Several black conservatives are firing back at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) regarding its claims that the Tea Party movement tolerates bigotry.
Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele said in a statement on Wednesday the NAACP's allegations "are not only destructive, they are not true."
"Tea Party activists are your mom or dad, your local grocer, banker, hairdresser or doctor," Steele said. "They are a diverse group of passionate Americans who want to ensure that our nation returns to founding principles that honor the Constitution, limit government's role in our lives, and support policies that empower free markets and free enterprise.
Steele said the organization should cease its "name-calling."
Vernon Parker, a black congressional candidate in Arizona, also denounced the charge of racism.
"When I go to Tea Party events, people don't look at me any differently," Parker told Politico.com said. "They didn't judge me on the color of my skin. Quite frankly, they judged me on my principles."
Parker added, "The NAACP should be concerned about bringing jobs to people in depressed areas."
Yet another black Tea Party candidate, South Carolina GOP congressional nominee Tim Scott, seemed to agree.
"I believe that the NAACP is making a grave mistake in stereotyping a diverse group of Americans who care deeply about their country and who contribute their time, energy and resources to make a difference," Scott said.
"Americans need to know that the tea party is a color-blind movement that has principled differences with many of the leaders in Washington, both Democrats and Republicans," he added.