According to a non-scientific poll at USA News, 43% of Americans feel that the Tea Party movement is racist, whereas 56% of people disagree with that statement. The poll results will change as more and more people take the poll on the Web site.
According to USA Today, Sarah Palin calls the NAACP's claims "appalling." The NAACP has accused the Tea Partyers of waving signs that are degrading to African Americans and also the nation's first African American President, Barack Hussein Obama.
Blogger Peter Roff has accused the NAACP of using tactics similar to those used in the 1960's by Bull Connor. He states that "It was not all that long ago that the likes for Georgia Gov. Lester Maddox, Sheriff and one-time Democratic National Committeeman for the State of Alabama Theophilus “Bull” Connor and others garnered national attention through their attacks on the civil rights movement. One frequently used tactic by the movement’s critics was to seize on isolated incidents and the outrageous behavior and statements of some of its activists to brand everyone associated with it as subversive, dangerous, and un-American."
On the other hand, there are still many who agree that the Tea Party is acting with a racist agenda. According to Fox News, reference was made by the group to racial slurs hurled at black legislators during the 2010 Health Care reform bill vote. Ben Jealous, an NAACP leader said that "We [the NAACP] take no issue with the Tea Party movement. We believe in freedom of assembly and people raising their voices in a democracy. What we take issue with is 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 place for racism and anti-Semitism, homophobia and other forms of bigotry in their movement."
It will be interesting to see how this all plays out, considering that the Tea Party movement has very few African American followers.
Do you think that the Tea Party movement is racist or not?