July 19th, 2010
08:25 AM ET
4 years ago

Angle, Nevada Dems spar over Williams-NAACP controversy

Nevada senate candidate Sharron Angle is sparring with the Nevada Democratic Party over comments made by a former Tea Party leader.
Nevada senate candidate Sharron Angle is sparring with the Nevada Democratic Party over comments made by a former Tea Party leader.

(CNN) - One day after the National Tea Party Federation expelled the Tea Party Express and its spokesman Mark Williams, the racial controversy that has ensnared the conservative grassroots movement is becoming an issue in Nevada's Senate battle.

The Federation, a three month old organization that seeks to represent the Tea Party political movement around the country, ousted Williams Sunday because of an inflammatory blog post he wrote last week about the NAACP. Williams wrote the incendiary blog post in response to an NAACP resolution that called on Tea Party leaders to crack down on racist elements in the movement.

Eager to seize on the controversy, the Nevada State Democratic Party released an email Sunday evening reminding voters that Republican Senate nominee Sharron Angle stood next to Williams on stage at an event where she accepted his group's endorsement.

"Mark Williams' offensive rhetoric is deplorable, and the refusal by the Tea Party Express to denounce his radical viewpoints is shocking," said Nevada State Democratic Party communications director Phoebe Sweet, in a release. "If Sharron Angle does not immediately leave the bunker to denounce the man who stood by her as the Express endorsed her, it is tantamount to backing his disgusting writings. Like the Tea Party Express, Angle has shown a reluctance to admit when she's gone too far, but to continue to associate with a group that supports its spokesman's over-the-top, racist statements is unacceptable and extreme."

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Filed under: 2010 • Mark Williams • NAACP • Nevada • Sharron Angle • Tea Party Express • Tea Party movement
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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July 18th, 2010
05:14 PM ET
July 18th, 2010
12:12 PM ET
4 years ago

Tea Party Federation kicks out Williams over blog post

The National Tea Party Federation, an organization that represents the Tea Party political movement around the country, has expelled conservative commentator Mark Williams and his Tea Party Express.
The National Tea Party Federation, an organization that represents the Tea Party political movement around the country, has expelled conservative commentator Mark Williams and his Tea Party Express.

(CNN) - The National Tea Party Federation, an organization that represents the Tea Party political movement around the country, has expelled conservative commentator Mark Williams and his Tea Party Express because of an inflammatory blog post he wrote, federation spokesman David Webb said Sunday.

Appearing on the CBS program "Face the Nation," Webb said that Williams and the Tea Party Express - which has held a series of events across the country to generate support for the movement - no longer were part of the National Tea Party Federation.

"We, in the last 24 hours, have expelled Tea Party Express and Mark Williams from the National Tea Party Federation because of the letter that he wrote," Webb said of the blog post by Williams that satirized a fictional letter from what he called "Colored People" to President Abraham Lincoln.

Related: Satirical letter meant to spark discussion, Williams says

Webb called the blog post "clearly offensive."

Full story

July 16th, 2010
05:32 PM ET
4 years ago

Update: Tea Party leader removes controversial blog post

Mark Williams, a spokesman for the Tea Party Express has removed a controversial mock letter from his blog.
Mark Williams, a spokesman for the Tea Party Express has removed a controversial mock letter from his blog.

(CNN) – In a "personal note" posted on his blog Friday afternoon, a well-known face of the national Tea Party movement announced that he has removed a controversial post which mocked the NAACP's criticism of the conservative grassroots movement.

Earlier this week and apparently in reaction to an NAACP resolution regarding racist behavior exhibited by some attendees at Tea Party movement events, Tea Party Express spokesman Mark Williams published a satirical, mock letter from NAACP president Benjamin Jealous to the late President Abraham Lincoln.

"Dear Mr. Lincoln," an earlier version of the blog post read, "We [National Association for the Advancement of] Colored People have taken a vote and decided that we don't cotton to that whole emancipation thing. Freedom means having to work for real, think for ourselves, and take consequences along with the rewards. That is just far too much to ask of us [National Association for the Advancement of] Colored People and we demand that it stop!"

In the "personal note" on his blog posted Friday afternoon, Williams explained his decision to remove the controversial mock letter.
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July 16th, 2010
10:22 AM ET
4 years ago

Tea Partier's posting slammed as 'feeble,' 'offensive'



Update 4:41 p.m.: CNN has learned that Williams has removed the version of his blog post that was quoted in this story and replaced it with a "personal note"
to readers.

