Tea Party Boots Tea Party Express Over Racist Letter

Racism dispute divides tea party movement
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Suggested by Fondue
Posted Jul 19, 2010 5:40 AM CDT
Tea Party Boots Tea Party Express Over Racist Letter
In this March 30, 2010 file photo, Tea Party Express leader and conservative talk radio host Mark Williams addresses the crowd during a stop at the Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City.   (AP Photo/The Salt Lake Tribune, Trent Nelson)

The recent dispute between the NAACP and the Tea Party has opened a major rift within the Tea Party movement: This weekend the National Tea Party Federation booted the Tea Party Express from its ranks after group spokesman Mark Williams posted a satirical letter to Abraham Lincoln from "colored people" online. The national group called the blog post "clearly offensive."

In his letter, Williams wrote, "We Coloreds 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 Colored People and we demand that it stop!" The Tea Party Federation responded by demanding the Tea Party Express remove Williams as its spokesman; when the member group refused, it was expelled, MSNBC reports. The NAACP's pleased president told CNN, "Good riddance, Mark Williams." (More NAACP stories.)

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