July 19th, 2010
12:49 PM ET
8 years ago

Tea Party Nation: Movement 'is not racist'

(CNN) – A national Tea Party group responsible for the conservative movement's first national convention is out with a statement Monday responding to the weeklong controversy about claims of racism within the movement's ranks.

"As most of you are aware, one of the leaders in the tea party movement posted a controversial blog many took to be racist,' the statement says in an apparent reference to a blog post by Mark Williams which Williams published but then later removed from his personal blog.

"The Tea Party Movement is not racist," the statement says. "Tea Party Nation and many other groups have repudiated racism and racists."

After pointing out that the Tea Party Nation website states the group's no tolerance policy when it comes to racism, the national Tea Party group also says it has "banned members who were racists and will ban any members who show themselves to be racist."

The statement ends on a welcoming, conciliatory note.

"Tea Party Nation welcomes all patriots, regardless of gender, ethnicity or national origin to join us and help save this great country."

The Tea Party Nation organized a national Tea Party convention held in February in Nashville, Tennessee. The group is also one of the organizers of a National Tea Party Unity convention planned for October in Las Vegas.

–CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

soundoff (108 Responses)
  1. Not Buying It

    Like other conservative fringe idelogies......the Tea Party welcomed racists until they were CAUGHT by their own racist's own comments...and are now backtracking publicly while most likely sending internal memo after internal memo telling its members to shut up...until After the election!

    After the media spotlight shines elsewhere.....look for the Tea Party fringe to re-welcome these racists again as the Tea Party spreads its message of hate, intolerance, and exclusiveness as far as they can before they get caught again!

    July 19, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  2. Moneypenny

    "Racism" is a political drivel word originated by Marxists. It's a tool used to defame racial realists, a/k/a "haters."

    You can't be a conservative without being a racial realist. If you use the term "racism" in its intended negative sense, you've conceded the field to the enemy. You're just another species of liberal.

    I wouldn't be surprised if Williams is a paid provocateur.

    July 19, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  3. katiec

    Well, they can say what they want but actions speak louder than words. They do not mention their bias, discrimination, unintelligent beliefs and statements, being blindly led, used and manipulated by the radical right and behind the scenes republicans.
    You know they would not get that much acknowledgement or attention if you, CNN, were not constantly headlining them.
    You are as irresponsible as they are.
    Between them and Palin, you would be lost as you do not report important news, only sensationalize and promote your bias.

    July 19, 2010 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  4. normajean

    This comment is here because apparently one small group of complainers took up all of the other space. As a family with recently unemployed in it , we want to say to the smart alecks who seem to think we are having fun. This IS NO JOKE .We did not cause the company we worked for to fail. We have worked hard for years, following a good education and a degree. Life was going great until the bottom fell out.This insurance, which we payed into for years, is small. It cannot pay the rent,utility bills and keep a family fed. THIS IS NOT A VACATION.We are scared.,Where do we turn. There are NO JOBS.The wealthy however,will get their tax breaks.,and the party that caused the failure,and a seven trillion in debt we inherited., rolls merrily along.!.

    July 19, 2010 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  5. gun toting Liberal

    "Tea Party Nation welcomes all patriots, regardless of gender, ethnicity or national origin to join us and help save this great country."...

    Save this great country from what teabaggers???? It can't be economic ruin since it was your hero bush who created the trillion $ deficit......
    .oh...I know.....you want to 'save this great country' from all those black and brown people who after 500 years of systematic discrimination/racism are finally empowered and taking their rightful place in the Halls of government...

    July 19, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  6. Willy Brown

    The only racist I see is the ones crying racist.

    July 19, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  7. Baby Boomer

    I think it would be easier to accept that this movement isn't racist if they had started protesting "Big Government", over spending and other issues they now call fiscally irresponsible when President Bush was in office. That fact that they grew so quickly, showed up in public with guns strapped to their thighs, with some of the most vitrialic signs we've ever seen in U.S. history about a sitting President (Who just happens to be the first African American one.) does make you wonder. If it looks like a duck, waddles like a duck and quakes like a duck, it's a DUCK...

    July 19, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  8. Alice

    "many took to be racist" are you an idiot. It was totally racist and so are all of the demostrations I;ve seen here in person and on the news and hasn't mattered whether cnn or fox. The signs your followers hold and things they shout are frightening. As the founders of this country made very clear, we are all equal and the followers of the tea party need to be disbanded

    July 19, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  9. Marge

    Oh yeah believe that one and they'll try to sell you the Brooklyn Bridge. Who made all those racist signs. Who put the words in all the tea bags mouths...gee who they gonna blame. Course the media which loves to build them up will try to pin it on some else. If they hadn't made such a stupid fuss over such a little bit of nothing racist crap they wouldn't even be causing all this trouble.

