October 20th, 2010
03:30 PM ET
12 years ago

NAACP goes after Tea Party again

(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.

According to the NAACP, five of the six Tea Party groups are headed by "birthers," people who believe President Obama is not a citizen of the United States.

The study looked at Tea Party literature as well as their websites and information about those associated with the Tea Party movement to analyze their ties. The report claims that Tea Party events are now forums for extremists "hoping to push these (white) protesters toward a more self-conscious and ideological white supremacy."

"These groups and individuals are out there, and we ignore them at our own peril," Ben Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP said in a statement. "They are speaking at Tea Part events, recruiting at rallies… the danger is not that the majority of Tea Party members share their views, but that left unchecked, these extremists might indirectly influence the direction of the Tea Party and therefore the direction of our country."

Amy Kremer, Chairman of the Tea Party Express responded to the report.

"Here we are two weeks out from a historic midterm election and they're doing this to attack us and change the message," Kremer said. "This is ridiculous, that's not what this movement is about. We're focused on the issues and we're going to continue to work to get conservatives elected."

Rev. C.L. Bryant, founder of One Nation Back to God responded on behalf of FreedomWorks, a conservative non-profit grassroots organization that provides much of the logistics and organization behind Tea Party events.

"It is unfortunate that the Chairman of the NAACP, Ben Jealous is making these kinds of statements at this time," Bryant said. "(It is) designed to distract would-be voters from the true issues of this election season to something as divisive as race."

In July the NAACP passed a resolution that condemned what if felt was rampant racism in the Tea Party movement. At the time, Tea Party activists denounced the action as unfounded and unfair as well.

–CNN Political Producer Shannon Travis contributed to this report

Filed under: 2010 • NAACP • Tea Party Express • Tea Party movement
soundoff (139 Responses)
  1. Grob Hahn

    Two odd things; Jealous said " these extremists might indirectly influence the direction of the Tea Party and therefore the direction of our country." Clearly he shows that the Tea Party is indeed a force not to be ignored nor trifled with. But also it's very clear he's trying to drive yet another racial wedge into the election process. So much for racial progress. So far it only looks like 1 side has made any progress at all.

    October 20, 2010 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  2. mikey

    Disagree with Obama, support smaller government and less taxes and your a facist, racist etc. I think there are a lot of people getting really sick of this kind of stuff.

    October 20, 2010 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  3. stufthis

    Does 'Honor the Constitution' also include the amendments, or are they fair game to be dishonored?

    October 20, 2010 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  4. sassysticks53

    "It is unfortunate that the Chairman of the NAACP, Ben Jealous is making these kinds of statements at this time,"

    No, it is not unfortunate. It's unfortunate the the Tea Party, in my opinion, are a grassroots organization comprised of many racist factions. Mr. Jealous is right that we cannot afford to ignore what they represent. Okay, maybe if you're not african-american this means nothing, but if you are, it means everything. I attended a couple of town hall meetings in Summer 2009. It was awful. The Tea Party were there with guns and did everything to intimidate the people who came in peace. The Tea Party didn't want peace – they wanted conflict and violence. Thank you, Mr. Jealous, for calling these people out. It doesn't mean anything will change, but we know what the Tea Party is really about, and it isn't the Constitution.

    October 20, 2010 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  5. Dave

    Bring them on. It's high time some people go after them. Most people I've seen have nothing to do with white supremecy groups but with wanting Washington to abide by the Constitution. Most people spewing hate is the NAACP, Black Panthers, Nation of Islam, and the Southern Povertly Law Center.

    October 20, 2010 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  6. Gale

    Bull corn. All they have to do is read some of the President's statements and find the racism there. Besides, instead of making accusation, show some proof! These accusations and enuendos have been going on forever, but never with any real proof! Maybe if the NAACP would stop reverse racism, things would be a lot more productive in our world.

    October 20, 2010 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  7. Mike

    I'm not a Tea Party person and I can see right through this. This so-called "institute" has no creditability. Using the same methods, it wouldn't be hard to tie the NAACP to the Black Panthers either. The NAACP has become laughing stock.

    October 20, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  8. June in Chicago

    Love the bus that reads:"Honor the Constitution". Maybe they should READ it first! Then we can talk about the honor thing . . . Love the O'Donnell comedy tour. Keep em coming TP-er's

    October 20, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  9. Sagebrush Shorty

    Let me see if I understand this correctly. The Tea Party is racist but the NAACP is not? The Tea Party must be careful about what it says, but the NAACP can call anyone "white supremacists"? Must be nice.

