July 16th, 2010
10:22 AM ET
11 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.

"The racist tea parties also demand that the government 'stop the out of control spending,' " the mock letter says. "Again, they directly target [National Association for the Advancement of] Colored People. That means we [National Association for the Advancement of] Colored People would have to compete for jobs like everybody else and that is just not right.

"Perhaps the most racist point of all in the tea parties is their demand that government 'stop raising our taxes' That is outrageous! Totally racist! The tea party expects [National Association for the Advancement of] Colored People to be productive members of society, especially when our mission is to convince them that progress is impossible for them based on the color of their skin?"

The mock letter ends by telling Lincoln he was "the greatest racist ever. We had a great gig. … Please repeal the 13th and 14th Amendments and let us get back to where we say that belong."

Appearing on CNN's "American Morning" on Friday, a representative of the NAACP slammed Williams' blog post.

"It's a feeble attempt at satire and parody that ends up being offensive in the final analysis," Hillary Shelton, the Washington director of the NAACP, said.

Shelton added that Williams' blog post is "yet another distraction from the real issues on the table - the real issues on the table are whether or not racist elements are inside the Tea Party. Our experience, photographs, speeches, and signs and even instances [of racist behavior] tell us that there very well are. And all we are asking, yet again, . . . is that they look from within and repudiate those elements."

Lloyd Marcus, a spokesman for the Tea Party Express who is African-American, defended Williams.

"I know Mark Williams personally. He is not a racist and he is just being satirical to make a point," Marcus said Friday on "American Morning."

Saying he had attended more than 200 Tea Party gatherings across the country, Marcus also insisted that the Tea Party movement is not racist.

"They do not oppose [President Barack] Obama's skin color. They oppose his policies."

The latest dust-up between the conservative grass-roots movement and the long-standing civil rights organization comes after days of back-and-forth between the two sides which began with the NAACP passing a resolution asking the Tea Party movement to condemn racist behavior within its ranks. Several leaders of national Tea Party groups, including Williams, responded by denying the NAACP's accusation.

"The tea party is a truly post-racial movement. Based strictly around the three simple principles of fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government and free market capitalism, the movement is uninterested and uninvolved in the politics of race," the co-founders of Tea Party Patriots wrote in an editorial published earlier this week.

And Michael Steele, the first African-American chairman of the Republican National Committee, said the NAACP should stop "the name-calling."

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

Steele added, "Tea Party activists are your mom or dad, your local grocer, banker, hairdresser or doctor. 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."

–CNN Political Producer Shannon Travis contributed to this report.

soundoff (217 Responses)
  1. Bertina

    If Tea party people vote for Republicans, then we know all that small government talk is just code for lets let lobbyists of big business take over which means lets bring back Bush junior's policies.

    July 16, 2010 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  2. gkingii

    If racial harmony is ever to gain a real foothold, groups like the NAACP must find a way to do more than complain about various aspects (usually minor) of contemporary life. The occasional compliment would go a long way toward easing tension, instead of always finding some figurative boogey-man in every activity.

    July 16, 2010 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  3. repubs are morons

    WOW, Tea Partiers have really reached a low......what a bunch of idiots.

    July 16, 2010 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  4. GI Joe

    Oh Lord - how much lower can the unamerican tea-partiers go.

    July 16, 2010 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  5. j

    I think it just proves the point that the Tea Party is full of bigots and racists – that's the kind of people it attracts. So long as it's "their" rights that aren't being infringed upon and the white dominance isn't threatened, they're just fine. The heck with anybody else.

    July 16, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  6. Rob Johnson

    Interesting contrast between this story and the one where Mitch McConnell is saying the GOP got their groove back, while the Democrats have cracks in their foundation.

    The GOP may do well in November, in fact they probably will gain seats in both the House and Senate. But wingnuts like the guy who wrote this unfunny, offensive, sophomoric diatribe are the cracks in the foundation of the Republican Party, and it will come back to haunt them eventually.

    July 16, 2010 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  7. Franksmith

    Tea Party racist? Proof provided again!

    July 16, 2010 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  8. Jason Chicago

    so...the tea party's response to charges of racism is to write a racist blog post. Hint – when you find yourself in a hole, stop digging!

    July 16, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  9. Dont forget to thank a Globalist if you dont have a job.

