As a coalition of liberal activists gather in Washington, NAACP President Ben Jealous tells CNN that the “One Nation” movement is not “the alternative to the Tea Party, we’re the antidote to the Tea Party.”
The “One Nation Working Together” is being held Saturday at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, just five weeks after Tea Party enthusiasts rallied in Washington and one month before mid-term elections.
Jealous told CNN that he welcomes Tea Party members, but takes issue with extremists in the movement who harbor racist views. Still, Jealous says he did invite a well-known conservative to speak at Saturday’s rally, but refused to reveal the name of the person, who is not going to address the gathering.
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Jealous said the alliance of groups has come together to offer a positive alternative to negative rhetoric, and to demand better education and more economic opportunities. The “One Nation” movement, he said, would rather see jobs for 99 percent of Americans instead of tax cuts for one-percent of Americans.
The rally began with an Interfaith service at 11 a.m. ET. As the service started, crowds were already beginning to thicken at the National Mall near the Lincoln Memorial, where the rally is to take place.
Organizers claim a wide range of supporters, some of whom are already associated with liberal causes — like union workers, environmentalists, gay activists and student leaders. But “One Nation” also claims backing from less obvious quarters — like senior citizens, veterans and faith leaders.