The NAACP has released a 94-page report on bigotry and anti-Semitism among those who receive a platform from the Tea Party movement.
“These groups and individuals are out there, and we ignore them at our own peril,” said NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous. “They are speaking at tea party events, recruiting at rallies, and in some cases remain in the tea party leadership itself.
The report, “Tea Party Nationalism: A Critical Examination of the Tea Party Movement and the Size, Scope, and Focus of Its National Factions,” was written by Leonard Zeskind and Devin Burghart of the Kansas City-based Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights.
Zeskind and Burghart examined government documents and databases, including court cases, campaign finance reports and corporate filings.
“This is the first data-driven report of this type on the tea parties,” Burghart said. “Understanding their membership structures was the crucial first step that enabled us to understand the complexity of the tea party movement and to be able to specify the role of racists and bigots in the movement.”
The report cites numerous examples of what it said were racism and extremism within the tea party movement. Some of them, according to the news releases:
•The St. Louis-based Council of Conservative Citizens, the largest white nationalist group in the country, has both led and promoted tea party protests. Roan Garcia-Quintana, a member of ResistNet who served as media spokesman for a 2010 Tax Day Tea Party in South Carolina, is on the national board of directors for the Council of Conservative Citizens.
•Clayton Douglas, a former information officer for the New Mexico Militia, is a member of the ResistNet tea party. He uses his profile on the ResistNet website to advertise his own “Free American” website, on which he promotes anti-Semitism.
•The Wood County Tea Party in Texas is led by a woman who used to be involved with the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.
•The 1776 Tea Party — also known as TeaParty.org — is led by Stephen Eichler, executive director of the Minuteman Project, an anti-immigrant border patrol group often referred to as vigilantes.