NAACP Report: Tea Party Nationalism

The NAACP has released an exhaustive and thoroughly documented report on the links between many Tea Party organizations and indisputable racist hate groups: Tea Party Nationalism.

It would be a mistake to claim that all Tea Partiers are nativist vigilantes or racists of one stripe or another, and this report manifestly does not make that claim. As this report highlights, all of the national Tea Party factions have had problems in these areas. However, of the national factions, only FreedomWorks Tea Party, headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area, has made an explicit attempt to narrow the focus of the movement as a whole to fiscal issues—an effort that has largely failed, as this report documents.

Nevertheless, the impact of President Barack Obamas election, and the fact that the First Family of the United States has ancestors who were once the property of white people, has had an effect. It is not direct and mechanical, like a cue ball hitting the nine ball into the corner pocket. But it is identifiable nonetheless. Consider, for example, the incessant depiction of President Obama as a non-American. This theme began among those who regard him as a non-native born American who should not rightly (constitutionally) hold the presidency. The permutations go on from there: Islamic terrorist, socialist, African witch doctor, lying African, etc. If he is not properly American, then he becomes the other that is not us. Five of the six national factions have these birthers in their leadership; the only exception being FreedomWorks.

The connection of the Tea Party to extremists and conspiracy theorists of all stripes has been blatantly obvious almost from the very beginning. It’s good to have such extensive documentation in one place, to refute the continuous stream of deceptive denials from Tea Party leaders.

The Tea Party movement is a deeply destructive, divisive, and atavistic force in American politics, a reaction to the election of a black President that brought back to the surface the very worst elements of American society. And the Republican Party is cynically using and manipulating this movement to regain power, with no consideration at all for the consequences of legitimizing these evil groups and their twisted ideologies.

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