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. GravitysAngel

    Mark Williams' blog entry is not humorous. It's immature. It's the written equivalent of sticking your tongue out at someone and blowing them a raspberry. I expect better of adults, especially those who "represent" others.

    July 16, 2010 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  2. dont worry

    I will say that in the blog even though he critiqued NAACP he sounds like he was saying blacks are just lazy. And that 's for real

    July 16, 2010 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  3. war of words between the NAACP and the Tea Party movement

    my hope is that both groups will bloody each other so bad that neither will say anything for a long time

    I have no use for either group and find each distasteful in how they approach their business

    they both have outlived what ever usefulness they may have once had

    July 16, 2010 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  4. Augsbee

    There is no job creation in Black communities. The NAACP should stop wasting time on this money making gimmick against the Tea Party and concentrate their money, time, efforts in asking President Obama to create jobs in Black communities. Black communities are hurting for jobs and I haven't seen President Obama go to one of their communities to open any kind of factory as a matter of fact I never see him hang out in any Black community.

    July 16, 2010 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  5. ZedLok

    so Williams goes ahead and makes the NAACP's point. great.

    July 16, 2010 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  6. Mike in Texas

    Why is the NAACP discriminatory against cultures that have witch doctors. And why is the virtue of monkeys being so regarded as loathsome?
    The Tea Party fringe must stop associating such cultures and wonderful animals with loathsome politicians. If demeans them and reflects a stereotype and prejudiced that is unwarranted.
    We need such hate against native cultures to end and that there be more respect for God's beautiful and innocent creatures.

    July 16, 2010 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  7. tpbco

    Racists (naacp) see racism in everything.

    That's just how they justify their existence and it is the "easy" answer to all their problems.

    July 16, 2010 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  8. Ferret out the BS

    The letter just points up the utter lack of understanding the movement and the members have of the depth of hatred of the atitudes, policies, and actions of race based politics and the people who claim to be fair but are not really. We only have to look at the last couple of days to actions in Utah identifying undocumented workers in the state, similar to how the Nazi's identified Jews, to see the depths of this underlying fear and loathing that is pointedly aimed at anyone that is non-white, non-Christian, non-Republican. What will come next the identifying markers on their clothes, the ovens? Many Americans have truly hit a low point in their treatment of fellow humans and citizens by falling victim to their xenophobia and ignorance. It will only get worse!!

    July 16, 2010 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  9. Debby

    This back and forth is sad. Its funny how people forget Pres. Bush was portayed practically every week as cartoon characters in NEWSPAPERS that sold all over the US. Bush was portrayed has a Hillbilly, Hitler, Cowboy, you name it but that was okay. The NAACP has become a sad organization and the only time you hear their chatter is when they are talking against white people as racists.

    July 16, 2010 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  10. F.O

    Very odd that tea-party movement doesn't have racist among its ranks ,,, that will just be too godly to be true. Much in the same way I expect NAACP to have racist among its ranks.
    The more these groups fend off accusations that they have such elements within their ranks, the more time they waste generating heat on issues that can only destroy them, and indeed the more they look hardcore racist. The media could have made up the racist comments, pictures and videos within the teaparty gatherings, but before my eyers, they may well have been racist, unless they were intended for satire. Can those in position of responsibility repudiate them, or shut up and lets move on to important issues?

    July 16, 2010 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  11. Jessica

    Wow! The Tea party just proved how racist they are! That is despicable! They just dug their own grave.

    July 16, 2010 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  12. doug

    If the tea party was racist then Democrats would have real proof of racism, not a proven lie about the N word being shouted at African American congressmen. There were multiple cameras and mics around them when the Dishonest Democrats claim this happened. There is a $100k reward for any proof and no one has collected?

    If the tea party was racist then why do Democrats have to go the rallies and hold up racist signs themselves to have something for their dishonest, hatefilled socialists in the media to distort?

    Since no single Democrat in all of America is able to debate the greatness that is the tea party's beliefs, views, and desires for all Americans, all they can do is call them racists.

    If you believe in god, think about having to answer to him one day about why you supported the worst evil on this planet, the Democrats.

    July 16, 2010 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  13. Paul

    "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."

    Who happen to be pretty much 99.99% white.

    July 16, 2010 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  14. Carmelle

    If this doesn't prove the NAACP's point, I don't know what does. Instead of making the NAACP look bad by coming out and denounce the racist corners/participants of the movement, they go ahead and right this? That's supposed to be funny??!

    wow. just wow.

