July 19th, 2010
09:12 AM ET

Monday's intriguing people

Mark Williams

The Tea Party activist says he's done discussing the controversy stirred up by his attack on the NAACP. The National Tea Party Federation, an organization that seeks to represent the Tea Party political movement around the country, has expelled Williams and his Tea Party Express organization because of an inflammatory blog post Williams wrote last week, federation spokesman David Webb said Sunday.

In response, Williams announced in another statement on his blog that "I am refusing all media requests on this" and canceled a scheduled interview on CNN to discuss the controversy Sunday evening, citing a last-minute change in travel plans.

Williams wrote the incendiary blog post that satirized a fictional letter from what he called "Colored People" to President Abraham Lincoln in response to an NAACP resolution that called on Tea Party leaders to crack down on racist elements in the movement.

"Dear Mr. Lincoln," began the letter posted by Williams. "We Coloreds 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!"

Williams, a conservative talk radio host, said the post was intended as satire.

CNN: Tea Party leader says he's done talking about race controversy

Harry Hughes

The activist from Maricopa, Arizona, reportedly has been leading a group of armed civilians on patrols against illegal immigrants. CNN affiliate KTVK-TV in Phoenix reports that the group claims on the "Just Another Day" blog that "there are 11 less illegal aliens in this country thanks to us. We are doing the job the federal government refuses to do."

According to the television station, the group is led by Hughes and J.T. Ready, who have openly identified with the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement. In his blog biography, Hughes, 46, writes that his interests include “political activism, supporting groups that oppose illegal immigration, causing civil unrest in my rural Western Pinal County, and conducting armed UDA patrols along the ‘illegal immigration superhighway.’ ” UDA stands for undocumented alien.

Hughes adds, “I’m one of those guys that shows up at street protests and stirs things up. My government thinks I’m dangerous, so be careful.”

Azfamily.com: Man with neo-Nazi ties leading patrols in Arizona

"Just Another Day" blog

Tania Unzueta

The activist from Chicago, Illinois, will join 1,000 others from around the nation who are mobilizing in Washington to urge Congress to pass the DREAM Act.

Unzueta, who helped organize the three-day event, told CNN that on Tuesday, marchers will rally at the U.S. Capitol and stage a DREAM graduation. During the ceremony, students will tell their stories of the immigrant experience in America, hear from lawmakers and corporate leaders, and receive “diplomas.”

The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act is proposed federal legislation, introduced in both the House and Senate in March 2009, that would permit certain immigrant students who have grown up in the U.S. to apply for temporary legal status. These students eventually could obtain permanent status and become eligible for U.S. citizenship if they go to college or serve in the U.S. military. Today, many of those immigrant students find it difficult to attend college, get a driver’s license or apply for jobs.

At age 10, Unzueta came to the U.S. from Mexico City with her mother. After receiving humanitarian parole from U.S. immigration officials, she graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She says if the Dream Act were to pass, it would affect more than 2 million people, based on recent studies.

Unzueta said one reason the DREAM Act has not passed is due to people “who are not realizing the value of immigrant youth.” Another reason is racism. “For some people, not for everyone,” she said. “I have heard so many comments from people saying that we’re bringing crime to the U.S., for example. That’s not true. A lot of people are listening to the misconceptions, rather than figuring out the facts that’s where we get stuck. It’s prejudice that prevents people from seeing the facts.”

Dream Act portal 

Greg Mortenson  

The author of the best-selling book “Three Cups of Tea” has been meeting with top U.S. military officials and village elders in Afghanistan. The New York Times reports that Mortenson, whose Central Asia Institute has led to the building of more than 130 schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan, had met with Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the former commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan; Gen. David Petraeus, who replaced him; Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and others.

Mortenson’s story of building schools in Pakistan became popular among military wives, who urged their husbands to read it. Mortenson, 52, who said he has no contract with the U.S. Defense Department, told the newspaper there is no military fix in Afghanistan that the long-term solution is to educate girls, and that will take decades.

