A lot of white conservatives are upset with the NAACP this week for daring to talk about racists in the Tea Party movement. The group passed a resolution asking the Tea Party to condemn the racists in its midst. It didn't denounce the entire Tea Party, as simple-minded folk like Sarah Palin have claimed; it merely tries to take supporters at their word that only a tiny fringe of the movement harbors any racist sentiment, by asking those supporters to denounce that fringe. What's the problem?
Palin took to her Facebook page to explain what the problem is. After consuming many paragraphs of Palin's tasty word salad, I'm still not sure what she's saying, except that Todd is part Yupik Eskimo, she and Todd and his family just spent some time together, and how dare the NAACP introduce race into our political debates when she's just fresh from a nice visit to an Eskimo village? She did quote from "Jesus loves the little children," though ...
She hits all the high points from various Tea Partiers around the country who condemned the NAACP for being racist culminating with this one, which is pretty unbelievable, even by their standards:
But the ever-vile Mark Williams, a spokesman for Tea Party Express, Inc., outdid all of his right-wing colleagues, comparing the NAACP to slave traders when it comes to exploiting blacks:
You're dealing with people who are professional race baiters, who make a very good living off of this kind of thing. They make more money off of race than any slave trader ever. It's time groups like the NAACP went to the trash heap of history where they belong, with all the other vile racist groups that emerged in our history.
Then Williams outdid himself, with a mock letter to President Lincoln from Ben Jealous, asking for a return to slavery:
Colored People 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!... Perhaps the most racist point of all in the tea parties is their demand that government "stop raising our taxes." That is outrageous! How will we Colored People ever get a wide screen TV in every room if non-coloreds get to keep what they earn? Totally racist! The tea party expects coloreds to be productive members of society?
Williams, you'll recall, is also the guy who said African Americans were too stupid to get out of the way of Hurricane Katrina: "They didn't have the necessary brains and common sense to get out of the way of a Cat 5 Hurricane and then when it hit them- stood on the side of the convention Center expiring while reporters were coming and going" (h/t Crooks and Liars).
Also recall that the Tea Party Express is one of the early astro-turf organizations put together by Dick Armey and his well funded backers and which was heavily promoted by FOX:
Fox & Friends tells viewers "how you can join" Tea Party Express. During its August 19 broadcast, Fox & Friends hosted Tea Party Express organizer and OCDB vice chairman Mark Williams, who has said Obama lacks a valid birth certificate and has compared "Obama's death panels" to Nazi experiments. During the segment, Fox News helped viewers find out "how you can join" the tour by noting the dates and locations of 22 upcoming stops.
Fox News anchor Bream: "We want to let folks know" Tea Party schedule so "they can be a part" of events. The August 23 edition of Fox News' America's News HQ hosted Williams to promote the tour. During the segment, host Shannon Bream said of the tour's schedule:
BREAM: You do have a bit of a cohesive, at least organized schedule -- we want to let folks know you're going to be making --
BREAM: -- 34, 35 stops, I believe it is, all across the country, so if they want to come out and take part, they certainly can be a part of what you're doing, and, you know, this has definitely struck a chord with people.
Jenkins promotes upcoming Fox coverage on Greta. On the August 25 edition of Fox News' On the Record, correspondent Griff Jenkins promoted Fox News' coverage of the Tea Party Express, stating that "a Tea Party Express, which we will cover here, begins Friday in California, making its way all the way to Washington."
Fox's Business' Cavuto hosts Williams to promote tea parties. During the August 27 edition of Fox Business' Cavuto, host Neil Cavuto promoted the tour and interviewed Williams. During the segment, Fox Business ran a graphic map of the tour's path through the country and posted the tour's website address.
" 'Hannity' Hops the Tea Party Express!" In an August 27 post on Sean Hannity's FoxNews.com blog, a producer wrote that Hannity "will be along for the ride!" adding: "Click here for more on the tour and to find the tea party nearest you." From the post, titled, " 'Hannity' Hops the Tea Party Express!":
Starting tomorrow, the Tea Party Express will begin its 16-day, 35-city tour across the nation, rallying Americans to stand up against out-of-control government spending... and 'Hannity' will be along for the ride!
With video camera in hand, our own Griff Jenkins will be catching all the action on the road and filing reports for The Great American Blog as the Express makes its way from Sacramento, CA to the Taxpayer March on Washington, D.C. Sept. 12!
Click here for more on the tour and to find the tea party nearest you.
There are many more examples of Mark Williams being featured all over FOX news programming. So please, don't tell me that this guy is an outlier, a fringe member of the tea party, someone who doesn't fairly represent their views. Everybody was perfectly happy to have him all over right wing media for months. If he doesn't represent them you'd think someone would have spoken up by now, since he's on television constantly as a national tea party spokesman.