Mark Williams, chairman of the Tea Party Express, still questions President Obama's natural born citizenship, attracting controversy and commentary on the "birther" rhetoric coming from talk radio and the far right.
Williams, who grew up in Massachusetts before heading west to become a radio talk show host, has made extreme comments comparing political correctness to AIDS and invoking racist arguments against the president and his agenda.
In a profile of Williams in Thursday's edition of The Boston Globe, reporter Peter Schworm quotes Williams as admitting that Obama was "probably" born in the United States, but in the same breath claiming documents show he was born elsewhere.
Williams tells the Globe that he believes Obama is at the very least "culturally un-American," and a socialist. He has previously called Obama an "Indonesian Muslim turned thug," and the "racist in chief."
This kind of racially charged language, associated with birthers and some elements of the Tea Party movement in posters and comments at rallies, may be intended to rile up opposition.
"Williams said he uses strong language to bolster his arguments and animate audiences, and that his forceful rhetoric, even if it skirts the truth, is appropriate to fight the threats presented by the Obama administration," the Globe article says.
Williams said in 2005 that people trapped in flooded New Orleans, who were mostly poor and African American, "didn’t have the necessary brains and common sense to get out of the way’’ of Hurricane Katrina because they expected the government to “do absolutely everything for them,’’ according to the Globe report.
Williams said of Kanye West, who famously said on live TV that President George W. Bush “doesn’t care about black people,’’ was a “Klansman in black face.’’
Williams was fired in 2006 by a radio station in Sacramento, for comments including incendiary statements on illegal immigration, according to the Globe.
At a Boston Common rally for the Tea Party Express on April 14, Williams invoked political correctness, a code word for race, as the cause of 9/11 and said "[America has] got a full blown case of AIDS and we're the cure."