It's been a little more than a week since Tea Party protesters hurled racial and homophobic slurs and spat at members of Congress. We don't want to repeat the language they used. Their despicable statements were widely reported in the media, and be assured this was no isolated or fringe event.
What the Tea Party protesters said was beyond defensible. But that's not even the worst of it. The Tea Party movement is inciting violent acts targeting Democrats who voted to support the health care reform bill.
Democrats and Republicans alike must immediately address this atmosphere of violence targeting our elected officials. You would think this would be uncontroversial in the wake of protesters shouting the "N word" in the halls of Congress. But shockingly the Republican National Committee has refused to endorse a bi-partisan "civility" statement that would send a message to the protesters.
We are joining our allies at ColorOfChange.org and MoveOn.org to demand that Republican leaders stop turning a blind eye to violence and hate before it gets out of control and someone gets hurt. Please add your name to our petition to Republican leaders.
Some Republicans are even actively working to escalate the violence. Republican leader and Tea Party defender Sarah Palin told her supporters "Don't Retreat, Instead - RELOAD!", and published a map with cross-hairs over the districts of some Democrats who voted for health care reform.3
We're calling on Republican National Committee Chair Michael Steele, House Minority Leader John Boehner, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to publicly do two simple things:
Unequivocally condemn bigotry and hate among their supporters, and make clear that those who embrace it have no place in their party.Make clear that they will not tolerate fear-mongering and coded appeals to racism from officials in the Republican party, at any level.
Republican leaders have courted the Tea Party movement while methodically supporting, exacerbating, and exploiting its members' fear and anger for cynical political ends. Last Saturday's protest and this week's past events are just the most recent example of the intolerance and hate coming from right-wing extremists since the election of President Obama. Republican support for Tea Party rallies is completely unacceptable and has to stop.
Join us and call on RNC Chair Michael Steele and Congressional Republican leaders John Boehner and Mitch McConnell to denounce the racist rhetoric and fear-mongering of the Tea Party movement. And please ask your family and friends to do the same.
Please take action now -- our friends at ColorOfChange will be delivering this petition to Republican leaders in Washington, D.C. on Thursday.
Photo credit: cometstarmoon