This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," July 15, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: The resolution passed by the NAACP that condemned elements of the Tea Party movement as racist is drawing fire. It seems somewhat hypocritical given the organization's apparent lack of concern over the voter intimidation charges leveled at the New Black Panther Party.
But it now appears that the NAACP may have played an instrumental role in the dismissal of that case. Now The Washington Times reports that the director of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund's Political Participation Arm met with the Justice Department lawyers to discuss the case.
Now the director is Kristen Clarke now denies that any meeting took place, but the Legal Defense Fund is merely splitting hairs as it tries to distance itself from the allegations.
In a letter to The Washington Times it wrote, quote, "The article attempts to link the NAACP to the Justice Department's handling of the New Black Panther Party matter.... The NAACP and the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund are entirely separate organizations and have been so since 1957."
So clearly, they're not denying a meeting took place.
Joining me with reaction, nationally syndicated radio talk show host — the one and only — Stephen A. Smith, and the national spokesman for the Congress of on Racial Equality, Niger Innis is back with us.
You didn't start — you're taking a lot of heat because you come on the program —
STEPHEN A. SMITH, SYNDICATED RADIO HOST: Well, that's old news. I'm used to it by now. I'm used to it by now.
HANNITY: You can handle it.
SMITH: You, you bring trouble. But that's just the way it goes. It's all right.
HANNITY: All right. So now here's this case. The NAACP, they have a resolution explicitly racist behavior. Do you have any specific examples? Because I think the worst thing you can call somebody — one of the worst things is a racist.
SMITH: Well —
HANNITY: Is there any example? Has any Tea Party member said anything racist, held any racist signs? Because we can't find it.
SMITH: They were saying that folks held racist signs.
HANNITY: When? Where?
SMITH: You know, in various cities. I don't know. I mean — I have not seen the examples. I have not seen the examples.
HANNITY: There are none.
SMITH: I have not seen the examples. When I first heard the news my initial reaction was very, very simple: You can't paint everybody with a broad brush. I'm quite sure there are individuals out there who happen to be racist that might try to piggyback off of the Tea Party movement — associate themselves with them.
SMITH: And ultimately stain it. But you cannot stain an entire party.
HANNITY: The NAACP, by trying to get this voter intimidation case thrown out — now we've heard from the New Black Panther Party guy that was outside that polling place. You know, kill crackers, kill babies, all this stuff.
SMITH: I can't excuse him. That's inexcusable.
HANNITY: All right. Wait a minute. So the NAACP is trying to get this guy off the hook. Are they protecting a racist?
SMITH: Well, again if you — you know, if they're doing that —
HANNITY: Straight up: Are they?
SMITH: I'm always straight up. I told you about that with me. I'm always straight up. If they're trying to do that, indeed.
Now from what I'm — from my understanding the NAACP has denied they're trying to take —
HANNITY: They're splitting hairs.
HANNITY: Because they're saying the Legal Defense Fund.
SMITH: Well, the Legal Defense Fund — the Legal Defense department is separate from the NAACP organization.
SMITH: It's been that way since 1957. The point that I'm trying to make. You know how this goes. You know it better than me. Don't act like you don't know. All I'm trying to say to you is that if indeed they're trying to get these guys off then it's inexcusable because definitely that's a criminal act.
HANNITY: Nigel, it's obvious: There's a double standard here. Your reaction.
NIGER INNIS, CONGRESS FOR RACIAL EQUALITY: Well, there are a couple of double standards at play.
Let me jump back to the sign question and the Tea Party movement. First of all, I've had the honor and privilege of speaking to over a dozen Tea Parties across this country and I am loved. The only thing I fear is that Stephen A. Smith may be invited and become a bigger superstar than I am at these Tea Parties because he would be if he went.
INNIS: But let me say this about the signs. You know I have to chide our friend Bill O'Reilly and Geraldo Rivera because I saw their show. And they had a sign up comparing Obama to Stalin and Hitler.
So what? That is not racist.
