October 25th, 2013
10:01 AM ET
9 months ago

North Carolina GOP precinct chair resigns after racial remarks

Updated 10/25/2013 at 6:43 pm

(CNN) - The GOP precinct chair of Buncombe County in North Carolina resigned Thursday after the state's Republican Party called for his resignation over a racially-charged interview on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show."

In the interview, Don Yelton made racially charged remarks and said North Carolina's new voter ID laws will "kick the Democrats in the butt."

Yelton stepped down from his post in an interview on Asheville radio station WWNC.

“I resign my position as precinct chair. Gladly. I'll give it up. To heck with it, I don't want to be part of a group that is that mealy-mouthed and that gutless,” he said.

It all began when Yelton's interview on Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show" aired Wednesday night. The satirical news show did a segment on North Carolina's new voter ID requirements that Republican Gov. Pat McCrory signed into law in August.

"The law is going to kick the Democrats in the butt," Yelton said. "If it hurts a bunch of college kids too lazy to get up off their bohonkas and go get a photo ID, so be it. If it hurts the whites, so be it."

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

While Yelton said in the interview he's "been called a bigot before," he argued in his defense that one of his best friends is black.

North Carolina Republican Party Chairman Claude Pope swiftly called for Yelton's resignation.

"The North Carolina Republican Party finds the comments made by Mr. Yelton to be completely inappropriate and highly offensive," Pope said in a statement, adding that Yelton "does not speak for either the Buncombe County Republican Party or the North Carolina Republican Party."

Yelton told CNN affiliate WLOS on Thursday that he stands by his comments and brushed off any criticism.

"We can't avoid these issues. We need to bring them up and talk about them," he added.

On the radio show, Yelton went on to blast political correctness and reject the idea that he was hurting his party’s efforts at appealing to a wider audience or misrepresenting the GOP’s reasons for backing voter ID laws.

“They're a bunch of chickens,” he said, referring to Republicans who disagree with his approach. “I'm embarrassed for the fact that they don't stand up and fight for what's right.”

Yelton said he doesn’t regret any of the statements he made on the “Daily Show” and adamantly contended he was not a racist.

“I am not racist, never have been, and the ability of the local people and the media and the outlets to twist this into a racist issue shows exactly how willing the people are to be taken advantage of,” he said.

CNN reached out to Yelton Friday morning, but he did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In September, the Justice Department filed a lawsuit to block parts of the new North Carolina law, which requires voters to have a photo ID, shortens early voting, eliminates same-day voter registration during early voting and restricts the counting of some provisional ballots.

This summer the Supreme Court struck down a Voting Rights Act requirement for North Carolina and other states with a history of discrimination to get permission from the Justice Department or a federal judge before enacting voting law changes.

The high court's decision gave the states the green light to proceed with voter ID laws, which critics say disproportionately affect minorities, while opponents say the regulations prevent voter fraud.


Filed under: North Carolina
soundoff (99 Responses)
  1. rs

    Quite a leap there, So I guess he's suppressing lazy people? Of course, this has nothing to do with voter "fraud" suppression. Oh yeah, that's not supposed to be real. right...
    _____________________
    Not at all. He characterizes Blacks voters as lazy- then admits he isn't interested in their voting rights because they vote Democratic. Voyer suppression and racism all in one.

    October 25, 2013 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  2. Data Driven

    @DM4O,

    "Tell your Black friend we all said hi."

    Bwa!

    October 25, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  3. Data Driven

    @CA Independent,

    "Of course, this has nothing to do with voter "fraud" suppression. Oh yeah, that's not supposed to be real. right..."

    Prove?

    October 25, 2013 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  4. tee

    This is old news this is what the party stand for !

    October 25, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  5. CA Independent

    Data Driven, did you even read this article? He railed on lazy people, whites and blacks. Democrats have fallen over themselves to do anything that would ensure that only US citizens can vote. To do anything that will allow a person to vote in multiple polling locations. Sure, the remarks were stupid. But at least I understand the reason. The Liberal stance on voter identification is just plain stupid.

    @CA Independent,
    " but she does show the world just how hateful liberals are"

    If you think we're hateful, check out the North Carolina story two posts up. Conservatives WIN.

    October 25, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  6. Joyce

    What black person in their right mind would be friends with this person?

    October 25, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  7. Ol' Yeller

    @ S. B. Stein
    "Do these people want to go back to where land owners are the only ones who are allowed to make laws?"

    Why yes, that is exactly what they want to do S. B. Stein. And if them women keeping voting blue, they will put that on their 'to-do list' also.

    October 25, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  8. rs

    CNN- CA Independent doesn't get it- please include the link to the video.

    October 25, 2013 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  9. Wake up People!

    The GOTP taking us back to the 50's, the 1850's that is.

    These people just can't shut up.

