July 15th, 2010
11:13 AM ET

Tea Partiers 'racist'? iReporters sound off

iReporters Jason Asselin, left, and Omekongo Dibinga sound off on the NAACP's recent resolution regarding Tea Partiers.

CNN.com readers and iReporters have had a passionate response to the NAACP’s resolution condemning Tea Partiers for having “racist elements.”

“We take issue with 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 space for racism and anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry in their movement,” NAACP President and CEO Ben Jealous said.

iReporter Omekongo Dibinga posted a video, telling CNN, “If the Tea Party wants to become a credible organization, it has to show leadership when racist acts are committed by its members."

Watch: NAACP, Tea Party at war?

He went on to mention things he believes the Tea Party could do to combat racism: “The Tea Party can also partake in events that promote respect for other groups in a non-reactionary capacity, such as MLK Day events. The Party can also call out individuals by name who commit racist acts.”

Jason Asselin, who has attended some Tea Party events, disagreed, saying in his own iReport video that the resolution was not fair.

“All organizations have people among them that are there for the wrong reasons, even the Tea Party has these type of people. If people were to pay attention, they might see these people being asked to leave,” he said. “Everyone has a right to free speech but even that should have its limits.”

Commenter “SJS52987” wrote, “If the Tea Party isn't racist, how is that every time I ask one of them a legitimate policy question, they can't answer it without mentioning President Obama's race?”

“Bigolug” wrote, “I'm sure there are a few racists involved with the Tea Party, just like there are racists involved with the NAACP. To label the whole Tea Party movement as racist is just a stretch and most likely politically motivated.”

If you would like to join the conversation, share your comments below or post an iReport on video.

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Filed under: Race
soundoff (1,137 Responses)
  1. Jim

    The Democratic Party has for the better part of a century made it its primary purpose to force socialism down the throat of an unwilling American public and to remove all reasonable limits from the overuse of federal government power. For the last 3-4 decades, the NAACP has changed its function entirely from being an organization dedicated to ending state-created discrimination to being the pitbull of the Democratic Party. Whenever anyone questions the size and scope of federal of our federal government, its waste or its failure to remain within the reasonable bounds that were intended for it, Socialists with no answer to those concerns throw out the race card as a Hail Mary. The suggestion itself is silly: "if you're not a wacko ultra-Socialist totalitarian, then you must be a racist." Only the likes of CNN would treat it seriously. We have now reached the point where the current Congress and administration have gone so far beyond the point that the public can tolerate, that they are truly running scared about the upcoming election cycle. An effort unleash their favorite pitbull to slur their opposition so as to change the subject from the real issues was as predictable as it was pathetic.

    July 15, 2010 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Marcus

    Steven, out of curiousity, what is your ethnicity?

    July 15, 2010 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Keith

    The Tea Party is about Fiscal responsibility PERIOD. The fact of the matter is that we should all be concerned about where both the Republicans and Democrats have taken us. We have slowly had our freedoms taken from us in the name of social responsibility. That is what we should be angry about.

    July 15, 2010 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. magic

    Seriously to the folks that think Obama is a large screw up you might be the stupids Americans on the planet. Do you realize what Bush did over the course of 8 yrs. Sorry that you can not see fact. I'm an independant and to think that one term will be enough to reverse what the worst president (bush) did to this country your stupid. Tea Party is irrelevant they have nothing to stand on. You can't cut taxes and fix a deficit, if Obama does anything about spending they will freak out at change it is a no win situation. All read a paper what the news learn about what is really happening in your country. We as a people do ourselves the biggest injustice trusting any political figure without knowledge. It has become the american way. We need to be better for our politics to get better.

    July 15, 2010 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • johnnyhouse

      Bush ain't there no more.

      July 15, 2010 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  5. LINDY

    I always liked Tea. Now when I drink it there's a distinct bitterness to it. How can anyone take the movement seriously when you have the likes of Sarah (pay me enough and I'll say anything) Palin as your flagship. Do you tea partiers wear white hoods and share a secret handshake? While you're whooping it up at your tea parties those of us with grace, compassion, intelligence and a broader view of the world are doing things that really matter.

    July 15, 2010 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. johnnyhouse

    It would be a dull world if there was not something to gripe about.I think all of us should turn Liberal and join the decline.

    July 15, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. J

    I find it funny that people are attacking the president on his racial background, if anything it's an amazing feat that we as a country were able to evolve to having a minority as our leader in such a short time. So question, if Clinton were in office, would she be the greatest mistake in our history because she is a woman?

