The former chair of the NAACP has captured headlines following an interview on MSNBC Tuesday in which he referred to Tea Party loyalists as “the Taliban wing of American politics.”
“I don’t think there are any parallels to what we’re seeing today," said Julian Bond, who previously served as the organization’s chair from 1998 to 2010. “Here are a group of people who are admittedly racist, who are overtly political, who’ve tried as best as they can to harm President Obama in every way they can.”
“They are the Taliban wing of American politics,” Bond continued, “and we all ought to be worried about them.”
Despite his remarks, this isn’t the first time Bond has been in the spotlight over a controversial matter.
In 2004, the NAACP was slapped with an investigation into whether the organization qualified as tax-exempt. Such a status would have allowed donors to claim contributions on their income tax returns.
However, under federal law, tax-exempt nonprofits are required to be politically nonpartisan.
In an audit notice released to media outlets back in 2004, the Internal Revenue Service informed the NCAAP that their investigation into the organization was spurred by critical comments Bond made towards the Bush administration during a July 2004 speech.
Although the probe ignited a firestorm among Democratic lawmakers, the two year investigation eventually uncovered no wrongdoings on the group’s behalf.
Nonetheless, Bond still maintains the investigation was a politically motivated move based on his negative comments toward the Bush administration.
“Of course we were unfairly targeted,” he said during the Tuesday interview. “The letter the IRS sent to me–I was the chairman of the NAACP at the time–said I had criticized the president of the United States. And I’ve grown up thinking that was my right as an American citizen, that every American citizen had that right.”