    July 19, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  10. Crazy Harry

    Tea Party not racist?

    Water not wet?

    July 19, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  11. drill baby drill

    The KKK claims they're not racist. If you don't want the title then stop the racist tactics, signs and blogs.

    July 19, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  12. Susan L.

    I don't really care if the "movement" is racist or not. It tends to look it because of a lot of the members whack-o signs against President Obama and the prevalence of birtherism in the tea party. My big issue with the Tea Party is how incredibly hypocritical and stupid they are. Medicare IS a government program, you morons. If mild, barely useful Health Insurance Reform == Socialism, then you bunch of whack-jobs need to just use a hose the next time your house catches on fire since the Fire Department is Socialism. The Tea Party is a gathering of morons who already live off the public dole (SS, Medicare, roads, clean water, fire/police) and the only other thing that is obvious is that they despise a Democratic President who happens to be African American. Maybe it isn't the racist aspect. Maybe it's really what poll after poll has shown. The Tea Party losers are nothing more than the most extremely conservative elements of the Republican Party who are now whining and crying as loudly as they can because they lost an election. Racist? Maybe. Whiney crybabies? Definitely.

    July 19, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  13. Tony in Maine

    Tea Party ...is not racist.


    July 19, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  14. Steve (the real one)

    As a whole, I do not believe the Tea party is racist. Are there a few in the party who are? I believe so, just like there are racists in the Dem party and the GOP. There are racists everywhere, including in the NAACP! What you don't do is blanket an entire group for the actions of a few!

    July 19, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  15. Max Lowe

    Maybe it just seems like they're racist because they attack everything the president does no matter how reasonable or how directly they are at odds with they're own interests. Or maybe it's how they seem to be desperately trying to keep minorities and poor from getting a fair shake..

    July 19, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  16. Gerard

    I don't think the tea party is racist either, they do however need to continue to do what they did this weekend, don't co-sign racists things like that guy that wrote that horrible satire? that was racist. I don't think the NAACP was calling the tea party racist either, i heard them say it was important for the tea party to "call out" the fringe elements of that party for racist behavior. that was spot on!

    July 19, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  17. leanderjim

    Yes it is............case closed...........

    July 19, 2010 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  18. Lynn

    It's clear the Tea Partiers are denying way too much. When they organized immediately after President Obama took his oath of office, it had nothing to do with the Constitution, or any other excuse they can drum up. They are just pissed off a multi-racial Democrat is in the White House, but they can't say that out loud. Oh my gosh, they might sound racist.

    July 19, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  19. Marty, FL

    Repudiated? Where were the repudiations when tea partiers were holding signs with witch doctors, white painted faces, racial epithets, John Birch Society, etc.? Mark Williams was sadly just the tip of an iceberg that has lasted much longer than a week.

    Credibility please.

    July 19, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  20. Joe from Ohio

    The only racist group I know is the NAACP.

    These racist have take down a fine group.!

    Now the racists control the NAACP!! Very Sad!

    July 19, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  21. John

    Exactly how do you ban someone? A) Who or what panel decides that someone is racist? B) What mechanism do you use to enforce your ban? This sounds so Nazi like to me. Don't they realize that all groups in a free society have people who are racists. They don't have enough time, money, or a legal basis to to do this. Only thing this tells me is there really is no one in charge of the Tea Party Movement. Their fifteen minutes will be up shortly.

    July 19, 2010 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  22. Jim in San Mateo

    It's not what you say that matters, it's what you do. And the things the tea party types do smack of racism. Also putting up one or two African-American "spokespeople" doesn't hide the fact that the organization is nearly 100% white.

    Reminds me of a Republican convention where they tried to make three African-Americans seem like 25.

    July 19, 2010 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  23. OJ

    Lmao!!! Right...after November the tea party movement will be over and dead.

    July 19, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  24. EDDIE

    Oh yeah and the KKK was not racist either.lol.You know the KKK could be the fore fathers of the tea party "movement". I say this in half gest.

    July 19, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  25. once upon a horse

    I agree that the Tea Party movement itself is NOT racist, even though for some reason they chose to start this movement when we had our first Black president instead of doing it when Bush was in office when all the stuff started so maybe that was just a coincidence. Yet they can NOT keep denying that they do have a right wing racist element in their party. And these folks have chosen not to be subtle about it either. We've seen the signs, heard the slurs and even some partiers polled said that the president's RACE had quite a bit to do with them joining the movement. Just like the GOP putting Mike Steele out in the front, putting the few blacks that have attended such events out in front to deny that racism exists doesn't solve the real problem. The NAACP just wants them to flush these folks out and have them go back under the rock they came from. It will be interesting to see at the next TP rally how many Obama signs with bones through his nose or morphed with apes we see then.

    July 19, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
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