NAACP continues to fire back at NC representative

Stephen LaRoque

June 2, 2011 4:36:25 PM PDT
Several local chapters of the NAACP continue to fire back at a North Carolina representative who called the group racist.

Chapter members began a news conference Thursday in Goldsboro with a prayer, seemingly aimed at Republican Stephen LaRoque, the legislator who represents their district -- Wayne County.

"Representative LaRoque's statements and attacks on the NAACP is a distraction from the real issues our state is facing," said Courtney Patterson, NAACP District 15.

The NAACP says it's speaking out against LaRoque because of an email in which he called the group racist.

LaRoque's comments followed NC NAACP President William Barber's arrest. Barber was arrested last week inside the state legislature. He was protesting budget cuts and claimed the house speaker would not meet with him.

"Representative LaRoque owes North Carolina an apology," said Silvia Barnes, NAACP Goldsboro/Wayne County.

However, the group is not looking for an apology for the Representative's comments.

Barnes adds the apology should be extended to "teachers, unemployed workers, and others caught up in the faulty policies pouring out of Jones Street. We have not seen bills come forward that would directly assist those seeking jobs. Unemployment rates have remained high and are particularly bad in this part of our state."

LaRoque was not available to comment on camera Thursday, but he sent an email stating the budget would support classrooms and the unemployed. He stands by the racist label he gave the NAACP and his demand for an apology from Barber.

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