    July 16, 2010 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  15. jane

    I'm not a fan of the tea party but i'm less of a fan of the naacp. The naacp doesn't make demands that prominent African Americans such as Tavis Smilley, Jerimiah Wright, Black Congressional Caucaus, etc cease associating with Louis Farrakkhan.

    July 16, 2010 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  16. jubei3

    I'm boring of this tea party thing...it's beginning to shape up like the foolish abortion rights battles of the 80's and 90's.

    Trying to get back to core beleifs that will never be upheld unless a 3rd party is voted in and steals from both right and left, is fruitless.

    Unless the tea party creates thier own party and begins vitriolic criticism of both right and left for thier failiures I cant see them as valid, just patsies, and weve had our share of those throughout history. sigh

    July 16, 2010 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  17. Jasz

    I believe both the NAACP and the Tea Party are nothing more than a tool of racism in disguise. The war of words between the NAACP and the Tea Party is comparable to Elmer fudd and Wile E. Coyote going at each other. Neither group is really reflects true diversity. Fact is most Tea Party members believe that Obama Favors black. Where do they get that from? Blacks are the minority of all minorities. Of all programs that Obama has pushed for, all will benefit latinas then whites FAR, far more than blacks. Thats way the Tea Party seems to be based on racism. You chose to focus on the smallest minority group and say they benefiting the most and thats CLEARLY not accurate. The NAACP is truely not advanciing anything and I cant believe that after all these years they still think that the term "Colored People" is socially acceptable. Word of Advise dont call someone in public "colored".

    July 16, 2010 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  18. XWngLady

    If you needed any proof that the Tea Party is racist, here it is. Basically, they are saying that colored people and the NAACP are welfare loving, unemployed, lazy, no-good people who just want a handout! Its the same racist rhetoric that gets spewed by Limbaugh and the rest of them and are the same untrue talking points that you hear tea party supporters saying. What does this mock letter have to do with opposing Obama's policies? Nothing. It is a clear example of their racist, neo-fascist attitudes.

    July 16, 2010 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  19. Johnny Five

    So. Stay out of the kitchen if you can't take the heat. NAACP is the one that turned the oven on.

    July 16, 2010 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  20. Sun52shine

    This article did not just offend the blacks this blog should be offensive to all people of color. This is a real example of how one group of people is willing to go to stop progress in this country. This is a new example of why the Supreme Court must be nuetrual in their individual ideaology and enforcement of the discrimination practice.
    High unemployment is the black and Hispanic communities is a direct result of the overturning of the preference law especially those effecting the work place.

    Discrimination is alive and well!

    July 16, 2010 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  21. Debbie

    Mr. Marcus, how much is Mr. Steele paying you to say this. Hey, I need money too. What you want me to say? I can tell a good lie as good as the other person – if not better! CALL ME

    July 16, 2010 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  22. Anonymous

    Williams may call his blog saterical, but the whole thing shows the mean spirit and, yes, racisim that abounds in the Tea Party Movement. These people tout smaller government, lower taxes and free market capitalism. They want smaller government, except when it comes to a woman's right to chose an abortion or for a gay/lesbian couple to marry. They want constitutional government unless, of course, they disagree with it, for instance the 14th and 17th Amendments. I have never understood how these folks expect the country to run on no taxes. As far as Free Market Capitalism, well we see where that has gotten us. The taxpayers of this country are far poorer and the corporations are far richer. Whether these folks claim to be Tea Partiers or just plain old Republicans, they need to go.

    July 16, 2010 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  23. rita

    The NAACP is hypersensitive about its own causes but could care less about other minorities. The national NAACP was officially opposed to Proposition 8 in California because of the ability of the majority to discriminate against a minority (including African Americans) by a show of hands, but fell way short of condoning gay marriage. It was a safe position for them to take considering that homophobia is rampant within their ranks and conservative African Americans all over the country see gay marriage as an attack on their religious beliefs. Leaders of the NAACP had to explain their position in detail to weary members and their position was clearly against gay marriage.

    July 16, 2010 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  24. Hypatia

    What a pair! Maybe Fox can make a reality show out of this farce.

    July 16, 2010 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  25. Blaum

    Sattire is a crazy thing isn't it?

    get over it, folks.... do we really need to report on third-teir bloggers now?

    you're reaching...and it's obvious...

    July 16, 2010 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
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