feel it is their responsibility to report only the news fit to advance their political agenda. Why do we see so many stories about the tea party and virtually none about the protesters at the G20 that burned police cars and destroyed stores. Why are there no stories about the new black panthers that clearly are racist and intimidated only white people entering to vote in Philadelphia. Why do we see stories about the tea party being racist when clearly there is no proof, no video and no evidence of this! It is no wonder that CNN, NY Times, Time and Newsweek are virtually on the brink of bankruptcy. There is a roadmap for these companies to get back on track.................print all the news and don't slant it in any one direction, if the tea party participants are racist then show us the evidence, don't run and article that says maybe or they could be.

    July 14, 2010 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  14. Gloria

    Excuse me, but she is the one who stirred up racists during the campaign. Talk about a hypocrite.

    July 14, 2010 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  15. regressive and diversionary tactic

    you are describing your entire run for the vice presidency

    July 14, 2010 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  16. TangledThorns

    I agree with Sarah Palin 100%. Shame on the NAACP for calling a group of patriots racist. I consider myself a Tea Party member and take personal offense by the NAACP.

    July 14, 2010 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  17. Nik

    I am not necessarily inclined to believe that Tea Partiers in general are racist; however, when you look at their rallies and you see nothing but white middle-aged to older Americans, you can't help but wonder. Also, did anyone notice the "mama grizzly" video Sarah Palin just released featured only white women? It's hard to argue a movement is racist when you portray that movement with nothing but white people.

    July 14, 2010 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  18. John

    Well said. Period.

    July 14, 2010 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  19. Bubba

    Sorry, not buying it. FAIL

    July 14, 2010 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  20. Josef F

    She referenced Reagan 4 times in a 10-paragraph statement. That's a "Reagen-to-noise" ratio of 40%.

    July 14, 2010 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  21. Chad from Tampa

    The NAACP is one of the most racist organizations in the country. Where is their evidince proving the Tea Party is racist?

    July 14, 2010 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  22. M. Walker

    Isn't it true that if we went back to a true interpretation of the Constitution, all minorities and women would be stripped of their rights? Just because the Tea Party may say they are not racsist does not mean that their members may be-not all members, but every group has their fringe elements. Rascism is something that is still alive today, no matter how advanced our society has become since the arrival of slaves in the 1600's or the near extermination of the Indians in the 1800's.

    I do commend Sarah Palin for making this statement. Everyone is entitles to their own opinions.

    July 14, 2010 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  23. Ohio

    I'm not a member of the Tea Party, but I will say that based on what the media has shown, some of the Tea Party members have been very disrespectful – not against Obama's race, but comparing him to Hitler and other ridiculous messages. Then when I saw pictures from an UNBIASED source, I saw that those types of ignoramuses were few and far between. As usual, the media chose to show just a miniscule party of the whole movement. It's a sad day when you feel that you have to censor something to portray it in a negative light to make a politician look better. President Bush has been called every vile name in the book, but I guess nobody can say a word against Obama. Idiots.

    July 14, 2010 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  24. Barry

    The real simple way to prove the Tea Party Movement isn't racist is to kick these people out of the movement. But wait, would their be a Tea Party Movement with out the racists, nativeists, birthers, and ultra-nationalist?

    I understand the anger and frustration with the mismanagement of our Federal Government and its finances, but the watershed event by which the movement has galvanized around, The Boston Tea Party, was not a reaction to being taxed but being taxed without their representation, input, or consent.

    In the modern world, governments cannot function without tax revenue by which to reinvest into it's people and create the conditions of individual liberty and freedom for private citizens to live free or die. Americans have representation, can provide input into the process, and can offer their consent or opposition. The Tea Party Movement is a shame and is represented by those that the NAACP has accurately labled, racists as well as nativists, birthers, and ultra-nationalists.

    July 14, 2010 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  25. TiminSacto

    I suppose SP you haven't seen the latest Tea Party sponsored billboard – featuring the President alongside Adolph Hitler? Your "intellectual" views are a joke.

    July 14, 2010 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
1 2 3 4