IREHR is pleased to announce the release of a new special report, The Tea Party in North Carolina: Threat to a New Birth of Freedom. This groundbreaking 56-page report is a non-partisan, data-driven look at the Tea Party in the state of North Carolina and the movement's impact on the state legislature. The report includes detailed interactive maps and lots of additional data. It also includes a preface by NC NAACP president, Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II and a foreword by Alan McSurely.
As IREHR has repeatedly warned, national Tea Party factions have been driving the anti-immigrant charge since at least 2010, blocking all efforts at humane immigration reform. Now comes news that one of the largest factions, Tea Party Patriots, is planning to launch a major new nativist campaign on October 16.
The Tea Party loss in Mississippi last week resurrected the oft-repeated notion that the Tea Party movement is dead, at least electorally if not completely. Once again, that notion misses the big picture. The Tea Party is still batting over .500 in contests where national groups have endorsed a primary candidate.
The “European right-wing comes of age,” triumphantly declared one of the largest white nationalist groups in the United States, the Council of Conservative Citizens (CofCC), after an announcement of the results of the 2014 European elections.
Like the Council of Conservative Citizens, many on the American far right, from the Tea Party to hardened white nationalists, paid close attention to the European results. Looking at these votes for nationalist, anti-immigrant, racist, anti-Semitic, and anti-European Union political parties—the American hard right saw hope for the future here at home.
With the fight over Obamacare slowly receding, the Tea Party Patriots are mobilizing for a new effort to dramatically re-write the Constitution, beginning with a serious call to repeal the constitutional amendment that led to the creation of the Internal Revenue Service and the income tax, the 16th Amendment. As implausible as it seems, the effort is already picking up steam in the states. Along the way, they’ve picked up some strange bedfellows and turned some allies into enemies.
Field reports, event recordings, and new documents obtained by the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights show a growing national effort by Tea Party groups and allies to significantly rewrite the Constitution. This new report outlines the significant organizational players, the various strategies, and the rifts exposed in this latest Tea Party offensive.
For years, white nationalists found themselves on the outside looking in, faces pressed against the glass to get a glimpse at the movement happenings at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). But the times they are a changing. Not since Pat Buchanan’s racially-tinged insurgent campaign at the 1992 conference have white nationalists found a more hospitable environment in the halls of CPAC.
With the rise of the Tea Party, the doors to CPAC flew open wide in 2010. The same year that CPAC gave the “Ronald Reagan Award” to the Tea Party movement, the far-right John Birch Society, a group kept outside for decades, was allowed to co-sponsor the event for the first time. Others on the far-right were welcomed into the fold, and racist rhetoric about president Obama was allowed center stage. Just like that, CPAC became a white nationalist friendly zone.
Despite a more tightly controlled platform this year, the annual conservative confab did little to disabuse white nationalists of the notion that they were at home, particularly when leaders expressed racially-charged rhetoric and calls for nativist “death squads” were met with raucous cheers from the floor.
When small groups of older liberals discuss the problems presented by the Tea Party movement, the millennial generation is often cited as the answer: old white conservatives will die off and young liberal millennials will take their place. Millennials are friendlier than other generations towards gay people having the same civil rights as everyone else. They are connected by social media, more disconnected from established political and religious institutions, and optimistic about the future. Although they are more likely to be political independents, they have been more likely to vote for Democratic Party candidates in the last two elections, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center. This cohort, aged 18 to 33, is more racially diverse than all previous generations, and only 57% consider themselves white people. (Of those being born today, less than half are white.)
“FORWARD TOGETHER. NOT ONE STEP BACK” reverberated through the streets of downtown and the doorstep of the State Capitol in Raleigh, North Carolina on February 8, as the largest civil rights march in the South in decades drew a diverse crowd of tens of thousands to speak out against the disastrous impact the Tea Party has had on the state.