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NAACP Exposes Ties Between Tea Party and Racist Extremist Groups

The Tea Party movement has links to white supremacists, anti-immigration groups, 'birthers' and other extremists, according to new report.

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Additionally, Pamela Geller, a featured speaker at a Tea Party Patriots-sponsored convention in Tennessee and at a rally in Arizona sponsored by Tea Party Nation, has claimed that President Obama is "appeas[ing] his Islamic overlords" and that he may be the illegitimate child of Malcolm X.

The Tea Party movement has not just provided a platform for racists and others to express their views, the report also found that white supremacist groups have been using Tea Party events to recruit new members.

Although the report outlines several links between the Tea Party movement and hate groups, the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights and the NAACP explicitly reject the generalization that the Tea Party is a wholly racist or hateful movement.

"It would be a mistake to claim that all Tea Partiers are nativist vigilantes or racists of one stripe or another, and this report manifestly does not make that claim."

"We know the majority of Tea Party supporters are sincere, principled people of good will," said President of the NAACP, Benjamin Todd Jealous. "I hope the leadership and members of the Tea Party movement will read this report and take additional steps to distance themselves from those Tea Party leaders who espouse racist ideas, advocate violence, or are formally affiliated with white supremacist organizations."

"The danger is not that the majority of Tea Party members share their views," Jealous added, "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."

"To attack a grassroots movement of this magnitude with sundry isolated incidents only goes to show the NAACP has abandoned the cause of civil rights for the advancement of liberal Democrat politics,” responded Sal Russo, chief strategist for the Tea Party Express. "The Tea Party Express has publicly and explicitly repudiated racism."

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