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. From Buffalo

    The Tea Party itself is not racist...but they are not denouncing any racists within the party that is causing problems. That is the real problem with the movement. But then again, the NAACP has the same issue...early this week, Jesse Jackson made a really offensive statement of the whole Lebron James fiasco from last week, calling Cavaliers owner Gilbert a slavemaster and Lebron a slave.

    Both sides need to stop allowing racists within their own party.

    July 15, 2010 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. colette

    I will always remember an All In The Family episode when a question was asked of Mike, Archie's son in law after someone burned a cross on his neighbors lawn if Archie could have done it. The response was something like, "No, Archie wouldn't do that, but that doesn't mean that he wouldn't roast a marshmallow either." That is what the tea party is, it's a group of people who know what they represent and although some of them wouldn't hold the signs or shout the words they are fine standing next to the ones that do...and this is what makes this a bunch of racists. Be careful of who or what you lay down with...

    July 15, 2010 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. 2toy

    The Tea Party does not represent the majority of americans. Let's be honest, they are aligned with the Republican agenda, which was beaten in the last election. Having said that, it's the reason you rarely see minorities in any of their ranks, if not absent altogether. When someone from the Tea Party spews hateful, bigoted, racial slurs, the resulting reply from the party would be 'Anyone disagreeing with Obama is automatically a racist !". That ceratinly fits your bill in painting yourself the offended. But in reality, there are really a lot of racist elements in your ranks, you hear them in the speeches, you see them in rallies, and their leaders condone it because it brings in the votes. But luckily for the rest of us, we have the numbers and we can vote their ideology away everytime.

    July 15, 2010 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Real to Reel

    First off the tea pary movement isn't about taxes, the average persons taxes are lower than they have been since the fifties. I am white, from Texas, and I see folks like this all the time. My opinion is that the good ole boys are trying to hang on to the days when white folks blatantly ruled. Of course, they still rule, but their numbers are dwindling. They feel threatened by minorities: blacks, hispanics, gays, etc.. Tea Partiers are certainly racist, they just stopped wearing white pointy hats.

    July 15, 2010 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Chris Meece

    "If the (NAACP) wants to become a credible organization, it has to show leadership when racist acts are committed by its members. We take issue with the (NAACP)’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."

    Funny how well this altered quote rings true. Any group with members such as Jesse Jackson should remove the log from their own eye before they worry about the mote in their brother's eye.

    July 15, 2010 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. John

    Are there racist in the Tea Party? Probably. Are there racist in the NAACP? Without a doubt! The thing that get me is being called a racist just because you disagree with the Obama Regime while medial organizations like CNN applaud.

    July 15, 2010 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Rob

    While I agree there are elements of racism in the Tea Party, the elements are no less than those that are racist in the NAACP. I am no bigger an Obama supporter than I was a Bush supporter. Both grew the government massively. The Federal government is supposed to be their for our National Defense. This WAS a country built on Liberty and Freedoms. Yes, I understand that slavery was wrong; but for those that simply blame White people; they also need to understand that many slaves were sold by Africans (Blacks) in Africa.
    Either way, the Tea Party has forced a defining issue in America....WE THE PEOPLE are sick and tired of the Government STEALING from US that work hard to GIVE to others that don't and then being told if WE don't buy insurance, pay for everyone else, and do exactly as they say...then we will be arrested and put in jail! WE are tired of our liberties being taken. WE do not ask for WELFARE reparations...WE do not ask for the Government to provide US medical insurance and care...WE simply want the Govt. to get the F..out of OUR business and let US keep the money we EARN. This country was founded on limited government and individual liberties, NOT SOCIALISM and paying for everyone else.

    July 15, 2010 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. OldCat

    The New Black Panther Party merely underscores the pathetic atrophy of black manhood. If there were any black men left in America with testicles, they would lead their own people by example to get an education, work hard, build strong families, and live as upstanding free men. The fact is that black manhood no longer exists in America, and Obama (a well-educated law professor who strongly leads his family) will not alone restore it. You gangtas are kidding yourselves if you think Obama is like you. He is not like you. He merely reflects the pathetic characture of black manhood that you have become, with your lack of values and principles. Sad, man, sad.

    BTW if anyone who calls themself a 'New Black Panther' had the intelligence or education to actually study the Black Panther movement of the 1960s-70s, they would know that those older visionaries would mock your phony modern version. Some of us are old enough that we knew those cats. They were MEN, and they led their people like MEN. They tried to better themselves like MEN. The New Black Panthers are merely ingnorant gansgta clowns who would rather make noise than change their own miserable selves. They embarrass themselves, they shame the memory of the real Black Panthers, and they disgrace all honorable black men by parading themselves as leaders, especially you fools who stood outside polling places a few months ago. It doesn't take a racist to see a man of any color acting stupid.

    July 15, 2010 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Markus

    Message to all Republicans
    who want to take back your country.
    Its not "YOURS"
    Its "OURS"

    It belongs to "ALL" of us
    and we wont let you have it !!!

    July 15, 2010 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Barack Obama

    Tea Party is not racist they are just anti media...

    The NAACP is an archaic organization that does more harm than good for my fellow african americans

    July 15, 2010 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. senorfrisk

    The question is loaded. It asks you to make a vast generalization about a group of people based on the actions of very few. This is how racism and bigotry start. The MEDIA is the problem. It creates division and pigeon holes these divisions. Then it takes the results and applies it the group in question, as if the few are indicative of the rest of the group. It seems to me that most Americans live somewhere in the middle. The middle is just too boring, so CNN creates the division and asks which side of the division you are on, further expanding the divide. Then it runs a headline pronouncing that most Americans feels this way or that way, when most Americans didn’t answer the question.
    Am I a Republican or a Democrat? Neither and both… Conservative or Liberal? Neither and both… So my answer would be that CNN instigates racism and hatred and division by asking such questions…

    July 15, 2010 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. gary

    Imagine what would happen if an organization started up called the white panthers, the NAACP would go crazy. Tea partiers are normal people ( I know black and white ) that are just tired of our govt having a blank checkbook at our expense.

    July 15, 2010 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. The Rabid Right

    This says it all: @@http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqDRlT0JTmc@@ (note: remove the "@" before copying).

    July 15, 2010 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Mathew

    Since they have no idea, lets send some Klan members to show the naacp what racism actually is.

    July 15, 2010 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Peanut Butter

    Honestly...I think racism is a horrible thing, but I also think that people in the United States of America should have the freedom to be a racist. Who cares what the NAACP or the Black Panthers, or the Tea Party people say. We should all just take care of ourselves and teach our children right from wrong and move on with our lives.

    July 15, 2010 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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