After Ousting Top Figure, are Tea Parties Routing Racism?

Groups condemn Mark Williams' "racially-tinged rhetoric"

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This weekend, the National Tea Party Federation expelled activist Mark Williams from their ranks after his incendiary attack on the NAACP. Now, the leaders of Tea Party Nation are following suit. Is the anti-tax group taking the NAACP's advice and condemning what they called the "racist element and activities" within the party?

There's evidence this morning that even more tea partiers are seeking to distance themselves from the Tea Party Express' Mark Williams and his racially-tinged rhetoric. In an email sent to its members this morning, the Tea Party Nation group appeared to back away from Williams and make it clear that it doesn't agree with his controversial anti-NAACP blog post.

"As most of you are aware, one of the leaders in the tea party movement posted a controversial blog many took to be racist," Tea Party Nation leaders wrote in the email obtained by TPMDC. "Tea Party Nation and many other groups have repudiated racism and racists ... We have banned members who were racists and will ban any members who show themselves to be racist."

  • Kudos to the Tea Party Federation. Keep Going! writes Alex Seitz-Wald at Think Progress: "In rebuking Williams, the federation is doing exactly what the NAACP called on tea party leaders to do — condemn any racist elements within the movement to show the tea party is as inclusive as it claims to be. The federation’s action in expelling Tea Party Express is welcome, but should not stop with Williams."
  • Ben Jealous and David Webb Weigh the Issue  The NAACP president and the co-founder of Tea Party 365 debate the issue on CBS's Face the Nation:
  • A Great Opportunity for the Tea Party, writes Rick Moran at The Moderate Voice: "The question I have for the Tea Party Federation and others in the movement who are applauding the exile of Williams, is why stop there? Why not purge the loons, the paranoids, the irrational nitwits who question Obama’s citizenship, or believe the Democrats want to set up a one party dictatorship, or that Obama is a secret Muslim – or any number of idiocies espoused by those who identify themselves as 'tea party patriots?' ...Certainly you can’t completely police what polls tells us is a group of 29 million or so Americans. That would be an unreasonable request and an impossibility anyway. But the effort must be made."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.