A leader of the Tea Party Express (TPX) says the Tea Party Federation was wrong to banish one of TPX’s highest-profile activists, Mark Williams, for what have been described as racially insensitive actions.
Williams and the Tea Party Express were expelled from the federation after Williams came under attack for a satirical response to the NAACP’s resolution last week condemning racist elements of the Tea Party movement. The satirical piece mocked NAACP leader Ben Jealous in a “letter” to President Abraham Lincoln, and was used by critics to say Williams is a racist.
Joe Wierzbicki, a founding member of TPX, told The Daily Caller in an e-mail that the federation was “wrong.”
“Circular firing squads of groups within the Tea Party movement attacking one another accomplish nothing, and on this issue the Tea Party Federation was wrong, and enabled and empowered the NAACP’s racist attacks on the Tea Party movement,” Wierzbicki said.
He said it’s no big deal that TPX, which has been a very visible organization in the grassroots movement, was expelled too. “We’re really not concerned by it,” he said. “The Tea Party Express with over 400,000 members is far larger than the Tea Party Federation’s entire membership.”
Wierzbicki continued: “Most rank-and-file Tea Party activists think we’re talking about Star Trek when we try to explain who the ‘Federation’ is, which given the absurdity of their actions is quite fitting, since their action is alien to our membership.”
Williams said he would not speak to the media about the expulsion, but on his blog, he suggested his ousting was really the result of intra-Tea Party politics and the attempt to be seen as the real leader of the movement. “Mind you, there is no tea party leadership; every Tea Partier is a Tea Party leader,” Williams wrote. “But something happens when the stronger egos and personalities in a movement begin to feel a sense of ownership. It is not long before they act to claim and defend that feeling.”