More than a dozen African American speakers gathered in Washington today to help the Tea Party Express shed its ties to former chair, spokesperson and racial burr in its saddle, Mark Williams. Though the TPE never publicly rebuked Williams after his racially controversial blog post led to his resignation from the group, the speakers from the podium at the event today -- billed as a National Black Conservatives Rally -- were more than willing to call him out.
"How many times do they have to pluck that bad apple out of the barrel before people quit focusing on it?" said Herman Cain, an African American talk show host. "The [tea party] movement is millions of people and hundreds of organizations.
But though the speakers at the podium denied it, Williams was the reason for the event today. His antics -- which rose to the level of national attention after the NAACP passed a resolution claiming that the tea party harbors racism in its ranks -- caused the first serious self-reflection on race relations in the movement and, today, led to some African Americans associated with the TPE to criticize the group over how it dealt with it its one-time star.
(click here to read the full story at the Talking Points Memo.com website)