July 19th, 2010
07:06 AM ET
4 years ago

Tea Party leader says he's done talking about race controversy

Tea Party activist Mark Williams says he's done discussing the controversy stirred up by his attack on the NAACP.
Tea Party activist Mark Williams says he's done discussing the controversy stirred up by his attack on the NAACP.

(CNN) – Tea Party activist Mark Williams says he's done discussing the controversy stirred up by his attack on the NAACP, accusing a fellow movement leader of turning the debate into "a World Wrestling style personality conflict."

The National Tea Party Federation, an organization that seeks to represent the Tea Party political movement around the country, has expelled Williams and his Tea Party Express organization because of the inflammatory blog post Williams wrote last week, federation spokesman David Webb said Sunday. In response, Williams announced in another statement on his blog that, "I am refusing all media requests on this" and canceled a scheduled interview on CNN to discuss the controversy Sunday evening, citing a last-minute change in travel plans.

"That careless individual tea partier who assumed the mantel of 'leadership' did so long enough to turn a critical and serious movement and delicate peace with skeptical groups into a World Wrestling style personality conflict with me at the center," Williams said. "There are internal political dramas amongst the various self-anointed tea party 'leaders,' and some of the minor players on the fringes see the Tea Party Express and Mark Williams as tickets to a booking on "Fact [sic] the Nation.' "

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soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Mr. Tea

    That healthcare bill is a disaster. I don't want those people coming into my doctor's office with all their fatherless children and other undesirables. Understand, I don't care if they have healthcare, I just do not want them to exercise their healthcare in my places. The quality of care will go down just like their neighborhoods. My family should not have to be exposed to them in a medical setting. Some don't even speak English and those other ones speak improper English at best. I don't want them in my doctor's office.... PERIOD!

    July 19, 2010 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  2. Larry

    LOL.

    Blame someone else for it Williams?

    C'mon, surprise us. Do something we weren't expecting!

    July 19, 2010 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  3. kyra

    Now David Webb is the spokesman for the Tea Party when addressing the NAACP, such that Michael Steele is the spokesman/chairman for the RNC against Obama.I'm wondering if the two men really know why they were chosen for their positions. And if so, how do they feel about being a token in organizations who clearly do not favor any one out side of their circle of other "wealthy white men".

    July 19, 2010 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  4. Darla

    yeah, right! He's done until he sees some benefit to himself to bring it up again and beat it like a dead horse. I'll believe he's done when Williams is not on any news/cable program and his name is not even mentioned.

    July 19, 2010 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  5. slipthalo

    Williams and those like him are the problem with the Tea Party and should be expelled if the party thinks it can get legitimacy as a political group. I'm not one of the Tea Party and can't see that I ever would belong but the extreme activitist members cause the problems and then run away from the discussion – i.e. Williams.

    July 19, 2010 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  6. Debby

    We just took a step backwards after this incident. Its laughable the NAACP dictating about who should and shouldn't be in the Tea Party. The Tea Party doesn't dictate to them who to get rid of because some might not like white people. The NAACP has become a joke.

    July 19, 2010 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  7. jim

    i'd avoid the media, too, if I realized i had no clue as to what i was talking about.

    July 19, 2010 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  8. Moderate

    I'm glad you figured this out, but I had hoped you'd keep spewing your hate so the rest of normal reasonable and intellegent Americans would know just where the TEA Party stands.

    Palin's nutcases have shown their true colors sense the begining.

    This guy just yelled the lowdest!

    July 19, 2010 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  9. Lauren C.

    Goes to show the NAACP is correct: The tea party led by Mark Williams are a bunch of racists. I can't wait for their fifteen minutes of fame to be up.

    July 19, 2010 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  10. Darryl Schmitz

    We've seen in the past year at least a couple of issues where an attempt at satire exploded into a firestorm of controversy; one was that of cartoon depictions of Mohammed (which the animators at South Park volleyed with at their own peril) another was the fictional letter to President Lincoln. Perhaps a silver lining of these controversies is that they have resulted in more discussion – albeit very heated – about topics that have simmered on the backburner for many years and the discussion of which needs to be taken to a different, more intense level to reach a better degree of understanding. Hopefully the result isn't the opposite, where more bitterness and division is the result.

    July 19, 2010 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  11. boocat

    For this idiot to even compare the "debate" to "World Wrestling" just proves to me that the Tea Partiers are a bunch of headcases. That's about the mentality, in my view, of the Tea Partiers. Wrestling fans who have I.Q.'s comparable to a slug.

