American Morning

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July 16th, 2010
07:15 AM ET

Racist Debate Brews Between NAACP and Tea Party

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The claims of racism are flying back and forth between the NAACP and the tea party. The civil rights group accuses the grassroots movement of putting up with racists in their ranks. But Mark Williams, a tea party leader suggests it's the NAACP that's racist. He's sparking new controversy by writing a satirical blog in the form of a letter from the head of the NAACP to Abe Lincoln. In part it reads:

"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!"

Read the whole letter here

Hilary Shelton, director of the NAACP in Washington and Lloyd Marcus, spokesperson for the Tea Party Express spoke to CNN's American Morning Friday about Williams' letter. Watch Video

Sound off: Add your comments to the blog below and we'll read some of them on the show.

Filed under: American Morning • Controversy
soundoff (65 Responses)
  1. Carole Wilson

    Racism is ingrained in our society. I hope the anti-media police don't come for me - but why is it that people of color are only rolled out for their particular issues? This morning – 2 African Americans were on with regard to Ms. Sherrod. Why wasn't it mixed. Where are people of color or other ethnicites regularly included on the daily issues? I am sure there are geologist s in other groups. I am sure there are high ranking military men in other groups who can speak to the war. Yes, the media is a part of the problem.

    July 23, 2010 at 7:58 am |
  2. P Williams

    This Tea Party just might throw this country into civil chaos. Even though the truth ultimately came out, they managed to temporarily create mistrust. We have to guard ourselves against those who want hate to fester accoss all lines. Shame in you Tea Party.

    July 21, 2010 at 7:20 am |
  3. jack

    my comments will be posted elsewhere on a site that doesn't practice censorship who believe in the first amendment you should practice that you might see your rating improve.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:25 am |
  4. jack

    if I new this site was run by CNN I wouldn't have made a comment we all know who they represent

    July 20, 2010 at 11:21 am |
  5. jack

    there are some who would like to keep the Afro-American right where they are. racism they think sells news papers .
    some cable news loves it they think that's what the public wants, but there wrong that's why there ratings are so low. some news net works practice censorship .
    When are we going to free the black race? the Afro-American? the word African it is important.
    they where cheated out of there heritage . I believe to solve this problem the Afro-American should have a free passage to Africa remove there citizen ship and put them back. if after 5-10 years if those people wish to become American citizen then let them come here and apply for it .This would solve the race problem in the united states and would free up a lot of the American tax's .it would give the blacks a chance to evolve the way they want.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:18 am |
  6. jack

    When are we going to free the black race? the Afro-American? the word African it is important.
    they where cheated out of there heritage . I believe to solve this problem the Afro-American should have a free passage to Africa remove there citizen ship and put them back. if after 5-10 years if those people wish to become American citizen then let them come here and apply for it .This would solve the race problem in the united states and would free up a lot of the American tax's .it would give the blacks a chance to evolve the way they want.

    July 20, 2010 at 10:52 am |
  7. jeff+

    Why is NAACP always saying someone else is racist when the title of their organization is racist. National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Colored People represents everyone except white people and that is racist.

    July 19, 2010 at 2:22 pm |
  8. Sam

    The NAACP is no different than the KKK. So how can a group like this call anyone who opposes the current government Administration Racist? That's a hypocritical statement by the NAACP and they should be ashamed. If they condone racism then why isn't there any other races in their group?

    July 19, 2010 at 1:26 pm |
  9. Clark

    President Obama was elected for change, and here it is. He's taking the bold steps past presidents were either too weak or just sold out to carry out. The bottom line here is Obama, is doing the right things although they are radical, but no longer can this country afford every 8 to 10 years to be in a financial crisis because other people decided to gamble with our money, decided to take chances, decided that if we fail oh well I'm still getting my million dollar bonus. Enough is enough, but people are still listening to thieves who are mad because the game is about to be over so they walk around carry hateful racist signs of our President and they call themselves American? The NAACP is correct in pursing the Tea Party, an undercover organization for creating government hate and racist attitudes around the country. They hate the ethical reforms this president is pursing, meanwhile the whole attack on our President is racist. Headlines and the false news articles, stories, and pictures that link and dress the president in craziness. The Tea Party shows up after the ship runs a ground and employs hate groups to get people thinking and believing that this country is going to hell? When these are the same folk that approved and created the mess we are in. The Tea Party is guilty not only by association with hate groups but also the rhetoric. Sort of walk the walk and talk the talk. Our legitimacy of the Thug Party should be questioned, Politian’s may want to think three times before being indebted to an organization like this one.

