Racial Rant Against Voting Rights on ‘The Daily Show’ Causes GOP Official to Resign

don-yeltonNo matter how old I get, I’ll simply never understand racism.  Sure, I get disliking people.  I’ve met plenty of people throughout my life that I couldn’t stand.  But there’s a difference — I dislike people I’ve gotten to know or have had some kind of interaction with.  My dislike for them is based upon the type of person they are, not their skin color.

How someone can look at someone’s skin color and instantly judge them has just simply never made sense to me.

So when I saw some GOP official go on a racial tirade during an interview on The Daily Show, I just didn’t get it.  To be willfully ignorant just seems like such a waste of time.

But that’s exactly what I saw when Don Yelton, now former Republican precinct chairman of Buncombe County, N.C., went on The Daily Show and put his ignorance on full display.

During the interview, where the issue of North Carolina’s strict new voter ID laws were brought up, Mr. Yelton showed off the kind of ignorance I see often from Republicans, yet see far less often displayed publicly:

“The law is going to kick the Democrats in the butt.  If it hurts a bunch of college kids too lazy to get up off their bohonkas and go get a photo ID, so be it.  If it hurts a bunch of whites, so be it.  If it hurts a bunch of lazy blacks that want the government to give them everything, so be it.”

Oh, but he rejects the claim that he’s a racist because, as he put it, one of his “best friends is black.”

Yes, he actually said that.  Probably the most cliché line uttered by racists when trying to claim they’re not racist—he actually said with a straight face.  It reminds me of the time I met a woman who claimed she wasn’t a racist, she would just prefer that our president be white.  Nah, not racist at all.

Well, following his controversial comments, Mr. Yelton was forced to resign from his position as precinct chairman.

But the fact is, his comments weren’t just racist.  I really believe they express the real attitude behind this movement by many Republican-controlled states that have passed these strict new voter ID laws.

They hope these laws “kick Democrats in the butt.”  They hope it “hurts” college kids.  They hope it “hurts” poor people.  Sure, he called them lazy, but by “lazy” they really mean poor.

It’s a pull from their rhetoric they use to describe people on welfare.  Remember, to many Republicans, people on welfare don’t need help—they’re lazy people looking for a free handout.

Which is basically the attitude Mr. Yelton expressed during his interview.  He wants these laws to hurt the “lazy” (aka poor) people.

And while Republican officials in North Carolina have condemned his remarks, I absolutely believe what he said is the exact way most conservatives feel about these laws.

These laws aren’t about preventing voter fraud — which isn’t even remotely an issue anywhere in the country — they’re about trying to keep individuals that often don’t vote Republican from being able to vote at all.

It’s voter suppression—period.

Republicans can try to spin it any which way they want, but these laws are about suppressing voters that don’t vote for their party.

So while I’m sure Republicans publicly will denounce his remarks, which is evident by his quick resignation, I fully believe that what he said represents the real attitude of most Republicans.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


Facebook comments

  • Raymond Sean Walters

    “these laws are about suppressing voters that don’t vote for their party”


  • What In the World?

    They are not shy about saying they’re trying to make sure the ones they don’t want to vote, don’t get to vote. They truly believe they know better and we all need to just back off and let them take care of it all. We’re too emotional, poor, female, black or educated to make “rational” decisions.

    • Mike Williams

      too female…love it….They are scared of them vaginas…

      • Artos

        well ya have you seen how many gay sex scandals they have lol

    • bassgirl48

      the only people we “don’t want to vote” are dead people, illegal aliens, and people who have stolen identities one way or another.

  • Susan Axtell

    It’s just a matter of time.

  • Mike Williams

    I am for a photo ID that allows one to drive, go to school, vote, hunt, fish etc.
    One ID. I am also for making it so it is easy to get if you can prove your a citizen by producing your birth certificate which for some additional assistance will be required and given. Where? At the mall, at wal mart, in any county clerk office, at the DMV etc. One ID sharing multiple databases.
    I also support a mobile facility that drives around visiting the people who can not get to one of the facilities on their own. Problem is how to pay for it. Simple just do it. That is how we get things done, just do it.