    Fact of the matter remains, members of the Tea Party made statements while representing the Party, hence that is the Party's official view... if the President made remarks to another country, then that is the view of the U.S., regardless of what its people think, it's an official position thus an offical statement.

    For those people who view the President as the 'Devil' what concrete evidence do you have, no stipulation, no opinions, prove it. What has he, or hasn't he done, that gives you this viewpoint. Take into consideration when he entered office, we were already in an economic crisis, involved in war, and the list goes on and on, so what excatly is it that he has failed at?

    Before naysayers come out and state that we should be out of the war, sure... we can pull out, we can do it in a week if we really wanted to, then what?

    And I'm sure someone is going to reference the oil spill, ok... go right on ahead, what do you expect the President to do? Take a stern position, done, now what? Activiate the military, great, and what is the military supposed to do? Hmm... running trend, it appears to be so...

    Economic crisis, so we want to raise taxes, we want to force illegal aliens out, we want to bring more jobs from abroad back to the states, but when those moves are made... it's a bad thing, so... what is supposed to be done?

    What I find funny about the presidential nay-sayers is they can never be satisfied, they want changes, but refuse to offer up feasable explaniations to how they should be implemented.

    But on a positive note, those comments always give me a good laugh :)

    July 15, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Harry

    Tea Party Slogan: "Doing the white thing for America!"

    July 15, 2010 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Don OneHorse

    The tea baggers are proof positive that first cousins should not mate.

    July 15, 2010 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Momma

      DonOneNut, You shouldn't be talking about your daddy the Senator, yes Senator Byrd your daddy and KKK member of the Democratic Party. He loves blacks and thinks everyone should have one.

      July 15, 2010 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Futon Torpedo

    And now for something completely different....

    July 15, 2010 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Keep the change

    Democrats and Republicans are about keeping the Status quo intact. Their actions , like Bailing Out wallstreet while flipping the working class the middle finger are concrete proof that they stand with the same bankers who caused this financial mess.

    Bush, Obama, it doesnt matter which clown we elect to the oval office theyre just puppets for these banking cartels who looted us and future generations for their own benefit.

    Dont count on your Coke or Pepsi name brand Politicians (Democrats and Republicans) to do anything that would hurt the financial terrorists who put them in their positions of power.

    This is why they fear the Libertarian movement and will do anything to smear it.

    Until we END the criminal empire known as the Federal Reserve Bank, and restore the power to issue money back to the people and congress, this circle of abuse will perpetuate.

    July 15, 2010 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Jim

    I remember not voting for Bush because I knew he would spend too much. Then Obama spent much more than Bush did. This drastic escalation of spending by Obama who plans on spending more than all other presidents combined is the reason for the Tea Party movement. It is logical and has nothing to do with racism. It is a stand against SOCIALISM! Yes, I know what it means.

    July 15, 2010 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Shirley A. Vega

    If they ae truly not racists then ALL TEA PARTY LEADERS NATIONWIDE should put out a press release, WITH THEIR NAMES AND LOCATIONS, OR GO ON TV TOGETHER and condemn this. At present some have spoken out against this and others say "its a freedom of speech issue"...which is a cop-out and an insult to our great constiution and nation. Or, could it be that they will tolerate this racism for the sake of votes. I think that if they do this they'll loose members, please prove me wrong. simple solution, isn't it. Also, we can go back to the video tapes, see who was holding up the sign, call them out by name, publically humiliate them.

    July 15, 2010 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Thomas

    What a bunch of crap. This is getting so out of hand. Why is the NCAAP not being called out? Why isn't Reverand Wright not being called out? Why isnt't Van Jones not being called out? They are the ones depicting hatred and violence. "Kill white babies", voter intimidation by the Black Pathers? Reverand Wrights'are you kidding? Tea party has not had one violent encounter. Look at the riots in LA and Oakland, and Arizona? I think there is a common theme?
    Not hearing a word about it are we? Turn the tables around and if this was the KKK calling out to kill black babies think of the consequences!! Whats the point of the matter: Racism only exists now when its white on black, latino, ect. If there are white victims...bury it. What a joke.

    July 15, 2010 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Stan

    Anyone who says the tea party was started before Obama was elected president is flat out wrong. What are you liars defending? According to the tea party's own web site, it was founded in January, 2009, the same month Obama was sworn in as president. A google images search reveals tea partiers protesting while holding racist placards. One example is http://rugantino.us/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/teaparty_robertson_spelling_racist_problem.jpg so although I do not claim every tea partier is racist, why hasn't the tea party's leadership repudiated those in its ranks who are racist and why did they not protest Bush when his proposed immigration policy is virtually the same as what Obama has proposed?

    July 15, 2010 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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