Glenn Beck called the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People “a joke” and an “affront” to the memory of civil rights leaders on his radio show Thursday.
Beck was responding to a claim made by former NAACP Chairman Julian Bond, who said the Internal Revenue Service was justified in targeting conservative groups applying for non-profit status leading up to the 2012 election.
"Dismiss them. It’s a joke,” Beck said of the NAACP. “They are a joke, and an affront to everything that Martin Luther King and anybody who ever ... Booker T. Washington, Frederick Douglass, you are an affront to their memory.”
“Read Booker T. Washington,” Beck instructed, “and tell me he would be an NAACP member.” Washington, who lived from 1856 to 1915, was born into slavery and later advised presidents. He was a leading voice for former slaves discriminated against by laws in the post-reconstruction south.
The mission statement for the NAACP says: “the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination.”
Beck went on to claim that 20 percent of Klu Klux Klan lynchings were of white people and that those same people would be Tea Partiers today. “And you know what? I contend, the white people that were lynched are exactly the type of people that would be in the Tea Party today.”
Some of those whites lynched, however, were trade unionists, including Frank Little and Wesley Everest of the Industrial Workers of the World.
According to the archives of Tuskegee University, the white supremacist group killed more than 1,200 whites and more than 3,400 blacks from 1882 to 1968. Over time those killings greatly decreased from 230 KKK lynchings in total in 1892 to four in 1941. One would be hardpressed to imagine those people would align with the Tea Party Movement's No. 6 core belief “Government must be downsized,” as federal civil rights laws instating tougher penalties for lynching appeared to have cracked down on the practice. Much of the long road to reform was spurred on by the NAACP, which published “Thirty Years of Lynching in the United States” in 1919.
Beck didn’t weigh in on whether the fathers of civil rights in America would have used the term “African-American,” which Beck has claimed is not a race.
“African-American is a bogus, PC, made-up term. I mean, that's not a race,” he said back in 2010. "Your ancestry is from Africa and now you live in America. Ok, so you were brought over -- either your family was brought over through the slave trade or you were born here and your family emigrated here or whatever but that is not a race.”