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. Sly

    Two thoughts – the Tea Party does have some racist elements, or at least some people/cliques who show a definite prejudice, but I don't think they're racist overall. All political organizations have racially-biased/prejudicial elements, some more so than others. The Tea Party is attacking a black President, and as such most of their propaganda has made fun of his race rather than his policies (signs saying "go back to Kenya" and portraying him as a tribal person, loincloth and all). I'm sure that if the President was white, the propaganda wouldn't be so racially motivated, but it would still be there.

    Second, the NAACP is struggling to stay relevant. Sure, they had their role to play before, but speaking as a young black man myself, we don't really do much to justify things. The rap culture, violence, the lack of self respect and awareness, high dropout rates, etc – none of that can be blamed on anything racial, that's on us. There are some who rise above and some who just sit or sink. It doesn't take a civil rights organization to change that, it takes personal intelligence and integrity.

    July 15, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Allen

    The sad thing for all of us should be that the only information about the New Black Panther voter intimidation issue on the CNN website is contained in posts here. Not a single article even after the United States Commission on Civil Rights (that's not talk radio folks – see the .gov at the end of the web address) held hearings and asked for an investigation. Not a bit of coverage when the US DOJ refused to allow staff attorneys to testify and refused to deliver or accept subpoenas. That alone seems newsworthy to me even if the story turns out to be a dead end. CNN simply refuses to cover anything that might reflect negatively on the Obama DOJ. God how I miss unbiased news. Add to this the California Congressman Brad Sherman being unaware of the story because the media outlets he views did not cover the story and you see how sad a state journalism is in. Probably no room for the story here because Lindsay is in rehab or something. Right, left, who cares – just report the news.

    July 15, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. jazzyk

    Apparently a lot of people here haven't read history very carefully regarding the NAACP. Yes, it stands for National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. But it was founded mostly by whites in 1909, mainly in response to the rampant lynching and discrimination against blacks throughout the country in the post-civil war years.
    W.E.B. Dubois was the only black board member for a time and the general membership was mostly white. Walter Sachs of Goldman-Sachs was an early member. NAACP didn't have a black president until 1975, though African-Americans had served as executive director.

    July 15, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Scott

    Those who undeniably control the government, have a monopoly on the media, and print the money (JEWS) will do everything they can to see to it that the "Tea Party" crowd is steered as far away from looking in their direction as possible. Hiding behind every other "minority" and portraying anyone who dares to name them and point out their undeniable control and culpability as being "racist". Just telling the plain and simple truth makes any White man a "racist". Merely wanting to look out for his own interests/survival is politically incorrect in a system that clearly seeks to destroy him.

    The Jews know that all roads of truth invariably lead to them, so they have to put up road blocks at every turn to prevent people from realizing that truth. The TRUTH itself is "antisemitic" and no matter how calm and peaceful the messenger might be, he will still be the focus of the attack.

    So now, the Tea Party crowd has been put on the defensive(by design, as this very article is also meant to do). MOST of them spend their time proclaiming that they are "not racists" and nothing of any real significance is ever discussed at these Tea Parties.

    Tea Party member's general message: "we're not racists and to prove it we will quickly silence anyone who dare speak the truth in an attempt to let us know what is really going on and more importantly WHO is really behind it".

    THEY (God's "Chosen People") are playing you ALL for fools and 99% of you are taking the bait, hook, line, and sinker.

    Want to attack the messenger, go ahead. Want the one and only truth? Visit TheForbiddenTruth net Where the truth is FREE and uncensored. The choice is yours......

    July 15, 2010 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Mike

    It's striking how virulent the Tea Party and anti-Obama sentiment is here from whites in Georgia, and it began almost the moment he stepped into office as President. So I posed this question to my wife last night: Forsyth County north of Atlanta has a long history of lynchings (1800s to the 1920s), Klan riots (late 1980s) and racism. Is there a coincidence that the Tea Party has quite a foothold today in Forsyth County, Georgia? Is there a coincidence that rural Indiana, also a Klan bastion historically, has a huge Tea Party movement today? I think not. A white, gay acquaintance once said that neither of us (I'm a straight black man) should spend much time 50 miles outside of Altanta. Rural Georgia, every southern red state, rural Indiana, the outskirts of Nevada and the like are Sara Palin country. No racism there she says. Sure. But she hasn't had any rallies in the heart of Chicago, Atlanta, New York and LA and probably will never have them. Food for thought for you Tea Party sympathizers.

