NAACP addresses claim of racism over voter ID
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RALEIGH--NAACP has been outspoken against the proposed voter ID bill. Earlier this week, one house representative accused the group's president of having a race baiting attitude.
Reverend William Barber read an e-mail at Friday's news conference from Rep. Michael Speciale. Responding to the group's claims that the voter ID bill would lead to voter suppression, Rep. Speciale accuses the NAACP president of having a race baiting attitude and closes the e-mail out by saying previous comments he's made about the proposed bill are racist and inappropriate.
"It's like he picked up a book from the 50s and 60s and just regurgitated the same answers from that day rather than actually listening to what we were saying empirically and analytically," said N.C. NAACP President Rev. William Barber.
Barber said he didn't take the e-mail personally, but is using it to point out other issues he has with the General Assembly. Reverend Barber also threw the racism claim right back at state lawmakers.
"When you pass a medicaid policy that you know is going to cut the difference between black and white uninsured rates by half that's racial disparity. That's systemic racism," said Barber.
In regards to the e-mail, Republican majority leader Edgar Starnes released a statement saying, "I ask all members of the legislature and all groups with an interest in this issue to focus on policy rather than emotion. Issues as important as this often generate emotional reactions but we must focus our debate on a policy that is good for North Carolina. In that spirit we will continue to work toward a strong voter ID bill that protects our citizens and maintains the integrity of the ballot box."
Rep. Speciale couldn't be reached for comment Friday and the house doesn't return to session until Monday. No immediate action is expected on the bill, but if this week is any indication there are sure to be plenty of fireworks until then.