    July 19, 2010 at 12:42 pm |
  10. Clark

    President Obama was elected for change, and here it is. He's taking the bold steps pass presidents were either too weak or just sold out to carry out. The bottom line here is Obama, is doing the right things although they are radical, but no longer can this country afford every 8 to 10 years to be in a financial crisis because other people decided to gamble with our money, decided to take chances, decided that if we fail oh well I'm still getting my million dollar bonus. Enough is enough, but people are still listening to thieves who are mad because the game is about to be over so they walk around carry hateful racist signs of our President and they call themselves American? The NAACP is correct in pursing the Tea Party, an undercover organization for creating government hate and racist attitudes around the country. They hate the ethical reforms this president is pursing and the whole attack on our President is racist, and not political. The headlines and the false news articles and pictures that link and dress the president to craziness. The Tea Party employs hate groups to get people thinking and believing that this country is going to hell well when these are the same folk that created the mess. The Tea Party is guilty by association and rhetoric.

    July 19, 2010 at 12:18 pm |
  11. MeLoN

    Typical of so many Americans – even with talking about the oil leak in the Gulf, is to attempt to lay blame at the feet of someone else. America will never move forward until Americans can get past their unfulfilled need to blame others and come together as one people.

    The latest and greatest political trend in America – throwing the term racist around in an lame attempt to stir up people's emotions with the sole purpose of sucking up votes in the upcoming fall elections. That is the sole reason the NAACP calls the Tea Party racist – they fear they are going to suffer during the elections. Just who is the racist group? NAACP? Tea Party? From my point of view – they look an awful lot alike.

    July 19, 2010 at 7:28 am |
  12. Bill

    What effect will this have on the Tea Party Express? Why don't you ask their benefactor Dick Armey and Freedomworks? The Tea Party Express was created by this PAC, so I suggest that you ask Mr. Armey if his group will still fund and provide logistical support to Mr. Williams?

    July 19, 2010 at 7:22 am |
  13. MeLoN

    The US Government sponsors and promotes racism with programs and handouts to black Americans that excludes white Americans.

    Black Americans are as racist, if not more racist, as white Americans. Black Americans feel they are owed something because of past wrongs. Sorry today's society owes them nothing. I, as a struggling American owe them nothing – neither do my kids.

    All Americans should be treated equally. Period.

    July 19, 2010 at 7:00 am |

    @Winston Benjamin; Thankyou for such a well-worded, TRUTHFUL comment, Mr. Benjamin.

    July 18, 2010 at 9:43 pm |
  15. Alexis Coleman

    The Tea Party consists of mostly white individuals who are fearful that their white privilege and superiority are slipping away within this ever changing multi-ethnic society.

    July 18, 2010 at 7:05 pm |
  16. Tammy B

    I think any group that promotes just one segment of people is outdated. Truly, we need a group of today with every kind of person involved, that promotes the advancement of ALL people. I also have read that the Tea Party is not nationally organized, just a semi-organized bunch of local Tea Party groups that ascribe to the basics of the Tea Party and what they stand for. That makes it hard not to keep out the nutcases, the bigots, etc. The Tea Party needs to make a significant change in who can call themselves locally part of the Tea Party broader organization. Several of other Tea Party leaders have come out and denounced racism within their ranks saying they would not put up with that. I don't think either the NAACP or the Tea Party is all good or all bad. They both have their members who are a bigoted, so both should work harder to weed those people out and publicly make it known they won't stand for anyone who hurls racial slurs, or any kind of bigotry.

    July 16, 2010 at 1:42 pm |
  17. Carlos Machina

    To Cheryl Hancock:

    I'm Irish, and I have to endure such taunts as "always after me Lucky Charms," and jokes about drinking, too.

    The jokes may be rude, but to equate them and their effect with racism and its effects is naive, at least.

    Racism is not being able to get housing in many areas because of your race. Racism is being followed around in stores by security personnel because of your race. Racism is being looked at as stupid, or criminal, or lazy, or scheming, or destined for janitorial work, because of your race.

    Racism is not knowing who your ancestors are because your ancestors were enslaved and deprived of their identities because of their race.

    Racism is having your culture destroyed and replaced with one designed to keep your people down because of their race.

    Racism is knowing that, even though you've been elected President of the United States, some people will never treat you like you're just as American as they are because of your race.

    You've never suffered any of that, and because you can't see beyond your own narrow experiences, you can't even imagine it.



