Palin Comes to Tea Party's Defense After NAACP Passes Racism Resolution

Sarah Palin: Climate change skeptic
Sarah Palin

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin came to the defense of the Tea Party on Tuesday night, saying that the NAACP was wrong to pass a resolution condemning what it says are racist elements of the conservative movement.

"I am saddened by the NAACP's claim that patriotic Americans who stand up for the United States of America's Constitutional rights are somehow 'racists,'" Palin wrote in a Facebook note. "The charge that Tea Party Americans judge people by the color of their skin is false, appalling, and is a regressive and diversionary tactic to change the subject at hand."

Delegates at the annual convention of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in Kansas City yesterday passed the resolution calling on the Tea Party to expel its racist elements, but the group will reportedly not release the final version of the resolution until its board passes it in October.

Palin, the former Republican vice presidential nominee who is now seen as a leader of the Tea Party movement, quoted conservative icon Ronald Reagan, who called America's past racism "a legacy of evil." She said that with the election of the first black president, the United States has become "a new 'post-racial' society."

"We, as a united people, applauded that sentiment. We were proud of that progress," Palin said. "That's why it is so sad to see that 18 months later, the NAACP is once again using the divisive language of the past to unfairly accuse the Tea Party movement of harboring 'racist elements.'"

She pointed to the candidacy of Tim Scott, an African-American Republican running for Congress in South Carolina, as "a sign of a hopeful, truly post-racial future for our country." In his own statement, Scott called the NAACP's resolution a "grave mistake."

The NAACP, meanwhile, posted pictures on its website of racist signs reportedly from Tea Party rallies.