Tancredo attacks Sotomayor for belonging to La Raza, ‘a Latino KKK’

Ramping up his campaign to brand Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor a “racist,” former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo just appeared on CNN to attack the federal judge’s membership in La Raza, calling the group “a Latino KKK without the hoods or the nooses.”

Speaking over CNN host Rick Sanchez, Tancredo makes the jaw-dropping comparison between the National Council of La Raza, the country’s largest Latino civil rights organization, and the Ku Klux Klan, a virulent supremacist group for White Christians:

If you belong to an organization, called La Raza, in this case, which is — from my point of view anyway, is nothing more than a Latino, it’s a counterpart — it’s a Latino KKK without the hoods or the nooses. If you belong to something like that, you’ve got to explain it in a way that’s going to convince me and a lot of other people it’s got nothing to do with race, even though the logo is “All for the race, nothing for the rest.”

“She’s a member! She’s a member of La Raza!” Tancredo says as the CNN host tries to steer the conversation away from La Raza. “But she’s a member! She’s a member of La Raza!”

Watch for yourself:

TPM’s Josh Marshall puts it thus:

For those who aren’t familiar with it, La Raza is basically a Latino equivalent of B’nai Brith or the NAACP. Garden variety and uncontroversial unless you thinks it’s a public safety issue if more than a handful of Mexicans or Puerto Ricans get together in one place at the same time.

La Raza, by the way, counts executives from Johnson & Johnson, Comcast and Wal-Mart on its executive board and has sponsors including The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Pepsi and the U.S. Department of Education.

The KKK doesn’t list corporate sponsors but does manage to misspell “evangelism” on its home page and sells a “Cross Pin with the Letters KKK below” for $3 as part of its fundraising campaign.

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