Adopted as amended
WHEREAS, the Tea Party constitutes a significant movement, comprised of at least six membership networks and several well-endowed, political committees, and have drawn hundreds of thousands to its protests, with the support of 18% of Americans, according to poll data; and
WHEREAS, according to poll data, Tea Party supporters experience less unemployment and are more financially stable than the general population, with 31% reporting family incomes in excess of $75,000 a year; and Tea Party supporters are more highly educated, with 37% reporting college degrees as compared to 25% in the general population; and
WHEREAS, only 41% of Tea Party supporters tell polls that they acknowledge the fact that President Barack Obama was born in the United States, and 30% believe the president was born in another country; and
WHEREAS, only 1% of Tea Party supporters consider themselves to be black, and 89% tell polls that they are white; and
WHEREAS, some Tea Party supporters have a distorted view of race relations, with only 1% recognizing the persistent discrimination against people of color, and 25% believe that the policies of the Obama Administration "favors black people over whites"; and
WHEREAS, some Tea Party supporters oppose social programs for poor people and 73% falsely believe that government aid to poor people encourages them to remain poor. In addition, 52% of Tea Party supporters believe that "too much" has been made of the problems facing black people, compared to 28% of the general population that shares that warped view; and
WHEREAS, these Tea Party protestors have engaged in explicitly racist behavior, displayed signs and posters intended to degrade people of color generally and President Barack Obama specifically; and
WHEREAS, Tea Party members have used racial epithets and verbally and physically abused African-American congressmen and others, and have been charged with making dangerous threats against duly elected public officials; and
WHEREAS, some Tea Party leaders and spokespersons have apologized for and encouraged such racist behavior, rather than fully repudiating it; and
WHEREAS, hard core white supremacist organizations have participated in and on occasion led Tea Party protests, all while searching for recruits in the fertile racist milieu of the Tea Party movement; and
WHEREAS, Tea Party movement is a threat to the pursuit of human rights, justice and equality for all.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP will educate its membership and the community that this movement is not just about higher taxes and limited government, but something that could evolve and become more dangerous for that small percentage of people who really think our country has been taken away from them; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NAACP call upon tea party leaders and all people of good will to specifically but not limited to all political parties and human rights organizations to publicly and privately repudiate the racism within the Tea Party, and to stand in opposition to its drive to push our country back to the pre- civil rights era.