Alan Grayson defends Tea Party, KKK comparison

"If the hood fits, wear it"

Topics: Alan Grayson, KKK, Racism, Tea Party, Congress, Roll Call, Barney Frank, John Lewis,

Alan Grayson defends Tea Party, KKK comparisonAlan Grayson (Credit: AP/Evan Vucci)

Under fire from Republicans for a fundraising email that compared the Tea Party to the KKK, Alan Grayson responded by calling the Tea Party “the home of bigotry and discrimination in America today, just as the KKK was for an earlier generation,” reports the Huffington Post.

“Tea Party members have circulated countless altered pictures depicting President Obama and the First Lady as monkeys,” Grayson said in a written statement. Grayson went on to claim that Tea Party members had previously referred to Rep. John Lewis and former Rep. Barney Frank using bigoted slurs.

“One could go on and on,” Grayson said, “because there is overwhelming evidence that the Tea Party is the home of bigotry and discrimination in America today, just as the KKK was for an earlier generation.”

“If the hood fits,” he concluded, “wear it.”

Read Grayson’s full statement, via the Huffington Post:

Regarding the image that the campaign circulated, the Tea Party has engaged in relentless racist attacks against our African-American President. For example, when the President visited my home of Orlando, Tea Party protesters shouted “Kenyan Go Home.” Other examples include Tea Party chants of “Bye Bye, Blackbird,” and Tea Party posters saying “Obama’s Plan: White Slavery,” “Imam Obama Wants to Ban Pork” and “The Zoo Has An African Lion, and the White House Has a Lyin’ African,” as well as this repulsive one, depicting the President of the United States as an African witch doctor with bananas in his hair:

obama

Tea Party members also have persisted in falsely characterizing the President as Kenyan and Moslem, despite all evidence, in order to disparage him. Members of the Tea Party have circulated countless altered pictures depicting President Obama and the First Lady as monkeys. Tea Party members also called my fellow Member of Congress, civil rights hero John Lewis, a “n***ger,” and Rep. Barney Frank a “faggot.” More generally, the leader of the Texas Tea Party displayed a poster saying “Congress=Slave Owner, Taxpayer=Niggar [sic].” Tea Party Members of Congress have referred to Hispanics as “wetbacks,” and having “cantaloupe-sized calves” from picking fruit. Tea Party candidates, including my opponent in the last election, have endorsed forcing Hispanics to speak English. One could go on and on, because there is overwhelming evidence that the Tea Party is the home of bigotry and discrimination in America today, just as the KKK was for an earlier generation. If the hood fits, wear it.

Elias Isquith
Elias Isquith is a staff writer at Salon, focusing on politics. Follow him on Twitter at @eliasisquith.

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