Williams' ouster drives home NAACP's point


It looks like the NAACP was right about tea party members "who use racist language."

The civil rights group last week passed a resolution that condemned "extremist elements" within the tea party movement and called on the movement's leaders to repudiate the use of racist language in tea party signs and speeches. Right-wing media figures went nuts, claiming they couldn't find any racist tea party signs, and accused the NAACP of playing politics and engaging in "left-wing McCarthyism."

But for the folks who said they couldn't see any racially charged rhetoric coming from tea partiers (despite the numerous examples that already existed), Mark Williams emerged as uncomfortable evidence to the contrary. Williams wrote a July 15 blog post attacking the NAACP as racist for using "colored people" in its name. Williams' post portrayed blacks as lazy and NAACP leader Ben Jealous as supporting the repeal of civil-rights laws so that "massa" would again take care of blacks. Williams' post was so incendiary that he was forced to remove it, and the National Tea Party Federation has since announced that Williams and the Tea Party Express have been expelled from the federation.

Jealous, the NAACP's president and CEO, issued a statement responding to Williams' ouster. From Jealous' statement:

We call on the major leaders of the Tea Party such as Sarah Palin and Dick Armey who have not spoken out to do so.

It is encouraging to know that the Tea Party can act in unison through the Tea Party Federation and take decisive action. We call on the Tea Party to police its events and make it clear that there is no space for racist signs and hate speech.

We look forward to being able to have a civil political discourse with the Tea Party on the serious issues facing all Americans."

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