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.

Post by:
Filed under: Race
soundoff (1,137 Responses)
  1. Marge

    I think more than anything what shows the majority of tea bags are racist are the signs and the comments of the people who gather to protest. Read the signs and then tell us that the majority aren't racist. How come every single sign has reference to Obama as a negative. Never in all the screwed mess he made of this country did the other party portray Bush in such outrageous ways. YES THE TEA BAGS SEEM TO BE AN EXTENTION OF THE KKK AT TIMES. NOT AT VIOLENT but getting there.

    July 15, 2010 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Sy

    It is naive to assume racism is absent from the teaparty crowd. That said, as a political movement white supremacy is not part of their stated platform.My hunch is that the anger and frustration towards DC has mingled with hatred of our first african-american presidency. Probably at a sub-conscious level, Obama's skin makes a lot of people very uneasy and upset - so the conscious mind rationalizes it all in half-baked political terms and voila- tea party!

    The NAACP has championed minorities for a long time and some of its members probably have their own similar (if polar opposite) complexes. Common to both is a deep-rooted victim/fear/hate mentality serving as the hidden foundation for political and social arguments - i believe both are fundamentaly flawed.

    July 15, 2010 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. gary

    Everybody is also forgetting that every law bush tried to push through dems rejected, I think blaming bush is just a get out jail free card for OBama and liberal dems. They have the power to change and they don't. Obama sold a pack of lies to the american people and he should now stand accountable.

    July 15, 2010 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Dennis

    I don't consider myself a Republican, Democrat or Tea Party supporter. My issue is the fact that the NAACP has, and has been for quite some time an arm of the Democrat Party.

    July 15, 2010 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Barry in Gulf Breeze

    Are the Tea-Partiers racist? As a group, no, probably not. As for particular individuals, maybe a few. But it seems that the real racists are those folks who are so quick to play the race card.

    And remember from your college logic class: In classic Greek illogic – "if you cannot attack your opponent's arguments, attack your opponent personally."

    An unethical trick played by many.

    July 15, 2010 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Glenn

    Yes I think the Tea Party attracts more than its fair share of racists. You can't just say the Tea Party is racist though.

    July 15, 2010 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Will 18E

    The problem here is two fold: first the NAACP, has strayed from from it's roots of equality. They seem to be in the business of over compensation than equality. Which is why, they routinely mix issues that maybe race related, into issue of racism and discrimination. And they forget, that in the USA, no matter how distasteful any group or individual speech is the speech is protected under the 1st amendment.
    The Teabaggeres are GOP slobs who are taking a page from the Democratic party as being agents of change, by creating this side show. But in reality they are the same people who voted for the other guy, and lost. And they now blame their opposition party in power today, for the mess, spending , taxation, debt, that the folks they support created, before Obama took office.
    For if the Teabaggeres and there supporter truly believed there own stories, and they were a national movement, they would have been on the clock, protesting the Bush administration for more than doubling the nation debt, creating a 4 trillion dollar structural deficit, and increasing the size of federal government by 44% between 2001, and 2006: and Ron Paul and not McCain would have been the GOP nominee to represent the GOP the 2008 presidential elections.
    Both of these groups have credibility issues, and I find it amusing that they are at each other's throat.

    July 15, 2010 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. LiberalNN

    ANYONE WHO DISAGREES WITH PRESIDENT OBAMA IS A RACIST AND SHOULD BE THROWN IN JAIL IT'S ALWAYS BUSH'S FAULT!!!

    July 15, 2010 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Whoopy

    BUahahahahaha.....I am just sitting here eating a sandwich having a blast watching you yokels pull each other's hair out. Your country is falling apart, your economy is far behind everyone else, the Gulf full of oil, your jobs all in China and THIS is what you people are all about: Tea bagging clowns and race calling momos. Faaaaaantastic. Enjoy while the ship is still afloat. (Raises glass of wine) To you my dear friends!!. It was a pleasure while it lasted.

    July 15, 2010 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. jimmie

    ni–ers go home

    July 15, 2010 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. E

    This will probably irritate a lot of individuals, but I am a Racist! – Now that you are angry, let me explain – there is only ONE race, the HUMAN RACE. Stop focusing on individual ethnic groups with differences from your own and celebrate that we are all humans together! Then we can fix political, social and economical issues that Our country suffers from.