    July 19, 2010 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  12. DOG1

    While I strongly agree with the concept that the TeaParty was supposed to be about I am frightened by what it's become. I also believe the both polictical parties have been contaminated by partisan politics, special interests and downright greed. We need to esssentially re-boot this country. The Tea Party is made up of citizens looking for new and better leadership but they, unfortunately are extremely easy to influence with sound bites and lies. The movement has been quietly taken over by the extreme right wing element of this country, far more dangerous than any extreme left wing movement. Don't get me wrong, the left wing extremeists are a negative influence but less likely to actually endanger people through hatred and violence. The Republican party has been influencing this movement since it's inception, knowing herdable people were a resource for them but I believe they are starting to realize what a monster they've created. IT'S TIME FOR THE TEA PARTY LEADERSHIP TO RE-ASSESS WHAT THEY HAVE BECOME AND TRULY DETACH ITSELF FROM EITHER PARTY AND ESPECIALLY FROM ANY FORM OF EXTREMISM OR FACE THE POSSIBILITY THEY WILL BE THE CAUSE OF THE DOWNFALL OF THIS NATION.

    July 19, 2010 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  13. Tim from Tampa

    TeaParty says: to the world..."Careless individual tea partier..blah, blah.. ".. to Williams in private "but stay in touch... and thanks for your good work"

    July 19, 2010 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  14. Renee

    It's a shame Mr. Williams doesn't even know that to his bones he is racist.

    July 19, 2010 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  15. Pat in IL

    If he really thinks that his letter was "satire" and that made it okay, then he's just another ignorant bully. I don't understand why he doesn't man-up and defend his stand and reason for writing such a stupid letter.

    July 19, 2010 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  16. Ed FL

    Mark Williams isthe fools fool. Youtried racism and failed what is next. You and Pitiful Palinare 2 peas in a pod. Just preach division and now you see where it got you.

    July 19, 2010 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  17. Stephen

    That is what the NAACP was asking of theTea Party...reject the racist elements and I would say no matter how much I loathe the Tea Partiers, I applaud their decision to deal with racist Williams

    July 19, 2010 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  18. ricky Atlanta

    For the NEWS not to call it like it IS, is sad!... you put images of race hating signs from these rallies all over the news and now you say there is no PROOF!...SMH

    July 19, 2010 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  19. LB-Miami

    "Stupid is as stupid does"!!!

    July 19, 2010 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  20. sensible Cape Coral FL

    While I agree that the Tea Party may have some legitimate issues re: government, I object very strenuously to the expression of those ideas. Any idea carried to an extreme becomes an absurdity.

    July 19, 2010 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  21. American Patriot - a "real" tea partier

    But you started this controversy. It's your fault. You can't stop now.

    July 19, 2010 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  22. Seattle Sue

    Another Tea Party coward that won't be interviewed by any media that might ask him a question that he doesn't like. What a coward!

    July 19, 2010 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  23. Tim

    Almost enjoyable to watch this "movement" implode.

    July 19, 2010 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  24. Larry from Texas

    I believe many of us would like a grass-roots organization representing moderate Americans – those associated with neither the right or left. The Tea Party crowd is the same old angry mod of right-wing, white people. Libertarians are folks who know the problems but never offer realistic solutions. Democrats don't appear capable of organizing flatulence at a baked-bean festival, Republicans are corporate prostitutes trying to undermine any possible success and ensure their re-election – so where do we go to find leaders?

    Conversations with friends make me believe many of our problems can be solved with common-sense solutions acceptable to most moderates. Unfortunately, moderates aren't easily fired-up by inflammatory speeches about hot-button issues – making them poor targets for politicians looking for cheap votes. I deeply wish somebody would come up with a plan to round-up moderates into a voting block.

    July 19, 2010 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  25. WVLADY62

    Hooray Mr. Williams! You told the truth and as usual, the liberals are attacking you! You and everyone else in this country is entitled to and GUARANTEED "Freedom of Speech." If everyone would believe in the Constitution, there would be no problem, but I'll bet 75% of Americans have NEVER read it! If you're a bleeding-heart, liberal Democrat, you have this privilege but God forbid if you're a Republican!!! The Democrats are positive they own the rights to "Freedom of Speech," but we are ALL guaranteed "unabridged,""Freedom of Speech." Sooooo, all of you bleeding-heart liberals, GET OVER YOURSELVES!!!!

    July 19, 2010 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
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