*The Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton sought Wednesday to steer attention away from an NAACP resolution condemning racism within the tea party movement, saying focus should remain on jobs and an upcoming march in Washington.
Jackson deflected questions about the resolution at a news conference during the annual convention of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in Kansas City.
“We will not be diverted or otherwise distracted by any other message except putting America back to work,” Jackson said a day after convention delegates approved the resolution. “We want jobs and justice and peace.”
Sharpton was a little more direct, saying issues surrounding the tea party go beyond claims of racism. He said the civil rights movement sought to pressure the federal government to step in when states were enforcing segregation laws, and the tea party’s focus on states’ rights puts people at risk.
“They talk about restoring dignity. They are really talking about restoring a time before the federal government intervened and protected the rights of people,” Sharpton said.
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