It spawned the Mark Williams letter that praised slavery. Then, under pressure from the outside, expelled Williams. But that is not enough.

Following is the Williams letter, in case you missed it.

Dear Mr. Lincoln

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!

In fact we held a big meeting and took a vote in Kansas City this week. We voted to condemn a political revival of that old abolitionist spirit called the ‘tea party movement’.

The tea party position to “end the bailouts” for example is just silly. Bailouts are just big money welfare and isn’t that what we want all Coloreds to strive for? What kind of racist would want to end big money welfare? What they need to do is start handing the bail outs directly to us coloreds! Of course, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is the only responsible party that should be granted the right to disperse the funds.

And the ridiculous idea of “reduce[ing] the size and intrusiveness of government.” What kind of massa would ever not want to control my life? As Coloreds we must have somebody care for us otherwise we would be on our own, have to think for ourselves and make decisions!

The racist tea parties also demand that the government “stop the out of control spending.” Again, they directly target coloreds. That means we Coloreds would have to compete for jobs like everybody else and that is just not right.

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 coloreds 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?

Mr. Lincoln, you were the greatest racist ever. We had a great gig. Three squares, room and board, all our decisions made by the massa in the house. Please repeal the 13th and 14th Amendments and let us get back to where we belong.

Sincerely
Precious Ben Jealous, Tom’s Nephew NAACP Head Colored Person

Comments

  1. #1 Emil Karlsson
    July 19, 2010

    Dr. Laden, would say say that it is reasonable to judge an entire organization by the actions of a few people? Would you think it is fair to claim that all critics of the Republican Party are anti-vaccine since a popular critic of the Republican Party like Bill Maher is anti-vaccine?

    I may be wrong, but are you not performing the same erroneous reasoning that you are accusing certain members of the Tea Party of doing? Or perhaps you would not mind clarifying your position?

  2. #2 Benjamin Franz
    July 19, 2010

    @Emil: Mark Williams is not just a ‘certain member’ of the Tea Party. He is the chairman of one of the largest sections of it. His ‘Tea Party Express’ claims 450,000 members and as an organization has explicitly stood behind him on this. That the Tea Party Express as an organization refused to repudiate him over his racist rant is why it was expelled from from the National Tea Party Federation.

  3. #3 Jim51
    July 19, 2010

    Benjamin,
    That would be ‘refudiate’ not repudiate.
    Jim51

  4. #4 Greg Laden
    July 19, 2010

    Dr. Laden, would say say that it is reasonable to judge an entire organization by the actions of a few people?

    No, certainly not. My suggestion that the Tea Party is a racist organization is based on a wide range of evidence from many sources of numerous individuals.

  5. #5 NewEnglandBob
    July 19, 2010

    The tea party organization (I refuse to capitalize the name) is one of the most racial, bigoted and hateful organizations in the US. It doesn’t quite rival the KKK (yet).

  6. #6 NorthWestJohn
    July 19, 2010

    NewEnglandBob – Capitalizing a proper name does not involve respect for the named entity. It shows respect for the rules of the English language. I noticed you used a trio of capital Ks…

  7. #7 gwen
    July 19, 2010

    Eight of my great great grandparents were enslaved. As slaves, they we forced to work long hard hours to increase the prosperity of those who enslaved them. This letter is so very offensive to the memory of the hardships endured by a whole class of people.

  8. #8 MikeMa
    July 19, 2010

    It would have been so easy to acknowledge that, yes, certain members of the teabaggers have exhibited a wee bit of racism. And further, we are doing everything we can, wink, wink, to control and, you know, quieten them down. We have a big tent and lots of good ideas…

    Those were the right words, if not the right attitude, to defuse a bad situation. But the teabagers refuse even to accept the reality in front of them. Governance is well beyond their grasp. To have bigots and fools like Williams in charge is, well, perfect. He may have been kicked out of one group but I’ll bet he’s not done by a long shot.

  9. #9 Victor
    July 20, 2010

    I know very few people that attend Tea Party rallys, but the ones I do are the most racist people I have ever met. They have expressed unambiguously bigoted views that , to that point, I thought no civilized person could hold. Their biggest reason for going to the Tea Party rallys? They say they feel at home there.

  10. #10 Jacob
    July 20, 2010

    Didn’t the “free thinkers” of the ’60s and ’70s rebel at the period’s establishment stereotyping them? Now, those same anti-establishment-types are the establishment, and what is their favorite hobby? Stereotyping conservatives as racist, greedy, fundamentalist homophobes. Who are the hypocrites now?

  11. #11 NJ
    July 20, 2010

    Factually accurate description != sterotyping.

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