    You have to love free speech though,where else could you tell lies to millions of people 24 and 7,on Am radio,and get away with it.hahaha

    July 16, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  10. Sarah Palin

    So when the big 'earthquake' hits Washington DC or another area where there are large number of blacks will we see our boy Anderson Cooper coming to the rescue of homless black children in the streets again like Katrina and Haiti? You guys in the media know damn well there is a plan to EXTERMINATE large numbers of blacks in this country. Haiti and 'hurricane' Katrina was mass murder of innocent people and you know it. I'm tired of seeing the fake fictious reporting by you guys along with Mr Cooper pretending that these are 'natural' disasters. Just like Nazi Germany when they exterminated human beings the same plan is being carried out again. Katrina = Mass exterminations of blacks. Haiti = Mass exterminations of blacks. The same plan is about to go down with this so called earthquake in Maryland DC area where large population of blacks live. When it happens please spear us the fake acting from Anderson cooper and his crocodile tears.

    July 16, 2010 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  11. obama victim

    why is the Tea Party even responding?? the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is meaningless and irrelevant.....nobody cares what they think. seen Obama's ratings lately??

    July 16, 2010 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  12. bdm

    well, there you have it. if there was ever any question about the integrity of the tea party and the conservatives that make it up, the question was answered. pitiful.

    July 16, 2010 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  13. Sarah

    The growth of the tea party is a backlash from not electing an old rich white guy to be President. They are racists. I saw shirts for sale at the Rand Paul/GOP booth in Lexington, Kentucky that declared "Yup, I'm a Racist." The Tea Party is made up of the worst Americans.

    July 16, 2010 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  14. Jim

    No, the Tea Party isn't racist. Not at all. (wink, wink)

    July 16, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  15. Tom K

    Not racist? I can't imagine anything MORE racist. And, like so much of the drivel put out by Tea Baggers, this "letter" shows their illiteracy. I refuse to accept the Constitutional interpretations of the uneducated dredges of society.

    July 16, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  16. FM

    What really matters is not what side has been accused for. It is how that side reacts to the accusations. Either the reaction solves the existing problem or it exacerbates it. I am afraid the latter proves so at the time being!

    July 16, 2010 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  17. BD70

    Wow! Just wow!.....

    July 16, 2010 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  18. Bill Drucker

    Dear NAACP: Just what have you done for the advancement of colored people during the last 50 years except lead them into hatred of selected white people? Seems to me 'advancement of colored people' would mean finding jobs for them and improving morality among the young males so they stop fathering illegitimate children. You have supported keeping an entire race in the US under control through bondage to the federal government when there is so much good they could do if left to make their own individual way in this country. I have noticed so many colored folks on TV who have had to go around the NAACP to make progress in this world, because they realize they have the personal power to help themselves and not depend on taking from others to get to the top of their goals.

    July 16, 2010 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  19. Robert

    Instead of fighting with the NAACP, the Tea Party needs to start addressing the inner racism that is permeating its TEA (Terrorist European American) Party.

    July 16, 2010 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  20. Mr. Moderate

    It's funny how they claim to be a post racial organization, but in the name of "satire" state something like this...

    "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 implication being that African American are lazy, unaccountable, mindless drones. Nice stereotyping there and anyone who knows anything about slavery knows this was not the case.

    Combine that with the survey that showed 52% of people who identified with the Tea Party say the president's policies favored Blacks (huh?), and they have a lot to prove to me that there are at best not racial undertones to their "movement".

    July 16, 2010 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  21. gt

    naacp hasent had anybody stand up to them for years ....and now they cant handel it..... his should be fun to watch...because there is now a group that will call there bluff...

    July 16, 2010 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  22. ThinkAgain

    How many of the Wall Street firms and banks that were bailed out by the American people are run by African-Americans?

    Any African-Americans in charge of the automakers we bailed out?

    Is the CEO or any of the board members or controlling officers of BP African-American?

    How about the head of Massey Energy of West Virginia?

    Seems to me that white people don't know jack about running businesses and are a huge financial drain on our country.

    I think they owe our country a huge apology.

    July 16, 2010 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  23. NAACP has spoken falsely

    The NAACP has become a joke. To them, everyone is a racist. The truth is that they have blinders on and have refused to evoke with the times like everyone else has. We are no longer in the sixties. Things are much better (not perfect, but much, much better).

    Until the NAACP can weed out the racism within their ranks, they should probably stop baselessly condemning others.

    July 16, 2010 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  24. David in Houston

    While I do not believe all "tea-partiers" are racist, there are most certainly some racist elements involved.

    The sad part is that it would be easy for them to alleviate this stigma by simply addressing the issue using rational thought and dialog rather than just making attempts at satirical nonsense.

    Unfortunately, I believe their continued reluctance to address and repudiate the obvious speaks volumes.

    July 16, 2010 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  25. Krystie

    Yes, in it's racist, hate and fear mongering groove. Oh wait, I forgot, the lying and bigoted groove as well.....

    July 16, 2010 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
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