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WASHINGTON (AP) — Black members of the tea party movement on Wednesday rejected charges of racism by the group's activists, saying they oppose President Barack Obama because of his policies not his skin color.
The members gathered at a Washington news conference in the wake of allegations about its rank and file, heightened by the recent split with a Tea Party Express leader who had posted a letter on his blog written from "Colored People" to Abraham Lincoln. The post suggested that black people would choose slavery over having to do real work.
The black members said the racism that has been attributed to the tea party movement came from outsiders who infiltrated the groups to discredit their work and it should be rejected.
"These people do not oppose Barack Obama because of his skin color. They oppose him because of his policies," said Lloyd Marcus, a spokesman for the group.
The NAACP last month approved a resolution condemning racism within the tea party movement and called on activists to "repudiate the racist element and activities" within the political movement.
At the news conference, several members assailed Obama and the Democrats, often in harsh terms.
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