No 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.
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