Raleigh, N.C. — An eastern North Carolina lawmaker is standing behind his characterization of the NAACP and its state president as racist.
Rep. Stephen LaRoque, R-Lenoir, sent a May 14 e-mail to the NAACP, which had issued an announcement the previous day about a Greenville news conference to protest budget cuts proposed by Republican lawmakers.
"I have no interest in receiving anything from a Racist such as William Barber," LaRoque wrote in the e-mail, referring to the state president for the NAACP. "He and the NC NAACP represent everything that is wrong with race relations in our state and country. You should be ashamed of yourself for continuing to promote racism but that is the modern day legacy of the NAACP as a racist organization led by Racist individuals who are Cowards."
Barber said Friday that he was shocked by the comments, but LaRoque said he has no intention on backing off.
Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger neither condoned or condemned LaRoque's statement when asked about it, but he said his colleague could have expressed his feelings without resorting to name-calling.
"I think many times people will talk about particular issues, and they probably articulate themselves in ways that are not helpful to the overall discussion. I would say that fits within that characterization," Berger said.
I wrote Mr. LaRoque and said the following:
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: THANK YOU for showing the courage!
Date: Fri, 27 May 2011 16:30:01 -0400
From: Troy LaPlante
Thank you for showing enough courage to stand up against William Barber
and the NAACP. Racism is wrong, regardless of from whom it comes.
Barber is a race pimp who constantly incites racist views in order to
keep his job. Nothing will satisfy him on any topic as long as he can
find a way to come up with an angle that enables him to stir up racism.
I am not from your district (I am from Johnston County), but I am proud
of you for having the spine to take a stand. I wish that there were
more like you in the NC Legislature.
http://www.wral.com/news/state/nccapitol/story/9653960/ is the story I
read about you and I have shared it all over my web presence.
Why not email Mr. LaRoque to thank and encourage him, as well?