(CNN) – The war of words between the NAACP and the Tea Party movement has reached a new level, with the spokesman for a national Tea Party organization penning a controversial blog post and a representative of the NAACP calling the post "a feeble attempt at satire" and offensive.

In an effort to mock to the NAACP's recent criticism of the Tea Party movement, Mark Williams, a conservative radio talk show host and spokesman for the Tea Party Express, published a post on his blog that is a mock letter from NAACP president Benjamin Jealous to former President Lincoln.

"Dear Mr. Lincoln," the blog post reads, "We [National Association for the Advancement of] Colored People have taken a vote and decided that we don't cotton to that whole emancipation thing. Freedom means having to work for real, think for ourselves, and take consequences along with the rewards. That is just far too much to ask of us [National Association for the Advancement of] Colored People and we demand that it stop!"

The mock letter continues by taking on several core beliefs and positions of the Tea Party movement including the conservative movement's desire to end bailouts of big business, to reduce the size and scope of government, to reduce government spending and to cut taxes.
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July 14th, 2010
06:48 PM ET
July 14th, 2010
06:37 PM ET
4 years ago

Tea Party Patriots: Liberals pushing 'panic button'


(CNN) – In response to the NAACP's call to denounce racism within the Tea Party movement, two co-founders of a national Tea Party group are accusing the NAACP, other liberal interest groups and the White House of "hitting the panic button" in advance of this year's midterm elections.

"A clear pattern of behavior has emerged over the last 16 months," Tea Party activists Mark Meckler and Jenny Beth Martin write in an op-ed published Wednesday on the Politico website. "According to liberals, if you disagree with their thinking, and if you disagree with the Obama administration, you are not only wrong, you are a 'racist.'"

Related: We don't tolerate racist behavior, Martin said

Before pointing to charges of racism leveled against former President Bill Clinton during his wife's pitched primary battle against then-Sen. Barack Obama, Meckler and Martin state "The left has a long history of using the race card. It has been pulled on people across the political spectrum."

"This card is generally played when all else has failed," they write. "It was inevitable that it would eventually be used aggressively against the tea party movement."

Meckler and Martin point out that national Democrats have referred to their increasingly influential movement as a bunch of disgruntled voters, nothing more than "'astroturf,'" "a flash in the pan that would disappear overnight," and "an 'angry mob.'"

But, the two write, the real motivation for the recent attacks on the Tea Party movement is political survival during an election year.

"The Obama White House and liberal interest groups are hitting the panic button as they read weekly polls showing diminishing support for their radical big government issue agenda, and a weariness for the politics of division."
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Filed under: NAACP • Popular Posts • Tea Party movement
July 14th, 2010
05:23 PM ET
4 years ago

Michael Steele to NAACP: 'Enough with the name-calling'

'Recent statements claiming the Tea Party movement is racist are not only destructive, they are not true,' RNC Chairman Michael Steele said in a statement.
'Recent statements claiming the Tea Party movement is racist are not only destructive, they are not true,' RNC Chairman Michael Steele said in a statement.

Washington (CNN) - The organizational leader of the Republican Party is outright dismissing claims from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People that the Tea Party movement is rife with racism.

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele also said, in a statement, "Enough with the name-calling."

Steele is responding to the NAACP's resolution, passed on Tuesday, that condemns the Tea Party movement for what the NAACP believes is rampant racism from many activists. As head of the RNC, Steele - the organization's first African-American chairman – is essentially pitting the Republican Party against the nation's oldest civil rights group on this specific issue.

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Filed under: Michael Steele • NAACP • RNC
July 14th, 2010
07:19 AM ET
4 years ago

Sarah Palin responds to allegations of Tea Party racism

(CNN) - Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin published the following message on her Facebook page on Tuesday night:

The Charge of Racism: It’s Time to Bury the Divisive Politics of the Past

I am saddened by the NAACP’s claim that patriotic Americans who stand up for the United States of America’s Constitutional rights are somehow “racists.” The charge that Tea Party Americans judge people by the color of their skin is false, appalling, and is a regressive and diversionary tactic to change the subject at hand.

President Reagan called America’s past racism “a legacy of evil” against which we have seen the long struggle of minority citizens for equal rights. He condemned any sort of racism, as all good and decent people do today. He also called it a “point of pride for all Americans” that as a nation, we have successfully struggled to overcome this evil. Reagan rightly declared that “there is no room for racism, anti-Semitism, or other forms of ethnic and racial hatred in this country,” and he warned that we must never go back to the racism of our past.

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Filed under: NAACP • Popular Posts • Sarah Palin • Tea Party movement
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