“But al Qaeda and the Taliban are looking at it long range over generations,” he told the Times. “And we’re looking at it in terms of annual fiscal cycles and presidential elections.”

The New York Times: Unlikely tutor giving military Afghan advice

CNN video: Ray of hope in Afghanistan

Central Asia Institute

Idina Menzel 

Top musical theater stars will perform Monday night on one of the nation’s most visible stages when PBS tapes “A Broadway Celebration: In Performance at the White House” to air this October.

Participants include composer Marvin Hamlisch (“A Chorus Line”) and actors Nathan Lane (“The Addams Family”), Audra McDonald (“Ragtime”), Brian d’Arcy James (“Shrek the Musical”), Tonya Pinkins (“Caroline, or Change”) and Menzel.

According to TV.com, at age 8, the actress and singer played Dorothy in her elementary school production of “The Wizard of Oz.”  In 2003, Menzel originated the role of Elphaba the Wicked Witch of the West in the hit musical “Wicked” and won a best featured actress Tony Award. That same year, she married her “Rent” co-star, actor Taye Diggs.

The best moment of the entire last TV season was Menzel’s “I Dreamed a Dream” duet with Lea Michele in May’s Episode 19 of the high-school-glee-club-members-are-just-as-cool-as-football-players show, “Glee.” We can argue about that later.

TV.com: Idina Menzel bio

Idinamenzel.com

soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. Ron

    NAACP: Black, they're for it. white, they're against it. You tell me who's the racists.

    July 19, 2010 at 10:19 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Beverly Murphy

      I'm not racist but I would like to know why we can have an all "black" college, but would never be allowed to have an all "white" college. I am for all human rights, the people who scream racism are the one's that seem to be the MOST racist.

      July 19, 2010 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  2. Vince

    Why is CNN linking to a Neo-Nazi website? Why is CNN giving a glowing report about a Neo-Nazi hunting people along our border? I agree that something must be done to stem illegals crossing our border... but making this Nazi out to be some sort of hero is a step across the line SHAME ON YOU CNN.

    July 19, 2010 at 10:22 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Beverly Murphy

      Man, do I agree with you. I am not racist, I just want people here legally and the borders closed until things are better here. I would NEVER want to be seen as a nazi, but I do believe that we can arrest and deport without being one. Each State should take control of this and do it them selves, the government that we pay to do will not.

      July 19, 2010 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  3. real american

    poosie neo nazis, wait til you encounter the wrong UDA as you call them. next story will read. Armed Neo Nazi found dead along the Mexican border, another death linked to cartels

    July 19, 2010 at 10:28 am | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Christopher

    I will tell you who the racists is; its RON. Blacks had to organize to protect themselves from being lynched and blown up on Sunday when they went to church. Do you go to church Ron or watch any clips of the events that led up to the Civil Rights Act?

    July 19, 2010 at 10:32 am | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Lesley

    Demand rights as an illegal? I don't get that! Ask, don't demand. Do four years in the military and fight for this country then ask.

    July 19, 2010 at 10:43 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Arod

      There are many in the military serving who could be identified as "illegal" status today. Fighting for this country while y spew biggoted ignorance online, safely at home. Immigrants have NO rights at all, even hem they are legally here.
      Try immigrating yourself. Or talk to someone who has. Ask them about their experience. Ask them about their sacrifices.

      Your opinions and your votes will have literal impact on real human beings.

      July 19, 2010 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  6. real american

    what are You fighting for, this country no longer belongs to you. Your government has sold this country and for the most part it belongs to China and Saudi Arabia. quit fighting over spilled milk. Just enjoy the ride

    July 19, 2010 at 10:45 am | Report abuse | Reply
  7. PH53

    This is the example i've been talking about.. nazi, kkk, terrorist trash like this Williams fellow. Caucasians, you need to look in the mirror; see the "Williams" inside you; then repent to your creator, or if not, get a kitchen knife, and cut on yourself until that beast comes out of ya'. Let the congregation say amen.