    July 16, 2010 at 11:14 am |
  18. Winston Benjamin

    re: Scott

    I do believe that it is unfair for you who has seen the ugliness of racism would ever tell a group that they should remove the CP in there name. Having a body that speaks on the larger issues that face African Americans is needed. If we do this to the NAACP then we would have to remove the title for groups that focus on GLBT issues. Even though the heads may be getting paid well, which is right because they are running an national organization. The organization still provides voices in arena's that many Colored voices have limited access to. Just as many African Americans who are in college feel the pressure to speak on behalf of there brothers and sisters that are not in those classes the NAACP has to take the fight up because historically no one would stand and fight for Blacks.

    July 16, 2010 at 10:34 am |
  19. Scott

    The recent statements of the NAACP seem to be a case of the pot calling the kettle white. Yes, there are many racial iisues that America needs to address, There are those in all walks of society who have not taken the time to close there eyes and open their minds. However, the attitudes of the NAACP are as devisive as any racist that white America can throw out.
    As a child, I witnessed the cruelty of racism, as a close friend (age 5 at the time) had firecrackers thrown at him, on Independence day of all days, because he was black, I was 6 at the time, and did not undestand how anyone could so such a thing to such a kind person as my friend. We have remained, close for over 40 years. Our families have shared holidays and vacations many times. He has defended me, as I have him, to those who have shown their ugly racist side. It is time for the MAACP to remove the CP from their name. If this organization wants to advance it's dream of one America, isn't it time for the NAACP to quit trying to divide it? It wont happen. The NAACP takes in way too much money and it's executive board lines their pockets with too much cash. One America would not be financially prudent for those in power at the NAACP.

    July 16, 2010 at 10:10 am |
  20. andy

    Good and Evil..that's how this country and the world is divided and that's why we are failing as a "race".. the human race.We need to move forward.

    July 16, 2010 at 10:08 am |
  21. mogwai

    That's hillarious. Thanks for posting that quip. I'm sure the NAACP are all behind the white tax obama pushed through, not that it effects me since I"m one of those that doesn't need to tan.

    July 16, 2010 at 9:54 am |
  22. Steve Bowles

    Again, we all have opinions. That does not make what we think or say about a subject true. Slavery existed in some form since the civilization of man. The difference between slavery of the Americas and slavery perpetuated by tribal war in Africa or in the biblical sense are polar opposites. Chattel slavery in the United States stole the identitiy of the Africans that were brought to her shores. Religion, culture and families were deliberately destroy in the name of European superiority in search of monetary gain. Some of the views and stereotypes that were propagandized then are on full display by not only the Tea Party, rather most of the Republican party. The idea of majority rule has led to different categories of ethnicity. Multiracial could have been used by a vast majority of African American since the dawn of this nation. A European jewish person could change their name and fit into society. African Americans or Blacks if you prefer that identify with the plight of its people and stands up or speaks out against it will have those ancient stereotypes hurled at them. Remember, in a democracy majority rule. Will righteousness rule or will we continue on this path of internal destruction, greed and profit over humanity. Again, most of the world super powers fell from within....

    July 16, 2010 at 9:44 am |
  23. shirley Mclaine

    As usual when it comes to race, people lose their minds. Why do we get bogged down by issues and lose sight of the prize. When grown people decide to act like children, for instance Mark Williams of the Tea Party and his letter. If he had something to say, could he not have articulated it in a more maturely, why would he write the letter in such degrading manner and context? Utterly childish.I believe the NAACP calling the Tea Party racist is inflammatory and tars the whole party with the same brush. But is is called the NAACP, National Association for the Advancement of Colored people for a reason. And one of them is to address issues targeted at 'colored folk'. Obama is colored folk, he is also president of a country and when people decide to target him instead of addressing his policies and their effects, then I believe that is being racist, or 'discrimination due to color'. I have seen the placards on TV, website, and the wordings on the placards are targeted at Obama, his color, his roots and/or his race. The organisation that allows this to happen under its umbrella is in effect condoning and supporting these actions.

    That being said, Racism, both black and white racism, has always been and I believe will be for sometime to come an issue that will be debated and fought over for many more years to come. But there are issues to be addressed, the recession for instance, lack of employment, dwindling economy, war in Iraq and fatalities of American citizens.

    I understand that racism is a very important issue and I am not attempting to denigrate or diminish it, but let us address policies and how they affect out lives and livelihood.

    July 16, 2010 at 9:43 am |
  24. Matt

    That letter was preposterous. I do realize what the Tea Bag leader was trying to say, but his method was ill conceived. He could have made the same points in a much better way. The letter reads as insensitive at best, flat out racist at worst.

