Benjamin Todd Jealous, NAACP President and CEO, July 10, 2010:
….And there are, there is once again an insurgent movement in this country to tear this country apart. And if we pull off the veneer what we see behind them are wealthy law firms and fancy lobbyists like Dick Armey, this faux populist rage represented by the Tea Party. There is nothing new, and what is new is that this group of people is smaller than they have ever been in our society, smaller than the White Citizens Council, smaller than the Klan of the nineteen-twenties, but divisive and dangerous….
Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, NAACP National Convention, July 11, 2010:
….And I thank you professor very much. I’m going to be engaging you with those very powerful numbers that you have offered on what the tea party recognizes, uh, or is recognized as. Might I add my own P.S.? All those who wore sheets a long time ago have now lifted them off and started wearing [applause], uh, clothing, uh, with a name, say, I am part of the tea party. Don’t you be fooled. [voices: “That’s right.”, applause] Those who used to wear sheets are now being able to walk down the aisle and speak as a patriot because you will not speak loudly about the lack of integrity of this movement. Don’t let anybody tell you that those who spit on us as we were walking to vote on a health care bill for all of America or those who said Congresswoman Jackson-Lee’s braids were too tight in her hair had anything to do with justice and equality and empowerment of the American people. Don’t let them fool you on that [applause]….
Reverand Al Sharpton, NAACP National Convention, July 14, 2010:
….You cannot have people who are now trying to have tea party for state’s rights coming and celebrating the day that asked the federal government to overrule where states were segregating and allowing segregation to go forward. There clearly is some racial leaves in their tea bag, but this is not just about race. This is about how you see government….
Well, this is interesting (via Think Progress):
….the 2010 Multi-state Survey of Race & Politics examines what Americans think about the issues of race, public policy, national politics, and President Obama, one year after the inauguration of the first African American president.
The survey is drawn from a probability sample of 1006 cases, stratified by state. The Multi-State Survey of Race and Politics included seven states, six of which were battleground states in 2008. It includes Georgia, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, and Ohio as the battleground states. For its diversity and its status as an uncontested state, California was also included for comparative purposes. The study, conducted by the Center for Survey Research at the University of Washington, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent and was in the field February 8 – March 15, 2010….
….Since the public has become aware of the data, several people have come forward to challenge our initial findings, specifically, that supporters of the Tea Party appear racially intolerant. A principal charge, one not without intellectual merit, is that the observed relationship between support for the Tea Party and racial resentment is more about the relatively conservative politics of Tea Partiers than racism. Indeed, conservatives tend to believe in a small government, one that doesn’t do much to help people who, they believe, should make an effort to do for themselves. This is certainly a legitimate view; it’s one to which many Americans have adhered from the beginning of the Republic. In short, some of our critics charge that, instead of the racism we observe associated with support for the Tea Party, we’re merely observing Tea Partiers’ conservatism at work. In other words, support for the Tea Party, they suggest, is simply a proxy for conservatism.
To address this issue, we turn to regression, a statistical technique that allows analysts to tease out how one variable affects another. This is important because it permits us to account for the presence of other variables that may also affect the outcome while isolating the impact of the effect of the variable of interest on the result. So, in this case, if support for the Tea Party is truly a proxy for conservatism, the relationship between racial resentment and support for the Tea Party should evaporate once we control for conservatism. Otherwise, there’s something else going on with support for the Tea Party; it’s not just conservatism. To make things a little easier, we combined all of the items (questions) that comprise racial resentment, making them into a scale.
As the figure shows, even as we account for conservatism and partisanship, support for the Tea Party remains a valid predictor of racial resentment. We’re not saying that ideology isn’t important, because it is: as people become more conservative, it increases by 23 percent the chance that they’re racially resentful. Also, Democrats are 15 percent less likely than Republicans to be racially resentful. Even so, support for the Tea Party makes one 25 percent more likely to be racially resentful than those who don’t support the Tea Party….
Obviously not everyone, but a few. Wasn’t that the point of the NAACP resolution?