In what is certain spark late-campaign controversy, the NAACP on Wednesday is planning to unveil a report it says spells out the ties between some segments and individuals within the tea party movement and hate groups.
Assertions made in the report by the Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights were teased in a NAACP announcement today, including:
-- An “advisor and media spokesman” for the 2010 Tax Day Tea Party also serves on the National Board of Directors of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CofCC), a lineal descendent of the Council of White Citizens;
-- a tea party organization leader in Texas was once listed as an “official supporter” of Thom Robb’s Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, a modern-day white supremacist organization;
-- the TeaParty.org faction is led by the executive director of the Minuteman Project, a controversial citizens’ border-watch organization;
The NAACP board earlier this year ratified a resolution calling on the tea parties to repudiate racist elements. The release of the new report this week also comes as top congressional Democrats say they have been struggling to get minority and younger voters more energized about voting in the mid-term elections on Nov. 2.
"We have got to get the minority communities engaged in this process and enthusiastic,” said House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., during a telephone conference call with reporters this month.
In today's statement about the report, NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous said,"These groups and individuals are out there, and we ignore them at our own peril."
“The danger is not that the majority of tea party members share their views, but that left unchecked, these extremists might indirectly influence the direction of the tea party and therefore the direction of our country: moving it backward and not forward," he said.
As described, the new report outlines instances of intolerance or extremism – and providing an addendum tying some tea partiers to white extremist groups. The report is also said to specifically analyze each of the six most active tea party organizations, drawing from tea party literature and websites, original statistical analysis, demographic information, “and specific instances of racist ties. “
Also provided are “interactive maps” showing where tea party membership is located within the United States, according to the NAACP.
The institute report is authored by Devin Burghart and Leonard Zeskind. By Devin The institute bills itself as an organization that examines “racist, anti-Semitic, white nationalist, and far-right social movements,” and analyzes the intersections of those movements with society and social policy, “including educating the public.”
This article appears in the October 18, 2010, edition of National Journal Daily PM Update.