Julian Bond: Racists Don’t Like Being Called Racists

Julian Bond: Racists Don’t Like Being Called Racists


By Julian Bond

I have always suspected that racists didn’t like being called out for their racism. Now I have proof.

When I told MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts on May 14 that the Tea Party was “the Taliban wing of American politics,” a firestorm erupted. Arguing the IRS was correct to target them for extra scrutiny, I also said “Here are a group of people who are admittedly racist, who are overtly political” and therefore worthy of IRS concern.

I was not prepared for the slew of angry emails, including two from self-identified Black people (your worst nightmare, one said) I received. Many of them suggested I leave the country, reminiscent of the “Go back to Africa” chants racist crowds of Whites shouted at Black protestors in my youth.

One said my advanced age – I am 73 – meant I would not be around to make such mischief much longer, and I should prepare for that quick eventuality.

A few suggested my employer fire me, not knowing that I retired from that job a year ago. Several of the messages were badly written with misspelled words, including one from a relative by marriage – you can’t choose your in-laws – reading “Your calling folks Talabans borders on Traitorism.”

This same correspondent noted I had been “head of the most classic Racist group in our country,” referring to the NAACP, whose board I chaired for 11 years. Others characterized the NAACP, the nation’s oldest civil rights group, interracial in membership and dedicated to racial integration since 1909, in the same way.

After an exchange of messages with some of them, trying to convince them that while I opposed it, I didn’t condemn every member of the Tea Party, the interactions became more civil and less hostile. Some even wished me well.

But to a person they rejected the labels “racism” and “racist,” even as I thought I had proved that the Tea Party has had racist, anti-Semitic and nativist elements from its beginning until today.

One source is a study conducted for the NAACP by the Institute for Research and Education for Human Rights. Their study, called Tea Party Nationalism, found “Tea Party ranks to be permeated with concerns about race and national identify and other so-called social issues. In these ranks, an abiding obsession with Barack Obama’s birth certificate is often a stand-in for the belief that the first black president of the United States s not a “real American.”

It says Tea Party organizations have given platforms to anti-Semites, racists and bigots and “hard-core white nationalists have been attracted” to Tea Party protests.

The link between the Tea Party and the Taliban was made by a prominent Republican office holder.

In 2008, the Washington Post reported that former chairman of the Republican Congressional Committee and present day Congressman Pete Sessions likened the GOP House minority to the Taliban, saying, “Insurgency, we understand perhaps a bit more because of the Taliban.”

Just as my arguments failed to convince my correspondents, so apparently does the actual evidence.

Not the ugly racist signs and placards displayed at Tea Party rallies, not the shouts of the “n” word aimed at members of the Congressional Black Caucus, not the spittle hurled at civil rights icon and Congressman John Lewis, not the racists expelled from the Tea Party for their venom, not the association of many members with the Council of Conservative Citizens, a lineal descendant of the White Citizen Council, not the anti-gay slurs aimed at former Congressman Barney Frank (d-Mass.), not the members whose racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia should be an embarrassment – not all or any of this could get them to acknowledge the label “racist.”

My Black correspondents even claimed that their race prohibited them from being racists, as if skin color was a proscription against ignorance. And many of my presumably non-Black correspondents accused me of being a racist, so my race apparently offered me no protection from this evil.

What is the lesson here?

That the label “racist” has become so toxic almost everyone rejects it? That the toxicity makes the label unacceptable but its actual practice is still tolerable for many?

Or that it is a defense against itself? As the relative-I-try-not-to-claim wrote, “I don’t know any white people who hate blacks like you advocate blacks should hate whites.”

Or only that while the United States has made much progress in race relations, we still have a long, long way to go?

Julian Bond is Chairman Emeritus of the NAACP and a Professor at American University in Washington.



  1. People are afraid of words. Jesus and many of the disciples were killed for the truths they said…not the bombs and guns they fired a folks. We live in a strange world, more so now than then. The Black folks that are attacking Brother Bond are so full indescribable ignorance. They beckon their desire to experience a Civil Rights Movement or have a Jim Crow experience. Drugs, television/media, integration and other ills have put us to sleep.

  2. Bond’s basic concept of the Tea Party, a diverse group in favor of fiscal restraint, is that they are racist because they are racist. And, because they are racist, they should accept the credibility-killing label. On MSNBC he recounted that Bush’s IRS had unfortunately targeted his former group, the NAACP. Was it politically-motivated? Sure. He complains that, even though he is black, some conservatives call him and his group racist. Sure, they’ve come across as anti-white sometimes. Maybe that’s not racism according to his definition? Fine. Also, Obama’s IRS targeting the Tea Party is fine and completely different than the persecution the NAACP suffered under Bush. Really? The article is a mess of contradictions. He says racism has become a dirty word, but he bridles at being called racist. He should be immune to the charge. (Why doesn’t he answer the charges?) Bottom line? His political opponents are racist and therefore don’t deserve fair treatment from the IRS when applying for non-profit status. His group is 100% good (it doesn’t even have the “racist elements” he says the Tea Party has) and should not be targeted. (Does Bond know that it is not the job of the IRS to persecute perceived racists?) He implies that he should be able to make moral charges of racism freely – but not his political opponents. On MSNBC he even said “this isn’t a double standard.” Seriously?

  3. I experienced this just last night. In saying that the tea party was a racist organization, one by one a bunch of outraged white people came on and insisted that I had named each of them and called them racists. I tried to explain that this is a topic we will ALL have to discuss in order to dispel, and that it would be emotional. I pointed out racism on both sides of this black/white issue. Nothing worked. They gave examples of the one time they stood up for the “other,” while accusing me (a little girl, they styled me) of being disrespectful after laughing at their references to fried chicken, and how I could “shove the race card up my a**.” I left that exchange quite disturbed. These folks think the token people they see each day or have in their lives make it impossible for them to have bias. They think that the fact that they don’t have Southern aristocratic heritage makes it impossible for them to have bias. They think their simply saying so makes it impossible for them to have bias. Yet they show it each time they open their mouths.

  4. The United States is controlled by Jews. Jews control the media, hollywood, magazines, banks, and politics. Jews own the publishing houses and print the school textbooks. A lot of these public figures of other races are members of the secret society “Freemasonry” including Julian Bond. Freemasonry is controlled and led by Jews. This is about power, and protecting the Jews who have taken over all white countries. Jews view the white race as their enemies because the white race are the only ones who stand in their way to obtaining total world government control. The Jews want to make whites a minority in their own countries. Jews call any whites who bring this up racists because they don’t want white people to have political power. The Protocols of zion is the Jewish plan. All Jews and their freemason puppets of all other races are enemies of the white race. They are the racists. They hate the white race, they hate Christianity, they hate white traditions, they don’t want the white race to be independent. Jews want to dominate the white race. This is war, a race war. The Jews who have the power call the other races that they dominate racists. The Jews are pathological liars. A pathological liar is someone who lies to get what they want no matter who it hurts. White nationalism is the only logical response to this political domination by Jews in all white countries. This is about POWER! Whites must take back the power in their own countries. The Jews must be thrown out of power and freemasonry will be outlawed. If you don’t want whites to have power in their own countries, the you are a anti white racist and enemy.