    July 16, 2010 at 9:37 am |
  25. Winston Benjamin

    In response to Mark Williams. The History of African American has been linked to Government actions more that it has for Free White male; who scribed the laws that governed this country. Starting with the legalization of Slavery, the 3/5th of a Human rule in the constitution, Emancipation and its Southern response of Jim Crow. The 14th ,15th Amendments of the Constitution to Brown v. Board of Education to the Civil Rights Act. The Government has been participants in the oppression and protection of African Americans and other racial and sexual minorities. With out big government to oversee individuals in the country many atrocities that have afflicted upon African Americans would have gone unpunished. The History of Hate that stems from the views of slaves being less than a human have allowed many in the White community to act out these views. One of the groups of hate that have been a plague on the African American community is the KKK. They have called for the murder of black men, woman and children and members of that group have carried out those acts. Unlike that of the New Black Panther Party who's members have not carried out those calls for actions. If people would stop trying to put blinders on and faced the history of this country then I think we would be able to move forward in terms of race. To not be willing to understand where the sensitivity to racism by minorities is one of the major reasons why we have not been able to take positive steps forward. When the issue of race is brought up the horrible history of the country comes to light. The Civil Rights Acts were only was only 46 years ago . We all know someone who is 46 or older. When we face our history we can face ourselves. When White Americans face the fact that they have been the cause of fear for Hundred of years then we can make forward progress to talk about the relations of race.

    July 16, 2010 at 9:28 am |
  26. Corey John

    @ Mr.Duffy how can you assume that all black people are missing their fathers that is almost to say all white peoples fathers are child molesting, wife beating alcoholics who ride on horses and where bed sheet with holes cut out for eyes bigotry is ugly and if you should where it on your chest be sure you dont staire in the mirror to see its inverse on you beside when was the last time you saw the black panthers in public i remember the last time i saw some clans men or skin heads in public their as active as ever if anything the black panters should return just to combat racist and bigots such as yourself the fact that your so ignorant makes me wonder weather or not you should even comment on the situation

    July 16, 2010 at 9:28 am |
  27. carrington davis

    Dear American Morning,

    The man who asked the question of the NAACP executive as to whether the Tea Party is racist was apparently biased toward the Tea Party, to me. The idea that calling the Tea Party racist might be “unfair” suggests that the NAACP is merely making up a change without fact or foundation. That qualification by this interviewer suggests that this interviewer has made up his mind that any such charges made against the Tea Party must be "unfair” since the question of fairness was the issue. The responder pointed out that the charge is leveled on the Tea Party because no leaders have condemned the obvious racist’s projections within its mitts. This is the issue?

    If it is wrong and it's within your mitts, get rid of it or it will contaminate all else, like leavened bread. The question of fairness, if that is the issue, should be resolved through research by the journalist, not by asking a biased leading question. Did he ask the Tea Party people if charges that Obama is not a citizen is fair? Did he ask if spitting on Congressmen who are black is fair? Did he ask if posters depicting racist stereotypes are fair? Is it fair if people in the Tea Party act with racist attitudes and no one call them on it. If the Tea Party was mostly Black, what then?

    Carrington B. Davis
    Washington, DC

    July 16, 2010 at 9:24 am |
  28. Corey John

    ive resently read over the comments and i've realise how bigatryis obviously still rampant within some people dialoge and thought process @ cherly hancock its clear to me that you do not know enouph about your countrys system of checks and balances the president of the united states does not have the power to limit any ones constitutional rights or take them away so long as their on american soil is it possible you dont under the preamble of the declaration:"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness our constitution insures this promise made by our forefathers.

    July 16, 2010 at 9:21 am |
  29. Kevin Leach

    The title story has a bad title. It is not a racist debate but rather a dabate on racism or racial tones, under or over, in the tea party madness.

    July 16, 2010 at 9:19 am |
  30. robert jones

    As a Vietnam Vet. i find that my country has not found a way to understand that we as a nation still has not found a way to live with each other peacefully and that the answers to all the issues that face my country can and would be resolved by all us joining together. We would eleminate poverty and self destruction by a sinple standard. But it seems more important to face off on the national stage to do what, call each other racist and still point fingers, i thought that that went by the wayside during the 60's, but i guess not,. It is so sad that we preach in schools and venues how we should get along, what a joke, but i guess there will always be racist and the practice of racism in america, Land of the free and home of the brave, but those are just words, that it seems no-one is willing to follow....Why are we still fighting wars....its so sad. We worry about other countries ideas and practices and how they affect us here in America but we do nothing here at home it seems to make changes.

