Tea Partiers are called racists for opposing a black president, racists for wanting lower taxes, and racists even for opposing health care reform.
So it should come as no surprise that today, the NAACP will vote on a resolution condemning Tea Partiers for the fact that there are racists in their midst. This racism was brought to their attention at the time of the House health care vote, when people shouted repeated racial slurs at Reps. John Lewis, D-Ga. and Andre Carson, D-Ind. — 15 times, Carson said — so quietly that none of the dozens of nearby video cameras picked it up, nor did anyone but Lewis, Carson and one aide ever claim to have heard it.
NAACP CEO Benjamin Jealous puts it thus:
“The Tea Party movement knows that there are tens of thousands of dedicated racists and ultra nationalists in their ranks,” Jealous said. Those groups “must be repudiated by the regular, law-abiding members or they must take responsibility,” Jealous added, saying “they can’t have it both ways.”
I have not seen a single interview of any Tea Partier — and certainly of any credible movement leader — who did not repudiate and denounce racism when asked. I hope they all continue to repudiate it, but I don’t really think that’s what the NAACP is trying to accomplish here.