A plan by the NAACP to condemn perceived racism in the Tea Party movement has sparked fiery attacks between the NAACP and Tea Party leaders.
NAACP President and CEO Ben Jealous addressed a resolution being debated at his organization's annual convention in Kansas City, Mo. on Tuesday.
"Expel the bigots and racists in your ranks or take the responsibility for them and their actions," Jealous said. "We will no longer allow you to hide like cowards and hide behind signs that say 'Lynch Our President' or anyone else."
In his speech the NAACP leader also took aim at ex-Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and Kentucky Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul -- two political figures who have emerged as icons for many Tea Party supporters.
"Sarah Palin says, 'Let's party like it's 1776.' My white daddy would say be careful what you wish for because the 18th century, Sarah, wasn't good for anybody, even folks like you," Jealous said. "And if you want to debate civil rights, and the Civil Rights Act, Rand Paul, my message to you is this: show the backbone and answer my challenge, set a date and I and the NAACP will be there."
Meanwhile, members of the Tea Party were quick to fire back at the NAACP. The St. Louis Tea Party released a resolution of its own condemning the organization and demanded its "bigoted, false and inflammatory resolution" be withdrawn from consideration. (See full text below.)
Accusations of racism have plagued the Tea Party. A Washington Post-ABC News poll released back in May suggested that 28 percent of Americans see racial prejudice as an underlying element of the movement.
The resolution from the NAACP, which won't be released in full until after the vote, requests "all people of good will to repudiate the racism of the Tea Parties, and to stand in opposition to its drive to push our country back to the pre-civil rights era."
WATCH: NAACP President and CEO Ben Jealous Takes On The Tea Party
Here's a copy of the resolution released by the St. Louis Tea Party:
St. Louis Tea Party Coalition Resolution
July 12, 2010
Whereas, the National Coalition for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was founded to advance the position of minority groups, and
Whereas a hallmark of the NAACP has been to do the important work of identifying and exposing remaining vestiges of racism and discrimination, and
Whereas the NAACP vocally stands against the discriminatory and harmful practice of labeling people with a broad brush, and
Whereas the NAACP decided to launch their 101st National Convention with a resolution condemning the Tea Party movement and labeling millions of their fellow Americans who subscribe to the movement as "racists", and
Whereas the "Tea Party movement" is a label applied to patriotic Americans who have expressed their political free speech in the grand tradition of all that is American, that being the spirited expression of viewpoints in a 100% peaceful manner, and
Whereas, it is a hallmark of America that we settle our disputes civilly and avoid the gutter tactic of attempting to silence opponents by inflammatory name-calling, and
Whereas the very term "racist" has diminished meaning due to its overuse by political partisans including members of the NAACP, and
Whereas, the NAACP had an opportunity to preserve some semblance of legitimacy by standing up for Ken Gladney, the victim of a vicious racist battery conducted by a black avowed communist, even labeling him an "Uncle Tom", but chose instead to use the opportunity to mock the St. Louis Tea Party, and
Whereas, the NAACP has refused to denounce the New Black Panther's call to murder white cops and their babies, and
Whereas, the NAACP does its entire membership a grave disservice by hypocritically engaging in the very conduct it purports to oppose,
Now therefore be it resolved that the St. Louis Tea Party condemns the NAACP for lowering itself to the dishonorable position of a partisan political attack dog organization, and,
Be it further resolved that the St. Louis Tea Party calls on similar organizations to join in unanimous condemnation of this despicable behavior, and
Be it further resolved that we demand that the NAACP withdrawal their bigoted, false and inflammatory resolution against the tea party for any further consideration, and
Be it further resolved that these organizations call on the Internal Revenue Service to evenly apply their standards and consider the tax-exempt status of the NAACP considering the degree to which they are engaging in habitual partisan political behavior.
Adopted unanimously, this day, July 12th, in the year of our Lord, 2010.