    • Edward Krebbs

      The thing I can’t get my mind around is that when I was growing up in the late 50s/early 60s, both my fundamentalist church and my father (WW II vet, lifetime NRA member) both decried that a national identity paper was one of the things that they fought against in the war / a step toward a fascist country like Nazi Germany / the coming of the mark of the beast.
      Now the conservative side is calling to institute it.
      BTW – I can understand from my own personal experience how my wallet stretches to contain all sorts of cards that I have to carry around.

      • Mike Williams

        Since we have accepted being identified as a citizen, and we have accepted that we have to vote. It is logical to want to a keep the vote a secret, and also prevent people not authorized to vote from voting. Imagine if anyone could vote anywhere. Imagine the havoc that could be wrought. A photo ID simply makes it so the person you present your ID to can say yes the picture is of you and I see by your data scan that you are allowed to vote in this district. Imagine a situation where a mayor race is won by 80,000 votes in a town where only 20,000 live. That is why we have voter ID cards, all a photo does is make sure your who you claim to be. While everyone is so concerned with being allowed to vote, what if your vote is stolen?

      • BB-Mystic

        You’re imagining a fantasy. Voter fraud so rarely happens in the real world (I just saw on the Rachel Maddow show that there were only FOUR confirmed cases of inperson voter fraud in Texas from 2004 till now) that the burden put on the poor, elderly and minorities to get a photo ID if they don’t have one isn’t worth it.
        I would rather have those four fake voters than hundreds of thousands, or millions, of people kept from exercising their constitutional right.

      • Mike Williams

        Not about voter fraud, it’s about simplifying the identity process. I grew up in Chicago and am very familiar with voter fraud, election fraud, disenfranchising a population of voters, etc….
        This is not even a new idea nor is it mine.
        It is simply a way of putting to rest all the problems associated with identity fraud that is a real problem.
        When we finally have a uniform method of establishing identity we can expect fewer cases of identity fraud.

        How to forge an ID.
        Register to vote in TN.

        You need only mail with your name on it and a faked birth certificate to prove you live in that district. If you bring in a false id from another state and say I’ve just moved here. Boom voter ID.
        Take voter ID to DMV bring false birth certificate and say I am getting my first d/l show you voter ID and your piece of mail proving you live in the state and your fake bc. Boom false Identity. It is slightly more involved than that but the process is just so easy to manipulate. That is why a national/state uniform database is needed.

        Btw. people who do this, won’t show up as voter fraud. kinda like trying to find out who farted in the hot tub…

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        I live in the Chicaguh suburbs. While voter fraud was popular decades ago (Vote early and vote often), it ain’ that way anymore. There was a time when a utility bill with your name on it along with your signature was enough to prove you was you.

      • Karen Peters

        Even though I do not believe that voter fraud is as prevalent as the Republicans claim, I am not against ID for all voters. But this ID should than be available to all citizens without all of the red tape and with no cost to the people who cannot afford it. I think Mike has a great idea with having one ID that covers it all. That way no one would be denied the right to vote just because they a students, elderly or poor.

    • suburbancuurmudgeon

      I’m for people who know the difference between “your” and “you’re.”

      Oregon has voting by mail. People get their ballots in the mail and send them in. No ID required.

      • gemma liar

        according to FOX “:news”,,,,Oregon is close to Russia so its obviously commie

      • Mike Williams

        Pick your snarky comment: (you only get one)

        1. Thanks to GOP de-funding of education back in July I have apparently suffered already.

        2. If I was talking to you, an obviously literately unchallenged person, I would have used “you’re”. Since I was addressing the masses that accept the definition of “literally” to be synonymous with “figuratively” I used “your”.

        3. The following words are no longer part of the English dialect spoken by Merucans.

        4. waheva…

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Try again:
        “so it is easy to get if you can prove your a citizen.” You’re = You Are. Your = possessive, meaning belonging to you.

