Democratic Congressman depicts tea party as Ku Klux Klan
October 22nd, 2013
02:49 PM ET
9 years 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.

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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, 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. Wake up People!

    @Dominican Mama. You won't read about any of the things the Tea Party says about the POTUS HERE. You have to google it. I did and it put the icing on the cake. I could have cried if I weren't so angry at the things they were saying and reading the signs they held. I couldn't believe in this day and age people were actually acting like that.

    If you don't want people to call you a racist then stop being one.

    October 22, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  2. MrManhattan

    The Klan is far better organized than the Tea Baggers

    October 22, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  3. Tom

    Sniffit must be Grayson's campaign manager

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

    Moores rule

    They are more like the nazi party to me


    They're the spitting image of Mussolini's fascists. Here's hoping they meet the same fate as Mussolini!

    October 22, 2013 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  5. Marie MD

    @$$$$,so that means that when white people vote for a white candidate they are racists too?
    Our President is half white also. Something people forget.
    He would have never been elected with just the black vote though.

    October 22, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  6. Malory Archer


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


    What? Your post makes no sense.

    October 22, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  7. chris

    The demorats are the racist they support a man that burned down a Jewish owned business in Harlem but o yea that is not true smh you liberals are something else if you dont know who I am talking about it is Al Shrapton

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

    I sympathize with republican/ conservative social , economic and foreign policy ideas. Very much so ! However, the democrat congressman is right. That is the main reason that is holding me , as a black person, from joining the Republican Party . I watch Fox News, but their bias against the president and against black people in general is too obvious , sometimes you wonder whether they think only non sophisticated viewers watch the channel. Because , it seems they think they are impartial!

    October 22, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  9. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Grayson is right about this one.

    October 22, 2013 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  10. Tom

    I need some clarification. Are you actually of the belief that 100% of white people voted for repubs??? You are aware that if it wasn't for the "white vote" that Obama would have never won, aren't you? Your post must have been a typo. You're not that confused

    October 22, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  11. Name Justice K.Appiah.

    President Obama's dream of destroying the G.O.P has been successeful,thanks be to God.

    October 22, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  12. PM Ohio

    Why give the tea Party any reason to look normal? They are self destructing the GOP, all the Dems have to do is sit back and watch the show, like the last line of clowns they put up for President. Just because the other side is a bunch of morons, don't lower yourselves to thier level.

    October 22, 2013 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  13. Phil Esteen

    They are not the same organization, they just have the same demographic as members!

    October 22, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
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