    July 16, 2010 at 9:18 am |
  31. Greg

    Tessa hit the nail on the head when she wrote: "Excuse me, this is not a "debate"; this is the Tea Party"s covert racism morphing into overt racism, and the NAACP calling them out on it."

    The Tea Party has a lot of hate and overtly displays it. When they get called out on it they act incensed and deflect attention by pointing the finger the other direction. What they don't seem to realize is that it is not working. As a white male I am appalled that more people do not speak out against them. The NAACP is only saying what most of us think about the Tea Party and the bigots that populate it's rank and file.

    July 16, 2010 at 9:16 am |
  32. toney

    I don't believe the Tea Party is racist, I believe that there are some racist people in the party. The tea party should stop any body who hold up signs or say anything racist. We should spend our time fighting terrorist instead of fight each other, after all, blacks was brought to America by slave owners, they didn't ask to come over here. So lets stop the bull, America was build on sin(racism,slavery,etc.) so how can a group of people who slaved others hate them so much. What did the black man do that is so back why are they so scared of them. its not the black race that have all the power, they don't drill into the earth, they didn't kill off the Indians or the buffalo. They didn't steal land from other people and claim it is theirs. I can go on!!!!!!!!!!!!! So lets work together to defeat real evil!!!!!!!!!!

    July 16, 2010 at 9:14 am |
  33. noreen

    Pictures and filming don't lie, we all see the news. They have a nerve calling it the Tea party, That party was at a different time and for different reasons.
    When is the American people going to open their eyes about the good president they have.. You all put some much time into trying to make him look bad maybe you should put that time to the positive side.
    It is up to the american people to work with their president to make a better country and fix the problems, one man doesn't do it and that is what he said from the first day, he needs the help of all the people.People in the States have very short memories.

    July 16, 2010 at 9:14 am |
  34. Gene Schmidt

    Know one is better than me, but also know one is worse than I am
    either. For some one to be better than me they don't have to eat or
    go to the bathroom. I never met or heard about one. Please judge
    people for who they are and what they look like or where they came
    from. By all standards I am a strange person I don't hide anything
    I am willing to talk about anything at any time. With me what you see
    is what you get and I don't care what other people think about me.
    I bet I don't see this in print. I would say more but my spelling is bad.

    July 16, 2010 at 9:12 am |
  35. howie

    how many times do you need to see a poster of Obama in a loin cloth with a bone through his nose to get the hint that these folks might have racists in their ranks??? that picture did not print itself, nor did it copy itself and distribute itself amongst the crowd. its clear teabaggers are racist, and here's another tidbit read it carefully, not all republicans are racists but if your a racist , dollar to donuts your a republican...

    July 16, 2010 at 9:08 am |
  36. shay

    The incorrect use of the word racism has become a cultural epidemic. Wikipedia defines racism as the belief in the racial dominance of one group over another and the use of that belief to deny another race the rights afforded to them by the state. Only one group in this debate has the power to do this.

    July 16, 2010 at 9:05 am |
  37. Denise

    Maybe if the politicians and the media didn't give race issues so very much attention, it would slowly die! However, politicians use it for votes and some people and groups (Tea Party, NAACP, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton) use it for attention and the attention they get is WAYYYYYYYYYYY too much!

    July 16, 2010 at 9:03 am |
  38. Nadine

    Most Americans could not care less about President Obama's race. After the election many of us across America who didn't vote for him were ready and willing to give him a chance. We never believed that he would be so radical and that everything that he did were be so extremely to the left. Our objections to Barack Obama are to his policies, not his race. However, every time people have criticized this president, the left, the liberals, the Democrats, and yes, the NAACP and other groups have responded that the criticism is racist. WE DO NOT LIKE THE DIRECTION THAT HE IS TAKING OUR COUNTRY. IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH RACE. DO YOU LIBERALS AND LIBERAL-SUPPORTING MEDIA UNDERSTAND? The NAACP through this resolution has reacted to supposed racism within the tea Party Movement. It is one more accusation about racism where little or no evidence can be found.

    July 16, 2010 at 9:01 am |
  39. Roderick T. Beaman

    I am white and from a blue collar background. I have always had a lot of sympathy for how the system has treated blacks.

    Often, the NAACP has displayeda true sense of economic reality but recently it has gone off the deep end. I have attended two founding meetings of Tea Parties and several rallies. Not once have I witnessed anything that can even remotely be called racist. In fact, my guess is that anyeon who displayed a racist sign or gave a racist statement would be escorted from the premises. Mr. Jealous and any NAACP member should attend one to see for themselves.