    July 15, 2010 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Karl Nielson

      I was raised in an evangelical Christian home, both parents are staunchly pro-Life, uber-Evangelical, and hyper-Republican. I went to college, educated myself, and realized how narrow their view of the political theater in America truly is. When Bush was president, they repeatedly told me during political arguments that I should not insult or criticize him because he "our" President, and because he was a "real" Christian, and because he respected human life. Now that Obama is in office, I wish that same rule applied to them now. They will maintain that he is not their President because he is a liberal, two faced, baby-hating individual, and that it is completely fine to criticize him and insult him because he is not a "real" Christian. The tangible hatred they hold for Obama and his administration which stands in blatant and direct violation of their Christian faith, I see as being a reflection of the undercurrent of this Tea Party movement. My parents are not by any means racist; I am confident that their hatred of Obama has absolutly nothing to do with his race. I am, however, fearful of the cloistered country bumpkin Tea Partiers living in the middle of America who hold the same hatred that my parents do, with a dash of racism mixed in with their political beliefs. I live and work overseas, and looking at America across the Pacific, I am saddened by this ignorant, fear and propaganda driven, ill-informed mob of hicks spouting racially charged political nonsense. Get an education and foster an open world-view, and THEN talk politics for God and humanity`s sake.

      July 16, 2010 at 1:31 am | Report abuse |
  6. Rick

    Hilarious the idiots saying being anti-Obamao is "racist". He's a Marxist slimeball, and Bush was a southern slimeball. Still, the last deficit under Bush with a Republican Congress was under $400 b, while Obamao has raised it to $1.5 Trillion in a year and a half. Saying the TEA Partiers are racist is like saying that college football fans are racist. It's a movement, a fan-base. There's no "membership" involved, just a red herring because November will be Demorat slaughter.

    July 15, 2010 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Zaggs

    Jazzyk, do some research. Cleaver is not saying anyone spit on him. Check the video, its more a case of "say it dont spray it".

    July 15, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. gary

    Does everybody not see that the allegations by the NAACP are politaclly motivated, there candidate is going to lose re-election, liberal democrats are done they had to do something in desperation. That is why there tax exempt status should be reviewed.

    July 15, 2010 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. wyro

    Seems the only real bigots here are the members of the NAACP as the definition is "one who is strongly partial to one's own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ." How many members see beyond the views of their party affiliation? Scarce fewer then tea-partiers I suspect.

    July 15, 2010 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Kenneth W. Regan

    NPR's "On Point" had a programme with Tea party guests back in January. Racism in several of their remarks was most definitely and painfully evident. These were panelists who knew they were on a national program.

    July 15, 2010 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. bvilleyellowdog

    Every effective organizeation controls it's message. By not ejectiing the racists and clearly denoucing the racism – they communicate that they are racists.

    July 15, 2010 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. jesusmedia

    God forgave america whites for using the bible and guns to form a race of people that we call african americas.
    God forgave white americans when then hung and ripped penis off and slept with black women createding a subculutre.
    God forgave america crooked cops during the drug trade in the 70's
    God forgave the white america forfathers who wiped out a whole culture and considered this their land
    So. Its important to fogive and move on. But those who still want to rellive histroy must remeber thomas jefferson said '
    If their is a just god for what we did to black americans we are in trouble..So lets all heal the past..But for those of you who want to go back to the way things were. Don't forget a thounsnd days is like one day to god..God bless lets heal ourselves by understannding. luv evryone..

    July 15, 2010 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Zaggs

    The idea of the Tea Party stems from the PorkBuster movement (against government waste and spending) started in Bush's term. The term Tea Party comes from Rick Santelli's rant of February 19th, 2009.

    July 15, 2010 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. PLS

    Ingnorance fuels the rascist domain. A great example – Sarah Palin.

    July 15, 2010 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Zman

    Well, I sat here and read all these comments from the first one.I can truthfully say that while some give me hope for the future(brains,chooch253,bob)there are some that bring me back to reality and scare the hell out of me(tjredneck,jeff,joe).People better wake up to the fact that we are going to hell in a handbag.The supreme court has been stacked against us,news media is bought and paid for(like our government),corporations vying for the big prize(control)and the american sheeple falling for it,hook, line and sinker. The local tea party here definitely has racists and most are very conservative and most make $80,000 or more and are not the dis-advantaged.. All the more sad,because there is a need to fight what is happening to our country. The tea party is not what it is going to take. They are polarizing, as was intended by Dick Armey who helped hijack what could have been a real threat. Their message is not 'what is best for America and ALL Americans'....but a continuation of the overt greed and avarice and me-ism of the last 30 years.

    July 15, 2010 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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