        Actually, I’m partial to “yer” and “y’all”.

    • RRuin

      I’m for recognizing the fact that there’s hardly any voter fraud that would be stopped by the unnecessary id’s and hoop jumping the Republicans want. It is all aimed at stopping the vote, the one big thing this country was built on.

      • Mike Williams

        This isn’t just another ID idea. It’s meant to replace ALL id’s.
        Passport, drivers license, voter ID, medical ID’s. etc…

  • Michael Siever

    Somehow, I have a feeling that voter ID laws will be a blessing in disguise for Democrats. Usually, if somebody is threatening to take voting rights away by making it harder to vote, the complacent, apathetic voters, who either already have photo IDs or can get them easily, will do so just so they can vote to say “f**k you!” to the establishment. In other words, the exact opposite of what the GOP wants to happen ends up happening.

    • gemma liar

      wouldn’t that be sweet? stupidly letting democrats KNOW their only strategy and allowing liberals to figure out how to suppress the suppression

  • Marilyn Olsen Scheffler

    I still don’t understand the power that these people have to be able to twist the laws of voting so that they exclude certain people! Why isn’t anyone with any ethics at all standing up to them and making it a fight? Where is the justice in this world?

  • Edward Krebbs

    Somehow I wonder if the real reason he was dismissed wasn’t for the racial rant(after all, we’re talking about NC, land of Jesse Helms), Rather that the repubs made sure he was punished for admitting the real reason was to kick the dems in the butt / voter suppression.

    • suburbancuurmudgeon

      Ya think???

    • bassgirl48

      Edward! Really! the idea is not voter repression. the idea is non-voter repression! i don’t want a person without a driver’s license driving a car while i’m out there on the road, and i don’t want an illegal voter helping to decide the most important and time-honored event in this free country of ours! we pay a price for citizenship. only citizens should be allowed to vote.
      Should i counter back and say to you that the reason you don’t want voter ID laws is so the democrats can continue to allow illegal aliens and dead people to vote?

      • Nancy Oni

        How many dead people and illegal immigrants are actually voting? Not even remotely close to what the Republicans are claiming. While there were a few incidents from BOTH parties, mainly the Republicans were the ones causing shenanigans

      • Mike Williams

        Hard to tell, since it’s hard to prove. since there are so few laws demanding you prove who you are in order to vote.

        Fun fact. some states do not require photo proof of ID in order to register to vote. These same states use voter ID cards to allow you to apply for a drivers license. They then allow a DL to be used to prove who you are.
        can someone say false identity documents that look legit because they were issued by the state… Sweet..

      • BB-Mystic

        Since what you’re talking about almost never happens in the real world, is it worth disenfranchising hundreds of thousands or millions of people all because of the few substantiated cases of in-person voter fraud?

        Not to me it isn’t.

  • estfar

    ID papers is what the Afrikaners used to control Blacks in South Africa. I guess that’s what the far right is looking to instill here, Apartheid by any other name is still Apartheid. Why don’t we simply move these Fascists to their own reservation and make sure that they keep their in-breeding among themselves.

    • bassgirl48

      Apartheid??? Really??? you liberals are unbelievable!! who puts these ideas in your heads??? ID papers??? Everyone has to have an ID card! Everyone! for driving, for getting food stamps, insurance, EVERYTHING!!! so just flip it out and show it when you go to vote. simple as that! then we won’t have all those dead people voting anymore. just sayin’

  • RRuin

    They no longer even attempt to hide their desire to undermine democracy. Not only racists, the push is on to disenfranchise women. Look at Texas and their new laws. The other Republican run states will follow.

  • bassgirl48

    “I fully believe that what he said represents the real attitude of most Republicans.” That statement right there is why no one can get along in this country. It is why the people are so divisive when it comes to political parties. Mr. Clifton, you are an abomination – a wart on the nose of humanity. I don’t know any Republicans who feel this way. I do know quite a few Democrats who have listened to the biased tilt of the media for so long, though, that they think just like you!