06-23-2017  6:48 am      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Multnomah County Leaders Release Statement on Safety at Summer Events

Officials advise public to check in, have a plan and be aware at public events ...

Portland Musician, Educator Thara Memory Dies

Grammy-winning Trumpeter, composer, teacher died Saturday at the age of 68 ...

St. Johns Center for Opportunity to Host Meet the Employer Event June 27

Employers represented will include Mary’s Harvest and Del Monte ...

New Self-Defense Organization Offers Training to Youth in Multnomah County

EMERJ-SafeNow offers July classes for children ages 8-10 and youth ages 15-19 ...

Annual Humboldt Neighborhood Association Cleanup

All neighborhoods and residents welcome ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

Our Children Deserve High Quality Teachers

It’s critical that parents engage with educational leaders and demand equal access to high quality teachers ...

Civil Rights Groups Ask for Broad Access to Affordable Lending

Charlene Crowell writes that today’s public policy housing debate is also an opportunity to learn from the mistakes of the past and...

Criminal Justice Disparities Present Barriers to Re-entry

Congressional Black Caucus Member Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.) writes about the fight to reduce disparities in our criminal justice...

Bill Maher Betrayed Black Intellectuals

Armstrong Williams talks about the use of the n-word and the recent Bill Maher controversy ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT


Editor's note: Yelton resigned last week after his remarks were aired on "The Daily Show."

Voter suppression is alive and well, especially in the state of North Carolina, where a Republican official, Don Yelton, proved himself to be at best intellectually limited, and at worse, downright crazy.


While discussing North Carolina's new voter ID law, Yelton made some absurd and incendiary statements.  "The law is going to kick the Democrats in the butt. If it hurts a bunch of college kids [that are] 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."

Yelton continued, "If it hurts a bunch of lazy blacks that want the government to give them everything, so be it,"

What is wrong with this man?  Has he no decency?  He tipped his hand by telling the world what he really thinks, and indicating what the so-called voter ID laws are really about.  These laws are about suppressing likely Democratic votes.  They are about racism and racist attitudes.  These attitudes don't belong in these United States of America 150 years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Editor's note:
Yelton resigned last week after his remarks were aired on "The Daily Show."

Who the heck is Don Yelton, anyway?  He's a local North Carolina precinct chair who initially answered questions about his interview with some belligerence.  "I've been called a bigot before," he said before adding that his best friend is Black.  Then he goes on to talk about the "n" word, saying that if African Americans can use the word, then so can he.

Of course, Yelton was reprimanded by his party. He ended up resigning over his comments.  But no one reprimanded Mitt Romney over his 47 percent comments, and no one has reprimanded the many Republican racists who cling to the past because they are frightened of our multicultural future.

I am waiting for someone to tell me that Yelton is "just one person" and that his views do not represent those of the Republican Party.  I'm also waiting for ants to eat snakes.  I am certain that Yelton has used these kinds of comments before.  Is this the first time he has been reprimanded?

To apply the world "lazy" to students and African Americans is disingenuous, racist, and insulting. Yelton seemed careful, though, not to ignore senior citizens, some of who might be challenged to get new ID. Yelton's comments are especially revealing of the contempt that some elected officer for their constituents.  Now that Republicans control both houses of the North Carolina legislature, some feel free to say what they really think.

This is not a North Carolina problem. Many states want to suppress the vote with new voter ID laws, fewer polling places, and other methods of keeping voters away from the polls.  These efforts to "kick Democrats in the butt" by attacking likely Democratic voters ought to mobilize voters to outmaneuver and out vote these people who are so crazy that they call others lazy.  The lazy comment is connected to racist stereotypes.  Somebody needs to remind Yelton that the plantation and sharecropping systems that North Carolina's economy rested on for at least a century was staffed by "lazy" people who were constantly being ripped off for their labor.

Shame on Don Yelton for being crazy enough to call hard working students and African Americans lazy.  Shame on the Republican Party that he purports to represent.  And shame on the state of North Carolina for its attempt to suppress the vote.  Shame, too, on the other states around the nation who, like North Carolina, who have made voter suppression a priority.

 

Julianne Malveaux is a Washington, D.C.-based economist and writer.  She is President Emerita of Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, N.C.

 

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