UPDATE: A hazmat team cleared the NAACP’s Washington D.C. headquarters, Monday evening. The team revealed the contents of the envelope to be tea and a tea bag. A spokesperson for the NAACP said the FBI notified the organization that the envelope was similar to anonymously sent packages received by members of congress during the healthcare debate.
A mysterious package arrived at the NAACP’s headquarters in Washington D.C. this afternoon. The envelope, filled with a white powder, sat in a conference room as staffers worked to alert authorities. While the organization is still investigating the envelope’s contents, it cannot confirm if it is a threat. But NAACP President Ben Jealous says the organization has seen a number of death threats over the past few weeks as it has ramped up pressure on the conservative Tea Party movement.
“We have received dozens of death threats, more than 100, since we called for the Tea Party to expel racists from its ranks,” Jealous told Blackenterprise.com today. The 37-year-old says the NAACP, along with a number of black congressmen and women, have been at the end of racially motivated intimidation over the past few weeks. He says the harassment stems from their protest against racism within the Tea Party.
The threat comes just as the organization prepares to release its report this Wednesday tying racist groups to ranking members within the Tea Party. The report, complied by the Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights details various associations between Tea Party organizations and acknowledged hate groups in the United States.
Jealous says while part of the Tea Party is more concerned with fiscal conservatism and small government, there is a faction fostering these intimidation tactics.
“We’re asking the majority of the Tea Party to stand up and speak out and say there is no place in their movement for white supremacist and others who advocate violence against minority groups,” he says.