Embattled activist resigns from Tea Party Express

Mark Williams, the former Tea Party Express chairman who was widely criticized for penning a racially charged blog post earlier this month, stepped down from his role as spokesman for the group Friday.

In a letter to the Tea Party Express, Williams said he was “compelled to separate” himself from the organization so he could “free the tea party movement from any more distraction based on my personal comments or blogs.”

The post set off a feud between Williams’s group and the so-called Tea Party Federation, which expelled the Tea Party Express from its membership after it declined to rebuke Williams.

On his blog, Williams wrote a mock letter to President Abraham Lincoln from Benjamin Jealous, the president of the NAACP. It came on the heels of the NAACP’s July 13 passage of a resolution calling on Tea Party leaders to repudiate racist elements of the movement.

The mock letter began: “We Colored People 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!”

Last week, Rep. Walt Minnick (D-Idaho) declined the endorsement of the Tea Party Express, citing the group’s lack of action against Williams.