WASHINGTON — The Tea Party Express has accepted the resignation of its chief spokesmen after he was widely condemned for satirizing the NAACP as an organization led by "Tom's nephew" and "head colored person."
In a letter released Friday by the Tea Party Express, conservative radio personality Mark Williams told the organization he wanted to break ties with the group so "the media and our domestic enemies" would move past the episode. Williams resigned as chairman of the group last month after one of his blog posts forced the National Tea Party Federation to expel the Tea Party Express.
The resignation as chairman was not enough to quiet the criticism, though. A complete cut was required, Williams wrote.
"We are in a war for the future of this country and the left and their allies in the news media have decided to use my personal comments and views as a weapon to injure the tea party movement and conservative activists," Williams wrote. "I am going to continue to fight on the side of liberty but it is clear that doing so with any affiliation with the Tea Party Express is not the best way to do so."
Williams' fiery blog post on July 15 criticized the NAACP and its president, Benjamin Todd Jealous. Williams said it was satire; the NAACP said the post was more evidence tea party activists condoned racism.
The tea party – thousands of community groups that promote limited government, free markets and other conservative and Libertarian principles – has resisted any notion of centralized control. That has opened itself to criticism when individuals make offensive comments.
At its meeting earlier this month, the NAACP approved a resolution calling on activists and others to "repudiate the racist element and activities" within the tea party movement.
Williams countered that the NAACP itself was racist.