    July 15, 2010 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Tim Welsh

    It's so sad how most people are in denial about their own racist feelings, which are usually based on a lack of knowledge
    and simple fear. It's an even greater sadness that using racial stereotypes brings in TV news viewers as well as anything else they've tried. Baby hurt, child missing, and black man stole, robbed, or killed. That's just about all we see in the news today while white collar crime that poisons and destroys entire communities is ignored. And today the right-wingers who want fewer taxes for themselves and less government help for Americans in need, are now using that same racial ignorance and fear to motivate poor whites to act and vote against their own best interests.

    You can be certain that if you are not wealthy, and you are being tempted to vote with political groups that inspire the fear and hatred of others, you yourself will suffer as the result, unless you are smart enough to ignore them. A vote for any right-wing party is a vote for the status quo, and a vote against any improvement in your life or the lives of your loved ones. The rich and poor are intentionally and permanently divided as a matter of necessity. The rich cannot exist without the continued existence of the poor, and can only remain in power in a democracy as long as enough poor are fooled into voting against themselves and their own interests. Are you being tricked into voting for the wrong people because they take advantage of irrational fear and hate for other people? Are you being led to believe that the only way your family can live well is if some minority member is pushed down and out of your way? The truth is, social policy that pushes anyone down will always eventually push down everyone but the rich. These "conservative" policies are designed by the rich for the rich, and can only work to minimize the middle class and increase poverty.

    You may have heard the old adage "Take care of your pennies and your dollars will take care of themselves". Think about how true that is. And then think about how true is is when applied to human beings. If we were to do as Jesus asked and take care of "the least" of his people, we ourselves would be assured a better and more equitable life. "Whatsoever you do to the least of these my brothers and sisters, that you do unto me". – Jesus.

    July 15, 2010 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. jimmie

    naacp = nigg-rs are all colored pussballs

    July 15, 2010 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. hwguy

    The house of cards is all starting to fall down. We will all soon see what is in store for our country, it goes well beyond Obama, Democrats, and Republicans. Both parties have been slowly selling out our country to the power players, turning us over to the UN and world control. Our country is in a real civil crisis, more so then beyond simple racial hatred and bigotry. Our real issue is that the government and politicians have been working for the same goals for years, destroying our freedoms and making us into "slaves". For those who preach about the horrible injustices done in slaver by our ancestors what about modern slavery? It's called debt slavery, you cannot get a "good" job unless you get a piece of over priced paper from a university, you have to buy overpriced houses and goods. Finally you have to pay "taxes" or get thrown into jail, don't get me wrong paying some taxes are fine but when will they stop? First starts at 10%, then goes to 15%, up and up until you get an allowance handed to you by the government to buy only the things they think you should have.
    My fellow Americans, remember when you were young and you hated being told all the time what you could and couldn't do every day and waited until you were an adult and could make choices? Well that is being taken from us, people telling us what is good for us, what we should do, what we can't do, what to eat, etc. Most of us are modern slaves to the government and to business, instead of shackles and chains we have loans, credit cards, and taxes. The difference now is that we see it is a way of life, take away the chains and beatings we see it as the new "normal". Maybe I am different but I hate being "normal" and for people to tell me everything to do in my life.

    Lets forget all the racial rubbish and become Americans, our country is a melting pot, our cultures should have mixed and have common bonds, liberty, freedom, kindness, justice, and honesty. All of the focus on developing individual communities and cultures within our country has driven a wedge in between us, causing us to forget that we are all Americans and thing about what makes us different. They saying is that either we all hang together or we all hang alone, I rather be with my fellow "Americans" then with other "whites, hispanics, asians, europeans, and/or african americans".

    July 15, 2010 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Mystgreen

    I wouldn't say they are all racists.

    At best: They tolerate it. At worst: They openly embrace it. All they care about are votes for their causes. They don't care who or what gets the votes for them. Watch the signs at the Tea Party gatherings, sites and blogs. And most certainly won't leave the Tea Party because of it.

    July 15, 2010 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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