The resolution condemns the bigoted elements within the Tea Party and asks for them to be repudiated. The NAACP delegates presented this resolution for debate and passage after a year of vitriolic Tea Party demonstrations during which participants used racial slurs and images. In March, members of the Congressional Black Caucus were accosted by Tea Party demonstrators and called racial epithets. Civil rights icon John Lewis was spit on, while Congressman Emanuel Cleaver was called the “N” word and openly gay Congressman Barney Frank was called an ugly anti-gay slur.
“We take no issue with the Tea Party movement. We believe in freedom of assembly and people raising their voices in a democracy. What we take issue with is the Tea Party’s continued tolerance for bigotry and bigoted statements. The time has come for them to accept the responsibility that comes with influence and make clear there is no place for racism & anti-Semitism, homophobia and other forms of bigotry in their movement,” stated NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous. “Last night after my speech, I was approached by an African American member of the NAACP and the Tea Party. He thanked me for speaking out because he has begun to feel uncomfortable in the Tea Party and wants to ensure there will always be space for him in both organizations. I assured him there will always be a place for him in the NAACP. Dick Armey and the leadership of the Tea Party need to do the same.”
The resolution was amended during the debate to specifically ask the Tea Party itself to repudiate the racist elements and activities of the Tea Party. It comes on the heels of NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous’ announcement of the “One Nation, Working Together” Movement culminating with a national march on Washington on October 2, 2010.
The resolution will now go to the NAACP National Board of Directors for a full vote when they meet in October 2010 in Baltimore, MD. A formal copy of the resolution will be released at that time.
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.