A national "tea party" umbrella group expelled a prominent member from its ranks over the weekend for a controversial blog post as the conservative movement continued its row with the NAACP over allegations of racism.Read the complete story here.
NAACP President Ben Jealous defended a resolution passed by the civil rights group condemning perceived racism in the tea party, arguing that several organizers who align themselves with the movement have made offensive comments.
In a debate on CBS' "Face the Nation,"David Webb, who co-founded TeaParty365 in New York, said tea party members have taken action that proves they don't tolerate racism. On Saturday, the National Tea Party Federation announced that its members had unanimously decided to oust Mark Williams, a leader with the Tea Party Express group, after Mr. Williams posted a mock letter from Mr. Jealous to Abraham Lincoln on his website.
"Self-policing is the right and responsibility of any organization," said Mr. Webb, who is black, adding there are "single examples in any movement" of fringe elements. "For Mr. Jealous to say that these elements, when millions have been out there, represent the tea party is blatantly false and they're simply playing the race card."
As I said earlier, This was the only choice for the Tea Party movement if it was going to try and shed the racist label the NAACP had so firmly fastened onto the organization as the result of Mark Williams' behavior. So the Tea Party movement has made a gesture in the right direction, but it remains to be seen if the rank and file will go along. Will the National Tea Party Federation be able to keep other racists from using the Tea Party as a platform for their beliefs? What if Williams becomes a martyr for the racist elements within the Tea Party movement? Will the racists go quietly, now that the National Tea Party Federation has asked them to?
It's awfully quiet out there on the right . . .