Missouri Leaders of the country’s largest civil rights organization accused tea party activists on Tuesday of tolerating bigotry and approved a resolution condemning racism within the political movement.
The resolution was adopted during the annual convention in Kansas City of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, spokesman Chris Fleming said. Tea party organizers disputed claims of racism and called on the NAACP to withdraw the resolution.
Debate was mostly closed to the public, but the final version “calls on the tea party and all people of good will to repudiate the racist element and activities within the tea party,” said Hilary Shelton, director of the NAACP’s Washington bureau.
“I hope it will empower the tea party to actually look at itself and see that there are those who are noticing things that I think most tea partiers don’t want,” he said.
Sarah Palin, a vocal tea party supporter, said in a statement late Tuesday that she was “saddened by the NAACP’s claim that patriotic Americans ... are somehow ‘racists.’” The former Alaska governor said claims that tea party activists “judge people by the color of their skin” were false and appalling.