Archive for NAACP

NAACP, Tea Party, and Racism

Posted in opinion with tags , , , , , on July 23, 2010 by Kyle Fleming

The biggest news among politically-minded blogs and websites is the NAACP’s charge for the Tea Party to remove and punish members of the party who use racist or vulgar language. It’s a harmless charge, one that should easily be implemented by the Tea Party, and anyone else who observes racism in speeches or signs by Tea Party protesters.

Harmless, that is, unless you work for a conservative news network.

Bill O’Reilly’s blog from 15 July, along with many other conservative news sources, seems to report that the NAACP has called the entire Tea Party racist. From his blog: According to the president of the NAACP, Ben Jealous, the Tea Party is chock full of racist people bent on harming African-Americans…. The NAACP picked a bad time to brand the Tea Party with the racist label…. By saying the Tea Party followers are sympathetic to racism when proof of that is scant, the organization has defined itself as irresponsible.

However, from the NAACP website: NAACP delegates passed a resolution to condemn extremist elements within the Tea Party, calling on Tea Party leaders to repudiate those in their ranks who use racist language in their signs and speeches.

There seems to be a huge difference between those two reports. And besides, I’m more apt to believe the report from the organization the report is about, rather than someone trying to defend the “attacked” organization.

In Bill’s blog, he also mentions Mr. Jealous talking about protesters holding signs that say “Lynch Barack Hussein Obama,” and that, after an “exhaustive search of media reportage about the Tea Party,” he could find no such signs. Even Sean Hannity is in on the talking points, saying that he can’t find any evidence of racism in the Tea Party.

Which is hilarious, because a quick Google search brought up some of these racist and otherwise inappropriate gems, all from one website:

From Huffington Post

A sign calling for several Congresspeople to be hung


From Huffington Post

A sign comparing American taxpayers to Holocaust Jews


From Huffington Post

A sign stating that Obama is the new Hitler


From Huffington Post

Obama loves taxes, bankrupting America, and killing babies


From Huffington Post

"Freeloading Illegals are Raping U.S. Tax Payers"

I wish I could post all of the signs I’ve found. I really do. But between the Huffington Post, Blue Ridge Muse, and several other websites posting pictures of these racist signs, and YouTube having several videos of racism within the Tea Party, it’s hard to believe that the movement is being marginalized and lied about.

Granted, the NAACP has looked away on several forms of racism from minorities. In glancing through the NAACP blog, there is nothing about racism caused by black people or Hispanic people. But at the same time, the Tea Party denying racism in their ranks is simply foolish. As hard as it is to say, racism is still in America today. It’s not as blatant today as it was in the 50s, but it still exists, now in code or cute little euphemisms.

In order to make even more progress with this whole race issue, we need to acknowledge it, and get rid of it. The moment the Tea Party acknowledges and rids itself of the blatantly racist, maybe more people would take it seriously as a movement.

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