The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is asking Republicans in the Nevada Assembly to reassess their recent unanimous decision to fill a top position with an incoming lawmaker who previously wrote a column referencing “simple minded darkies.”
Republican Assemblyman Ira Hansen, who earlier this month was elected speaker of the lower house for the 2015 legislative session, wrote about what he perceives as the “master-slave relationship” between Democrats and African-Americans, according to a report published Thursday by The Reno News & Review. Journalists for the alternative weekly read through past newspaper columns on microfilm that Hansen had written since 1994. Reporters said they found a range of hot-button issues in his writing, including race.
“The relationship of Negroes and Democrats is truly a master-slave relationship, with the benevolent master knowing what’s best for his simple minded darkies. For American blacks, being denied choice and forced to attend the failing and inferior government school system is a form of involuntary servitude. Let’s call it what it truly is — educational slavery,” Hansen allegedly wrote.
He also commented on women, gay people, Hispanics, public education, and teachers’ unions, according to the report: “Locally, gangs and their associated criminal activity are obviously dominated by immigrants, especially Hispanic immigrants. You cannot read a story about criminals or watch a news report locally without noticing a grossly disproportionate amount of Hispanic involvement.”
Hansen’s office did not immediately respond to msnbc’s requests for comment.
Following publication of the report on Thursday, the Reno-Sparks chapter of the NAACP requested the new GOP majority in the state Assembly reconsider its recent election of Hansen.
“We understand that the caucus has many newly elected members who may not be as familiar with Mr. Hansen’s past as we are. They need to know he has beaten the drum of intolerance for decades,” Jeffrey Blanck, president of the Reno-Sparks branch, wrote in a statement posted to the NAACP’s website.
“As a public official,” he added, “Hansen’s comments are of importance.”
The NAACP pointed out web writings for the Sparks Tribune during the past two decades that members believe demonstrate him as a “bigot, racist, [and] homophobe.”
Andrew Barbano, branch vice president, mentioned on the website Hansen’s appointment of Republican Assemblyman Jim Wheeler, who apparently brought national ridicule on Nevada when he said he would vote to bring back slavery.
“All this would be laughable,” Blanck said, “were it not so abhorrent and dangerous.”