    I have never witnessed ANYTHING that approached in hatred the venom coming from the New Black Panthers. Mr. Jealous should be citing that horrible rhetoric.

    Mr. Jealous and the NAACP, you should be ashamed of yourselves.

    July 16, 2010 at 8:52 am |
  40. bill edwards

    This is a note to the tea party activist. If you are not racist then how come i never see a black person, or a minority in any of your rallys, The only people i see are rich very angry white people. Read this on air if you dare.
    Bill E

    July 16, 2010 at 8:49 am |
  41. Rickey

    Come on guys the NAACP are full of racist. Why are we not talking about that. Oh yeah there people say we are here to talk about the Tea party avoiding the question. Where is the fair and balance.This is the left trying to grab on to every crumb they can get. The truth of the matter is people don't like this president. They called Gearge Bush a redneck and so many other things. Is that o.k. because he is a white guy.

    July 16, 2010 at 8:48 am |
  42. stacy hall

    Respond to cheryl H. I think everyone is blaming the wrong president for our economy,Obhama inherited this this mess we can all thank our past president Mr. George Bush

    July 16, 2010 at 8:48 am |
  43. Chris

    On July 14th the Tea party was allowed to set up tables and "protest" on US Postal Service property at the main Post Office in Conroe and Willis Texas. They were using the signs showing President Obama as an African Witch Doctor and signs comparing him to Hitler and Lenin. I have no problem with any group protesting administration policies but, from what I saw on Thursday this was not policy protesting but, policy protesting veiled in racisim and fueling those that are truly racists. This racisism is not "elements" of the tea party movement, this is THE MOVEMENT – a racists and hate organzation. There's no other way to cut it.

    July 16, 2010 at 8:46 am |
  44. Rick Voyles

    The NAACP is the most racist group in America.
    Clean up you own back yard NAACP.

    July 16, 2010 at 8:45 am |
  45. Malcom

    The NAACP is a good organization that has helped many. But they should have condemned the man who called another man a Uncle Tom for being involved with the Tea Party. All organizations have some bad apples, but that does not make a whole organization racist. I don't believe the NAACP or the Tea Party are racist organizations. I believe both organizations have a few bad apples that find there way in.

    July 16, 2010 at 8:45 am |
  46. Max Van Gilder

    I spent some time in the rural South in the late 60's. I recognize this talk. Black people lumped together and described in denigrating terms. Denigrating others to justify one's importance is racism. People feel threatened by difficult times and they seek simple answers.

    Racism out there and it is part of the fear-mongering groups that advocate simplistic absolute solutions to problems. Complex problems do not get solved by simple solutions. These racist comments reflect the absolutism that is dangerous in any society.

    This blog is subtitled "It's not right vs. left, it's right vs. wrong." That says it.

    July 16, 2010 at 8:41 am |
  47. Malcom

    Everyone should have the same equal rights no matter gender, race or religion. The same applies when you break the law. No one should be above the law. Attorney General Eric Holder was wrong to have charges thrown out against the Black Panthers who are on video holding sticks at polling places & intimidating voters. They should have been held accountable for their actions.

    July 16, 2010 at 8:37 am |
  48. Mr. Yska

    As an African-American I am appalled by the statements made by both sides. Both the NAACP & the Tea Party have used reckless language & rhetoric that has the potential to wrongly influence the minds of many young Americans both black, white, or poka-dotted.

    If we thought the election of Barack Obama was going to bring whites & black closer, we were way wrong. America has been involved in this debate since the ink on the Emancipation Proclamation dried. The only way the "warring" races of America & those all over this planet will ever come together is by divine intervention.

    July 16, 2010 at 8:24 am |
  49. Robt. Switzer

    Mark Williams has the gall not only to declare the NAACP racist because the "CP" stands for "Colored People" (the commonly-used term for African-Americans when the organization was founded in 1909), but to deny that his shocking "satirical" letter to President Lincoln is not racist when it is filled with stereotypical expressions of laziness and welfare dependence by African-Americans. Even worse, the so-called satire is written in a dialect that demeans the supposed writer of the letter, the NAACP's leader Ben Jealous, whom Mr. Williams describes as the "head colored person."

    It seems to me that the failure of Mr. Williams to denounce explicitly the acceptance and participation of racists at Tea Party events is nothing but a tacit admission that he is willing to use racism as a vehicle to advance the Tea Party cause. All I can say to Mr. Williams is if this isn't racism, I don't know what is.

