Lawmaker accuses NAACP chief of racism

NAACP North Carolina State Conference President William J. Barber II. (AP image)
February 1, 2013 5:16:48 PM PST
In an email obtained by ABC11, Republican state Representative Michael Speciale of New Bern takes aim at North Carolina NAACP President William Barber - accusing him of "racist diatribes" and a "race-baiting attitude."

Click here to read the email (.pdf)

The email was in response to a statement mailed to lawmakers by the NAACP January 23 accusing Republicans who support a bill that would require voters have a picture ID to cast a ballot of engaging in an "obvious tactic to suppress the votes of minorities" who are more likely to vote for Democrats.

Click here to read the statement (.pdf)

In his response, Representative Speciale calls the NAACP message "as insulting a diatribe as I have seen in years" and chides Barber for tarnishing the proud history of the NAACP.

"Nowhere in anyone's minds but yours and your fellow race-opportunists is race, ethnic background, or color of one's skin mentioned, insinuated or inferred regarding the proposed voter ID laws," charged Speciale.

At a news conference Friday called to talk about the upcoming HKonJ assembly and march, Barber told reporters he was not personally offended by Speciale's comments, but he said the representative is wrong.

Barber said racism is using political power to pass policy that discriminates, and that's what he claims a voter ID law would do.

And, he said, the NAACP is anything but racist.

"The NAACP is not just black people.  It's thousands of people - black, white, Latino, Native Americans, young and old.  And what the NAACP has fought for hasn't just helped black people, it's helped America," he offered.

ABC11 has attempted to reach Representative Speciale for comment. We have not heard from him.

Classifieds | Report A Typo |  Send Tip |  Get Alerts | See Click Fix
Follow @abc11 on Twitter  |  Become a fan on Facebook


Load Comments