Do you know the kinds of things that have said about Abraham Lincoln that he was a monkey? The kinds of things that have been said about presidents in the past, that their wives — that their first ladies were whores and that they were bastards?
There was a movie a few years ago out touting the assassination of George W. Bush. That happens when you're president. You get chided.
HANNITY: All right. But Niger, I'm not splitting it. There has been no evidence —
INNIS: That's a double standard.
HANNITY: Of any racial signs.
INNIS: There is no evidence of racism in the Tea Party movement. More than that, our friend Andrew Breitbart has said I will give $100,000 to those who can prove that the N-word was used against congressmen.
HANNITY: All right. Wait. There's another side to all of this.
HANNITY: Now the first lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, spoke the day before they go forward with this resolution, you have a problem with that?
SMITH: What do you mean, the day before —
HANNITY: The NAACP, she spoke there the day before. My attitude is, if you don't got the — if you don't have the proof, you don't make the allegation. And if you make an allegation at the same time when your Legal Defense Fund is defending that racist New Black Panther Party then you are literally standing with hypocrisy.
Why would the first lady of the United States show up there?
SMITH: Well, see, here's my problem with what you're seeing because I've seen signs on television. Now if you're saying they haven't been at these Tea Parties —
HANNITY: You've seen what signs?
SMITH: No, no, I'm saying that when they showed signs of the — you know, of Barack Obama looking like the Joker, signs comparing him to Hitler —
HANNITY: Is that racist?
SMITH: No, no, again, I disagree with Niger about that. I mean whatever happened to George W. Bush, whatever happened to Barack Obama, whatever happened to Abraham Lincoln —
HANNITY: The NAACP, when Bush was compared to Hitler — often — did they come to George Bush's defense?
SMITH: Not that I recall.
SMITH: Not that I recall. And guess what, that would be hypocritical. You'd be absolutely right.
INNIS: Let's make a distinction, Stephen, between what is offensive and you may not like it, I may not like it, and racist. You and I have ancestors, forefathers that have been the victims of real concrete, palpable racism.
We don't need to compare a picture of Obama being some movie character or being compared to — being called a Nazi or a socialist and somehow that's racism. That's what happens when you are president of the United States. You are in the Major League, fast balls get thrown at you.
SMITH: Niger, I've got tremendous respect for you. You know that. But I disagree with you here from this standpoint: Let's understand that — the difference between racism and something like bigotry.
Racism, what you're talking when you're talking about racism is an innate feeling of superiority based on one's ethnicity. OK?
INNIS: I agree.
SMITH: When you're talking about bigotry that might be something else to all the prejudices that come along with that program.
The fact is, is that when you look at some of the things that have been done to Obama it clearly looks like bigotry.
HANNITY: Well, hang on a second. Hang on a second.
HANNITY: What was said by any Tea Party member? What sign was held up? What was said? There's $100,000 out there if anyone produces a tape of racial epithets being hurled at the congressmen.
SMITH: And what I'm saying to you, Sean, is when I look on the TV screen and I've seen these pictures like I've just described, what you're saying to me is that wasn't at the Tea Party.
HANNITY: No, no, no.
SMITH: What I'm saying to you that's not the way it's been disseminated.
SMITH: I've talked the picture of the Joker, the comparisons to Hitler, and stuff like that.
HANNITY: I disagree with that, by the way.
SMITH: I understand that.
SMITH: If those were not at the Tea Party gathering...
HANNITY: Last word, Niger.
INNIS: If they were at the Tea Party, so what? Let us man up. He is not the first affirmative action president. He is the president of the United States. He's got to man up. That goes with the territory.
One last thing: This is all about getting out the vote. They can't point to the economy. They can't point to what Obama is doing for the black community.
HANNITY: Good point.
INNIS: The black community is being devastated by the economy.
SMITH: I would agree with that.
INNIS: So what do they do? They play the race card!
SMITH: That I agree with.
HANNITY: On that happy note, we all agree. All right.
SMITH: The black community is definitely being devastated economically; no question.
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