    But whatever criticism is directed at Mr. Williams will fall on deaf ears. Reading his blog responses (which I can only hope are merely clueless rather than intentionally heartless) to his critics reveals the futility of getting through to him. Mr. Williams should consider President Lincoln’s still all-too-valid warning that “a house divided against itself cannot stand” before again playing the race card.

    July 16, 2010 at 8:19 am |
  50. Cheryl Hancock

    racism goes two ways, black comedians are constantly makeing bad jokes at white people's expense, there are black comedians who constantly talk about white people being racist, they blame us today for slavery in America, but part of the slavery started when their own rich black people sold them into slavery from Africa to the Brittish. It went on from there, and most white people are genuinly sorry for slavery but there is nothing we can do about the past, only the future. We all need to watch what we say, we all need to respect eachother, but what makes a person automatically cry racism when things do not go their way, perhaps they need to dig deeper to find the real reson. White people are tired of taking the blame for everything. As far as the President goes, both black and white people are almost equally dissatisfied with him so far, we are all afraid that not only are we hurting our world but we are bankrupting our country, and we are afraid he might be trying to change our constitutional rights, we don't want anyone to mess with the constitution, it is there to protect all of us, and we always want straight answers to our concerns, not the run a round.

    July 16, 2010 at 8:04 am |
  51. Al - Northern Virginia

    Not sure where Mr. Duffy got his information and not sure if he is aware that white supremist groups have carried out violent crimes against non-white ethnic groups for hundreds of years. Violent crimes that have taken away fathers, mothers, sons and daughters. So if the Black Panters truly promoted killing all whites and their babies, it was only in response to whites actually killing black people, Americans and their babies.

    I read Mark Williams letter, as much as I could stomach, and it is full of racial epitones. What a backwards looking jerk. Again, this proves the NAACP's point. Now, I would not have came out as the NAACP and called the tea party movement racist. It is an overused term in this society. Yes, their may be racist among them, but most are prejudice, successful white men who have bought into the republican hypocrisy that reducing taxes is the answer to all our economic issues. In other words, they are in this for themselves. They also have bought into the republican stereotypes of democrats and minorities, specifically black Americans, that all they want is to hand out money instead of earn it.

    I am a black American who raised to work hard for what you want. Many of my black American friends were raised that way. We don't like giving our hard earn money to taxes that supports healthy people living off of welfare either, REGARDLESS of their race. The problem here is, no one talks to one another, so we tend to go with the stereotypes we have been taught or told over the years. We assume instead of finding out facts for ourselves. We take our facts from news stories and our sphere of influence instead of searching beyond those entities. If we decided to talk one day, we will find we have a lot in common and few differences.

    July 16, 2010 at 8:01 am |
  52. Dele

    I think the best way to handle this is to ignore this guy and people like him. Let the FBI keep an eye on them though.

    July 16, 2010 at 7:59 am |
  53. Jamie

    All hell is about to break loose in America. I'm black. And, I really believe that America is headed for a race war in the next 20-30yrs. People like Richard Duffy are going to be at the forefront with statements like this.

    Well, it was only a matter of time. A land gained through bloodshed and racism is going to fall in the same manner. God Bless America.

    July 16, 2010 at 7:59 am |
  54. stacy hall

    I find it kinda awkward that anyone call the NAACP racist or anything near,its been around for decades with no one complaining its never got this much coverage on television for this type of issue .Now the Tea party,the very first time I seen them on television they were not only racist and bashing African Americans but also our President,The President of the United States. I also find it kinda awkward that a group like the Tea Party would form when we get our first Biracial President. Now I don't support either party but I'm pointing my finger at the Tea party its obvious that their racist.

    July 16, 2010 at 7:58 am |
  55. broderick

    Look this is why black america is so mad because the poster that they have are nasty and we are so tired of just truing the other cheek when white america don't. Walk in the shoes of a black man in this country and u would know til then stop the hate!! I been working on my job for 11years and over the years I have asked some of my co workers if this company was 80present black would you work here and they all say no so what do I say we have a long way to go

    July 16, 2010 at 7:57 am |
  56. Jon Roberts

    There will never be racial equality in America until our citizens are socialized to not consider race and ethnicity as determining factors of social worth. Civil rights strides not withstanding, there is still a system of social stratification in America that many Americans refuse to recognize, as if it were the loose tiger in the room. As a society we are socialized to descriminate, to fear, to mistrust, to even hate that which is different then ourselves. Until we stop allowing this fractionalization of our society, we will see no more progress.

