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NAACP Condemns Racism In Tea Party Movement


Kansas City, MO – NAACP delegates voted yesterday to repudiate racism in the Tea Party movement. The organization's national convention is in Kansas City this week.

The resolution says that tea party members have engaged in explicitly racist behavior during protests and rallies - using offensive language and threatening public officials, particularly African Americans. NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous said Tea Party leaders need to take a stand.

"You have to either expel the bigots in your party, or be held responsible for your actions," Jealous said.

Tea party leaders from around the country--including Sarah Palin--responded to the resolution even before it was approved. Organizer Brendan Steinhauser of Freedomworks said he was disappointed in the NAACP's stance.

"They're basically attacking us for political purposes and it's really just an attempt to try to marginalize this growing movement," Steinhauser said.

Steinhauser said the groups reject racism, and self-police offensive behavior. The resolution will still go before the NAACP's executive board in October for a final vote.

Sylvia Maria Gross is storytelling editor at KCUR 89.3. Reach her on Twitter @pubradiosly.
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