    October 20, 2010 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  10. stufthis

    Taxes are the lowest in 50 years, thanks to the stimulus and President Obama. I don't think the baggers realize that when there are fewer government employees, their social security checks may be delayed. There will be no one to listen to their medicare claims, no mail, no air traffic controllers, no one to make sure our food and water are safe, no police, firemen, VA, and regulations on Wall Street and the health insurance industry.

    October 20, 2010 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  11. Kristy Howard-Clark

    If the NAACP knew how many black people are now part of the Tea Party it would make their heads spin. The Tea Party is not about race. The Tea Party is about getting this country back to the roots of freedom, fiscal responsibility, controlling government that is by the people and of the people, and encouraging entrepreneurship in business. There are quite a number of blacks who believe in these grassroots issues and have joined the Tea Party throughout the United States.

    October 20, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  12. Steve (the real one)

    Stop spending so much time chasing down the Tea Party as there are kooks EVERYWHERE and yes, that would include kooks in the NAACP as well.

    October 20, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  13. Dale

    Birther's are Obama-haters. Hate is the basis for most conspiracy theories, including the "birther" conspiracy theory. 9-11 "truthers" are GWB / Cheney haters, or US government haters. Jewish Holocaust deniers are just antisemetic Jew haters. Hate drives conspiracy theories. So yes, if 5 of 6 tea partiers are birthers, then at the very least the T-Party is biased against Obama, and not for his policies. Being born in Hawaii is not an Obama policy, it is verifiable fact.

    October 20, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  14. stufthis

    No government healthcare is safe, because the 'health reform' is not government healthcare. But, the term sure gets the haters and bigots fired up.

    October 20, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  15. vic nashville tn

    NAACP doesn’t get

    Tea party lost their country but they are looking in wrong place because they are idiots.

    I think NAACP now understand the pathetic situation of tea party

    October 20, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  16. Chris

    Well Duh!!!! From the get go it was obvious we're talking WASP, and I'm a white guy. But the NAACP shouldn't worry about the tea party being prejudice, they hate gays, liberals, poor people, sick people, old people, and democrats, just as much.

    October 20, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  17. Don Eskridge

    ah yes......we can certainly count on the NAACP for an unbiased look at racism. Just like in the Duke case. This organization is just a political arm of the Democratic Party. A useless group that serves absolutely no purpose anymore.

    October 20, 2010 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  18. ron

    Where were the tea baggers three years ago, supporting Bush spending.

    October 20, 2010 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  19. Joel Miller

    The Tea Party's claims are pure mythology. There has been no expanded government, no government takeover of health care, no socialism. So what's their beef? Some of them believe the lies but many of them are the same people who fled cities a generation ago when they were afraid their kids might have to go to school with black kids.

    October 20, 2010 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  20. Dale

    Just because the T-Party is full of racists does not mean that the NAACP is not. And vice-versa.

    October 20, 2010 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  21. The Beatification of Mediocrity

    The tea baggers are the ultimate expression of the right wing conservatives and this is what the willful ignorance of the extreme right breeds: racism, bigotry, prejudice, bias, discrimination, and sectarianism.

    October 20, 2010 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  22. Jason

    The NAACP used to be a great organization that helped protect the rights of minorities and blacks. Now they have become the very thing that they had been fighting against. A racist organization. Groups like the NAACP keep racism alive to justify their existence. Just like the Unions have have no real credibility or use other than to suck up their members money to make the organizations top executives rich. NAACP is not looking out for its members best interests. It promotes reverse racism and segregation. I'm sure Dr. King is looking down on them today shaking his head.

    October 20, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  23. CTinDC

    The tea party started in January of 2009. I find it hard to believe these people are solely basing their party on policy vs social initiatives. They have shown time and time to not be inclusive of other walks of life other than their own. I hate to call people racist or jump to conclusions. However, when you have a group of people fighting initiatives used for them such as healthcare, student loan reform, drug purchasing reform, etc.. its difficult to know exactly what their purpose entails. This group is full of contradictions and has candidates that belittle the intelligence of our political community.

    October 20, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  24. barry

    NAACP is more racist than the Tea Party could ever be. This just a pathetic attempt by the welfare and food stamp group to influence a election.

    October 20, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  25. Eric in Denver

    Too funny. If any person disagrees with Barack on any issue that person is demonized as a racist? What a complete joke. That is like the pot calling the kettle(Oh wait I better not finish or I will be labeled a racist) The dems are desperate but this ad campaign will sway approximately zero people. 13 more days!!!!!!

    October 20, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
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