Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Michael Steele condemned on Wednesday suggestions that the conservative “Tea Party” movement is racist. 

Steele, the first African-American chairman of the RNC, chastised allegations of racism against the Tea Party as the NAACP took up a resolution on Wednesday labeling Tea Partiers as tolerant of racist elements in its midst. 

“Recent statements claiming the Tea Party movement is racist are not only destructive, they are not true. Tea Party activists are your mom or dad, your local grocer, banker, hairdresser or doctor,” Steele said. 

Instead, the RNC chairman, who’s taken efforts to cozy up to the movement, praised them.

“They are a diverse group of passionate Americans who want to ensure that our nation returns to founding principles that honor the Constitution, limit government’s role in our lives, and support policies that empower free markets and free enterprise,” Steele said. “Enough with the name-calling.”