July 19, 2010 in Nation/World

Tea Party Federation ousts commentator over ‘letter’

Peter Nicholas Tribune Washington bureau

WASHINGTON – With racism accusations roiling the conservative movement, the National Tea Party Federation said Sunday it had ejected conservative commentator Mark Williams over an incendiary blog post in which he wrote a fictitious letter to Abraham Lincoln.

The faux letter was written in the name of Benjamin Jealous, president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, in response to an NAACP resolution condemning “racist elements” within the tea party.

One passage of Williams’ “letter” read: “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!”

Williams is a spokesman for Tea Party Express, a California-based political action committee. Tea Party Express was part of the federation, but it was expelled after refusing to banish Williams.

On CBS’s “Face the Nation,” federation spokesman David Webb said, “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 which he, I guess, may have considered satire but which was clearly offensive.”

The federation is a loose association of tea party activists created in April to help the movement amplify its call for smaller government.

On his website, Williams took down the controversial blog post, replacing it with a note that said, “I have removed the parody letter you came here to read and urge you to fight those who seek to divide us by race, no matter the color of the racist. Our fight is against tyranny and for liberty and to see that this nation continues the lofty goal of equality for all set for us by our founders.”

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