    October 25, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  10. Lolo

    This is not news. Racism has never left the south. People do not be shocked. It was on the down low when they thought they had complete control with the whip and all, but since the black president was elected they are coming out in droves with racist remarks. They are so afraid which is really funny to me, because black people do not give a hoot. They will not be satisfied until someone gets hurt and then they can back up their slogan angry black people. Why do you think they are hung up on guns and such. Times are a changing and these hicks can not take it.

    October 25, 2013 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  11. TONE

    @Rick

    You post some of the weirdess, factless comments here and i respect that. But i thought that at least you were decent enough to condemn racism, i was wrong you are what you post I say no more.

    October 25, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  12. Dennis Freeman

    Typical of most Republican/Conservatives. They don't like blacks, Hispanics, anyone of color, women, gays & lesbians – you know the collective group that will soon be the majority in the U.S.

    October 25, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  13. CA Independent

    rs, And if his video showed his stupid remarks against lazy whites and lazy college kids, that just proves my point. Cherry picking a comment only about blacks, is racist on your part. Sorry I dont buy into the voter id issue as voter suppression.
    --–
    CNN- CA Independent doesn't get it- please include the link to the video.

    October 25, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  14. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    TONE

    So it is ok to speak that way because you have a black friend? these people give me stitches i am laughing so loud i think i broke a rib i am sorry i find this funny, this statement i have a black friend is too old invent another.
    -------------------------------------------------
    So I'm not the only one? Thank Gawd for you TONE!
    I have been reading excerpts outloud to my co-workers, you just cannot make this stuff up.
    And the poor goober-sap has been so entrenched in his behaviour for so long that he doesn't see anything wrong with it.
    What about his friend? The Black one?! ROFLMAO!!
    THEN he gets on national television and blabs out the entire GOP play book for all to hear.
    "This is what we're doing in North Kakalakee, and we don't care who knows it!".
    Now you're fired.

    October 25, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  15. Data Driven

    Okay, I'll try again:

    CA Independent, the guy said "lazy college kids", and then went on to be more specific, racially speaking. You are wrong.

    Meanwhile, we are still waiting for you to demonstrate systemic voter fraud. You can't, because you're wrong about that, too.

    October 25, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  16. Wake up People!

    Lolo, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but it's not just the south. I live in Michigan and it's terrible here.

    October 25, 2013 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  17. Data Driven

    @CA Independent,

    "And if his video showed his stupid remarks against lazy whites"

    It doesn't. Stop while you're behind.

    October 25, 2013 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  18. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Wake up People!

    The GOTP taking us back to the 50's, the 1850's that is.

    These people just can't shut up.
    -------------------------------------------------
    I haven't laughed this hard in a long time Wake Up!
    It is just beyond belief that people like this actually exist.
    I should be angry but I just cannot bring myself to get worked up. This guy's stupidity and entrenched racism is off the charts.
    The GOP and his Black best friend could put up with his racism, so in the end it was diarrhea of the mouth on national television that got him canned.

    October 25, 2013 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  19. What's in that tea anyway?

    This is the light shown on the roaches called the GOP/Tea fools

    October 25, 2013 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  20. emskadittle

    I would think that republican rule number 1 is when the daily show calls, you say no comment

    October 25, 2013 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  21. Tony

    Ca Independent, he said the word "lazy" for college students and blacks. He did not do so for whites. Do you think that was an accident?

    October 25, 2013 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  22. Bubba Jackson in Texas

    I am shocked racism in North Carolina. How can that be didn't Lincoln ( a Republican ) set the slaves free in 1865 Why would the modern Republicans act like the Democratic Party of 1861. Could it be old south is raising again.

    October 25, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  23. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    CA Independent said:
    Data Driven did you even read this article? He railed on lazy people, whites, and blacks.
    ------------------------------------------------
    Actually he did NOT rail on whites.
    He railed on lazy college students, an don lazy blacks who just want hand-outs.
    Here's the excerpt from the story,and the question is did YOU read the article or are you suffering from a lac of reading comprehension?

    "...college kids too lazy to get up off their bohonkas and go get a photo ID, so be it. If it hurts the whites, so be it."

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

    October 25, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  24. Lynda/Minnesota

    @Dominican mama: "THEN he gets on national television and blabs out the entire GOP play book for all to hear.
    "This is what we're doing in North Kakalakee, and we don't care who knows it!".

    Yeah ... what you said!

    Then they look all befuddled and confused because their "I've Got A Secret" playbook isn't so secret after all.

    October 25, 2013 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  25. Wake up People!

    Dominican Mama, these kind of statements make my year. For years many whites, not all, have pretended racism doesn't exist. That anytime one of us is discriminated against, we are playing the fictitious race card. That was their way of stopping us in our tracks from speaking up for ourselves. It worked with many. I know people that have been discriminated against but are afraid of what people say. As you probably know, I'm not one of them. Then Barack Obama stepped on the scene and once he beat Hillary in the primaries, the racists one by one began removing their hoods.

    It's time for America to wake up. All people should be treated equal.

    October 25, 2013 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
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