The NAACP says it can document connections between the Tea Party and racial hate groups in America.
The report, titled “Tea Party Nationalism,” was written by the Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights with the support of the NAACP, released Oct. 19 and claims that various groups use Tea Party events as platforms to push their racist views and ideals.
“We at the NAACP believe that a majority of Tea Party supporters are sincere, principled people with basic good will,” NAACP President Benjamin Jealous told reporters Oct. 19. “ we do have a problem when prominent Tea Party members who have direct ties to organizations are allowed to use Tea Party events to recruit people for those White supremacist groups. We have a problem when Tea Party members call offend Congress people with racial epithets or vicious slurs or spit on them. And most importantly, we have a problem with a majority of the Tea Party staying silent and not loudly condemning that sort of behavior.”
Examples found in the report cite the Tea Party’s affiliation with racists and anti-Semites reflected by an invitation by Dale Robertson, chairman of the 1776 Tea Party-a faction of the National Tea Party, to Martin “Red” Beckman to appear as a guest on the Tea Party Radio Hour. According to the report, Beckman employs anti-Semitic rhetoric in his advocacy of the establishment of citizen militias.
The report also criticizes the Tea Party for some of their members’ constant questioning of President Obama’s U.S. citizenship and alleges that Mark Williams, former chairman of the Tea Party Express, made multiple death threats against the president.
Among its findings, the report highlights the Tea Party’s affiliation with the Council of Conservative Citizens, the most active group in the party, according to the report, alleging that they are direct lineal descendants of the White Citizens Councils who fought to defend Jim Crow segregation during the1950s and ‘60s. The report claims that the Council aims to promote the idea that the U.S. is or should be a White Christian nation.
In response to the report, Bishop E.W. Jackson Sr., a Black minister and Tea Party activist, accused the NAACP of anti-White practices against party members.
“The Tea Party is not racist, but the NAACP is using a racist smear against these patriotic Americans,” Jackson said in a statement. “That is racist.”
Jackson, a Harvard Law School graduate, is the pastor of a predominantly Black church in Chesapeake, Va., and a seasoned activist in the Black community, said in a statement that he plans to monitor the NAACP to expose what he said are “pro-abortion, pro-homosexual and anti-Christian” policies.
The report is available at http://www.naacp.org/pages/tea-party-report.