The Tea Party movement harbors "racist elements" that are a "threat to democracy" the NAACP is expected to declare in a resolution at its annual convention in Kansas City today. The "movement is not just about higher taxes and limited government, but something that could evolve and become more dangerous," warned NAACP spokeswoman Leila McDowell. The proposed resolution states that "hardcore white supremacist organizations have participated in and occasionally lead Tea Party rallies." The rebuke could have a significant impact on Tea Party support.
Tea Party critics point to signs carried by members mocking President Obama's Kenyan heritage and movement members' continual questioning of Obama's citizenship. Tea Party Patriots founder Jenny Beth Martin acknowledged some racist elements in the movement, but added: "We're not going to put up with it." Mark Meckler of the same groupcalled the NAACP racist. "It's a little ironic that an organization that has lost legitimacy through its own racism is trying to call another racist," Meckler told the Los Angeles Times.