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NAACP Passes Resolution Condemning Racist Elements In Tea Party

7/14/2010 11:35 AM ET

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, or NAACP, announced Tuesday that its delegates have passed a resolution to condemn certain elements of the Tea Party as racist.

According to the NAACP, the resolution came after a year of high-profile media coverage of attendees of Tea Party marches using racial slurs and images.

For example, the NAACP said that members of the Congressional Black Caucus reported that racial epithets were hurled at them as they passed by a Washington, D.C. health care protest.

Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., a leader of the civil rights movement, was called the "n-word" during the protest, while others in the crowd used anti-gay slurs against Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass.

Further, the NAACP said that Missouri Representative Emmanuel Cleaver was spat on at the protest.

In a statement, NAACP President and CEO Ben Jealous said that the organization takes no issue with the Tea Party itself.

"We take issue with the Tea Party's continued tolerance for bigotry and bigoted statements," Jealous said. "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."

Mark Williams, national spokesman of the Tea Party Express, responded on CNN, stating, "I am disinclined to take lectures on racial sensitivity from a group that insists on calling black people, 'Colored.' The Tea Party [movement] is about the constitution of this country…[and] ensuring equality for each and every individual human being."

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, a Tea Party favorite, said she is "saddened by the NAACP's claim that patriotic Americans who stand up for the United States of America's Constitutional rights are somehow 'racists.'"

"The charge that Tea Party Americans judge people by the color of their skin is false, appalling, and is a regressive and diversionary tactic to change the subject at hand," Palin added.

by RTT Staff Writer

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