Government Shutdown Stokes Tea Party Racism

Protesters waved Confederate flags in front of the White House and called for the president's impeachment.

Posted: 10/15/2013 12:51 PM EDT

There's been no shortage of name calling and finger pointing since the federal government shut down last week. But as Americans in poll after poll express their strong disapproval of the ongoing crisis, placing a majority of blame on Republican lawmakers, things are starting to get really ugly.

Armed with Confederate flags and signs that read Don't Tread on Me or calling for the impeachment of President Obama, Tea Party conservatives on Sunday held a demonstration at the World War II and Lincoln memorials to protest against the president and Democrats who, they say, are the real culprits in the shutdown showdown.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, whom even Republicans blame at least in part for the shutdown, and former governor of Alaska Sarah Palin appeared at the event, dubbed the Million Vet March on the Memorials.

Larry Klayman of Freedom Watch, a conservative political advocacy group, accused Obama of being a Muslim. He also compared himself to slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and called for “a second American nonviolent revolution” to oust the president from office.

"I call upon all of you to wage a second American nonviolent revolution, to use civil disobedience and to demand that this president leave town, get up, to put the Quran down, to get up off his knees, and to figuratively come out with his hands up," he told a crowd of hundreds.

Several of the protesters took their anger to the White House, where Michael Ashmore, a resident of Hooks, Texas, leaned against the fence to wave his Confederate flags.

Klayman, who also charged that Obama is "not the president of we the people, he's the president of his people," is planning another mass protest in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 19 "to demand Obama's resignation."

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(Photo: Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

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