Every time the liberals feel their cause is losing they resort to an old tactic that has always served them well: Race Baiting. In point of fact, the practice of race baiting, which has always proved effective, has been absolutely perfected by Barack Obama. The first post-racial president has elevated race baiting to an art form. Even Bill Clinton, famous for being supportive of minority causes for his entire career, complained during the 2008 campaign season that Obama had played the Race Card against him.
While accusing the Tea Party movement with racism is absurd, it is still something with which the Tea Party would prefer not to have to contend with; especially since it is patently false. In the past, it has dismissed the label, however, the issue surfaced again when the NAACP -- which made news in July when it asked the Tea Party to repudiate racist elements within its ranks – issued a report that details associations between Tea Party organizations and hate groups in this country. Before I go any further, I believe the NAACP is long overdue for a name change. They should, hereinafter, be referred to as the NAALCP; the National Association for the Advancement of Liberal Colored People.
In a conference call with journalists, NAACP President Benjamin Jealous said that while there are policy disagreements, the civil rights group has "no problem with the Tea Party expressing their views in their great debate in our great democracy." The majority of Tea Party members "are sincere," and some are also in the NAACP, he said. "We do however have a problem when prominent Tea Party members" use Tea Party events to recruit people for white supremacist groups, Jealous said. The NAACP is urging leadership and members of the Tea Party movement to take additional steps to distance themselves from those Tea Party leaders "who espouse racist ideas, advocate violence, or are formally affiliated with white supremacist organizations."
He said the expulsion of Mark Williams of Tea Party Express was a step in the right direction, but said that Williams had been making controversial statements long before he was ousted for writing a mocking letter suggesting that blacks preferred life under slavery.
Some Tea Party leaders condemned the report, accusing the NAACP of abandoning its civil rights mission and of becoming a mouthpiece of the liberal left. I, too, condemn the report, hence my suggestion that the group become the NAALCP.
In a statement before the report's release, Jealous said, "These groups and individuals are out there, and we ignore them at our own peril. They are speaking at Tea Party events, recruiting at rallies and in some cases remain in the Tea Party leadership itself. 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: moving it backward and not forward."
The report, was authored by the far left activist group the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights which poses as an independent research firm, examines the Tea Party groups: Freedom Works Tea Party, 1776 Tea Party, Tea Party Nation, Tea Party Patriots, and Tea Party Express.
Zeskind, who was also on the conference call, said they began research a year ago when they noticed that the white supremacist group stormfront.org had "started a thread to move into the Tea Party." Burghart explained the report's methodology and data-gathering techniques, which included investigating campaign finance reports, printed and online literature, Tea Party membership, government documents and databases (including court cases) finance reports and corporate filings. They also interviewed activists.
A document, "The Tea Party: The Racism Within," lists six "Profiles of Troubling Tea Partiers" with current or one-time ties to white nationalist organizations.
The NAALCP said the decentralized nature of the Tea Party movement makes it difficult to police disparate groups for members who cross the line, but Jealous specifically called on Dick Armey of Freedom Works and Sarah Palin, who "is out there with Tea Party Express," to take a more aggressive stand against intolerance.
"Here we go again," Judson Phillips, founder of Tea Party Nation, told the Kansas City Star. "This is typical of this liberal group's smear tactics." Phillips was an organizer of the Tea Party national conference in February.
Sal Russo, a California political consultant and chief strategist for the Tea Party Express, told the Star, "To attack a grassroots movement of this magnitude with sundry isolated incidents only goes to show the NAALCP has abandoned the cause of civil rights for the advancement of liberal Democrat politics."
In addition to the report, the NAACP has been running Tea Party Tracker, a Web site in partnership with far left groups Think Progress, Media Matters and New Left Media set up to monitor "extremism in the Tea Party movement." Since you can tell a great deal about people by the company they keep, having partners like these tells us an awful lot about the NAALCP. Lest we not forget the most adept race baiter in America, Barack Obama.