A prominent civil rights crusader and former congressman on Thursday likened anti-big government Tea Party activists to members of the notorious Klu Klux Klan at a press conference questioning the motives a conservative rally scheduled for the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous "I Have a Dream" speech.
The "Restoring Honor" rally, hosted by conservative radio and television talker Glenn Beck, boasts former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin among its lineup of speakers. The event is set to take place Saturday on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C, and black civil rights activists are fuming, contending that conservatives have "declared war on the civil rights movement of the 1960s."
Rev. Walter Fauntroy, who represented the District of Columbia from 1971 to 1991 as a non-voting delegate and was a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus, said at a press conference at the National Press Club that the monikers Tea Party and KKK were to be used interchangeably.
"We are going to take on the barbarism of war, the decadence of racism, and the scourge of poverty, that the Ku Klux -- I mean to say the Tea Party," Fauntroy said to laughter. "You all have to forgive me, but I -- you have to use them interchangeably."
Fauntroy's remarks come after months of Democratic partisans blasting the conservative activists as racist, most recently with an NAACP resolution condemning "racist elements" in the movement.