    July 16, 2010 at 7:55 am |
  57. Ed in Connecticut

    Mr. Duffy, you're not naive, what about the Klu Klux Klan? What about the Skinheads ? read some of these blogs. I agree that this is a racist ping pong game, between the comments of the New Black Panthers.....where does it say that the NAACP supports that comment. I think Mark Williams comments not only reinforce what the NAACP is stating but it is stereotypical.....just like your bigoted comment on Black fathers,,,,,you need to get your bigotry in check. Any statement calling for the killing of any individual, especially babies comes from someone not thinking straight (A very sick mind).....we do need to find and develope a forum where racial differences can be addressed.

    July 16, 2010 at 7:55 am |
  58. Tessa

    RE: Mr. Duffy's comments:

    While you have presented no real or even anecdotal evidence that Black Panthers were advocating to "KILL crackers and their babies" when they were last active almost 40 years ago, we've not only "heard" but "seen" whites say "we need to kill blacks and their babies" during most of the 20th Century when lynchings were occurring all over the South, ironically one of the reasons the Black Panthers formulated their "guns for self-protection" ideology.

    Finally, the NAACP has no more legal standing or social obligation to punish the Black Panthers for their viewpoints than the South Baptists have to punish the Ku Klux Klan.

    July 16, 2010 at 7:55 am |
  59. Bronx_Teacher

    It's sad but this is why the racial divides in our country will continue to exist for a long time to come. The NAACP's stance is simply that racism should be taken out of the Tea Party. What's the problem in saying that? If the Tea Party wants to claim that they are not racist, that they want more racial and ethnic minorities in their ranks, then they could have seen it as an opportunity to simply say,"we don't condone racism," and leave it at that. Instead, Mark Williams takes it upon himself to show that he is just as much a bigot as he claims the NAACP is. Way to miss the boat on an opportunity, or maybe it wasn't on the agenda in the first place.

    July 16, 2010 at 7:51 am |
  60. Tessa

    Excuse me, this is not a "debate"; this is the Tea Party"s covert racism morphing into overt racism, and the NAACP calling them out on it.

    Mark WIlliams' letter and the tone at most Tea Party rallies, represent the belief by a segment of White America that ever benefit, right and privilege associated with being an American is solely theirs until it is either given or taken away from them. The idea that Black Americans, a group of people whose families have likely been in this country for generations, have no right to be here and no legitimate claim to the full rights of citizenship (including eligibility for social programs or to hold this country's highest office) solely because of their race can only be accredited to racism.

    July 16, 2010 at 7:45 am |
  61. carole wilson

    Shame of Mr. Duffy. Why doesn't someone provide the statistics that show white ghettos exist, whites are criminals, whites are fathering and abandoning children, whtes are on welfare numbers for generations. . How often do we hear a story that a white femals has abandoned her child in a dumpster or at the side of the road.
    The news media is part of the problem. Most news that I see about people of color is negative.

    I live at the edge of a whte area. I continue to be taken aback when someone drives by and yells nigger. I have experienced more overt racism since President Obama has taken office.

    July 16, 2010 at 7:43 am |
  62. E McNair

    As part of a biracial (black/white) couple, I have to say that there's one common problem both groups share: the unwillingness to realize that, despite their differences, they have much in common. Both groups want and deserve respect; they want to raise their kids in safe communities, etc. The problem is that certain groups profit by keeping this society divided by not allowing people to acknowledge that this society as it is wouldn't exist without the contributions of blacks (I'm using old phraseology since my husband won't call himself African-American) such as the stoplight, blood transfusions, etc. When people owe so much to other people, it tends to breed resentment and fear more than tolerance, I'm afraid.

    July 16, 2010 at 7:41 am |
  63. michaelann bewsee

    We can't significantly improve race relations until white people stop being in denial about the way slavery and discrimination has shaped today's society..

    July 16, 2010 at 7:40 am |
  64. denice

    i am a jewish white girl that grew up in camden n.j. in the 60s. i know what racism is and hard it is to get out of proverty. and i was white. i think no matter what color the president is. we all owe him respect. we put him there and there has been worse presidents then obama. so bravo naacp keep up the good work

    July 16, 2010 at 7:39 am |

    The NAACP needs to address the black panther issue-A real world issue!!!.
    When blacks come out in public to the point where the news programs pick up the story, and tell other blacks they need to KILL crackers and their babies, the NAACP NEEDS TO PUT THESE PEOPLE BEHIND BARS-TODAY.
    Have you ever in your life heard a white say we need to kill blacks and their babies? No we adopt them because the black father is no where to be found.

    July 16, 2010 at 7:30 am |