    July 19, 2010 at 10:56 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Azazello

      You need professional help, if you're ineed serious. If you intended this as a joke, you might actually be an incurable sociopath.

      July 19, 2010 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  8. Christopher

    Don't reference church PH53, You are a psycho as well.

    July 19, 2010 at 11:00 am | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Arod

    "patrolling"? If these people stopped my immigrant wife, it would be war.

    For anyone who has immigrated here, even legally, it is very easy to lose status. 98% of the time, it's a government problem. Immigrants have no rights and are powerless in the system. I spent years and thousands of dollars before we finally got rough. It left me with a strong distrust. The last thing this country needs is these Nazis gaining credibility and a voice.

    July 19, 2010 at 11:02 am | Report abuse | Reply
  10. real american

    the border need to be closed not so much because of Illegals coming over to work or anything like that. The real concern should be the terrorist that could come into this countt=ry through that border. Most of them are dark skinned, so they could blend in well not to mention the possibility of weapons they could carry through that border. If you could sneak several pounds by backpack who knows what elso could be smuggled through.

    July 19, 2010 at 11:03 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Snacula

      I have heard for several years that thousands of afghans, iraqis, pakistanis, have been making their way freely across our borders for years. It's a known no brainer that if mexicans can come across it, then terrorists can, too. Our government values each; that's why they refuse to seal up the border. Similary to reasoning behind sealing up the well.

      July 19, 2010 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  11. sam

    we have seen this before 1920 ,1930 ,1940 ,1950 ,1960 then people started over powering white groups samegame some of same groups.

    July 19, 2010 at 11:04 am | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Arod

    I'd also like to add that I never felt safe during that whole time. The government was hostile and threatening the whole way. After those pictures of Elio Gonzales, you can be damned sure I was ready for nuts like these. I still am.

    July 19, 2010 at 11:05 am | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Hugh Jarce

    I'm sure that his justified complaints of bias and anti-white racism will soon be stifled with a few well placed accusations of being a nazi and a racist, it always works.

    Complete control of the people, gotta love it – or they destroy you.

    July 19, 2010 at 11:17 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jessica, Grand Rapids MI

      Perhaps he had a point, until he wrote that horrifically racist letter. Then, all of his credibility went flying out the window allong with his white pointed hood...

      July 19, 2010 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  14. Snacula

    Racist people are part of racist groups. The neo-nazi movement, as well as the naacp are 2 of those groups. National association for the advancement of colored people is what it stands for; with a black man as president, and sports figures, and musical artists being majority black, wouldn't you say that the naacp is no longer needed? to me, it appears as though the colored people want to keep their group in effect; because although the group is really not necessary at this point, it is none the less, a racial group. And just as a nazi group is not needed, it is in place because of the racists that belong to it. So, with that, you can not have a double standard. If the blacks want to continue with their groups, naacp, black panthers, etc.., then the whites will continue with their groups, kkk, national movement, etc.. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. None of the above mentioned groups are really serving any purpose other than promoting racial, radical, stereotypical behavior. So, you can keep quiet and have those groups, or have none at all. Racial groups are not one-way issues. If you have one, we'll have one.

    July 19, 2010 at 11:18 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jessica, Grand Rapids MI

      "If you have one, we'll have one." – I hate to break it to you, but the dissolving of one group will not lead to the dissolving of another group. But even if it did, do you think the KKK is going to disappear first, so that the NAACP can then disappear? Since, the KKK was here first...it should disappear first, since as you say "if you have one, we'll have one too"...

      July 19, 2010 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  15. Jessica, Grand Rapids MI

    I have a hard time being upset about illegal mexicans, considering all of our WHITE ANCESTORS came over here and slaughtered native americans and stole the land from them. Take what is not yours, and expect someday, the same will be done to you. To me, this is just a manifestation of karma.

    July 19, 2010 at 11:21 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Cyd

      Jessica from Grand Rapids "Well Said, YOU GO GIRL"

      July 20, 2010 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
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