Blog Causes Schism Within Tea Party Ranks

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Accusations of racism within the Tea Party have divided two groups in the movement.
    
The news comes just days after the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People or NAACP called on Tea Party leaders to denounce so-called "racist elements and activities" within their ranks.

Mark Williams, a vocal member of the Tea Party Express, recently added fuel to the fire by responding to the NAACP'S request to flush out racism with a satirical letter on his blog.

A 'Letter to Abraham Lincoln'

The fictitious missive was written to President Abraham Lincoln from NAACP President Ben Jealous.

"Dear Mr. Lincoln, we colored people have taken a vote and decided that we don't cotton to that whole emancipation thing," the letter began. "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 letter concluded.

The blog outraged the NAACP as well as some Tea Party groups like the Tea Party Federation, which dropped the Tea Party Express from its umbrella of groups across the country.

Meanwhile, leaders from the NAACP and Tea Party faced off against one another on CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday.

Tea Party leader David Webb called on NAACP President Ben Jealous to denounce the new Black Panther Party which advocates violence against whites.

"What I have a serious objection with is his selective condemnation of racism, when he will not condemn the New Black Panther Party for saying that they want to kill crackers and kill cracker babies, whereas he would condemn the KKK or any element that shows up … and claims that they are a part of the Tea Party," Webb said.

"Bigots come in all colors," Jealous responded. "We absolutely denounce the New Black Panther Party, but they aren't in our group. These folks are in your group and you're the only one there in New York who's saying anything."

Webb said the NAACP is "simply playing the race card."

Meanwhile, amidst the rancor there seems to have emerged some willingness on the parts of the NAACP and conservative leaders to join forces to start a productive dialogue about race relations.

Tea Party Caucus

The Tea Party movement has had trouble responding to accusations, because it does not have one unified leader. However, the movement has found new popularity in Congress.
    
Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., has founded a Tea Party caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives.

"I have talked to many people who felt discouraged because no one in Washington, D.C. seemed willing to listen," Bachmann said. "This caucus will change that sentiment and ensure the voices of the people are carried through the halls of Congress."

The caucus' goals are to promote fiscal responsibility, follow the U.S. Constitution and limit government.

Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., said he will join the caucus.

 

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