The Reno-Sparks NAACP charged Republicans in the Nevada Assembly on Thursday to take a second look at their decision to have Ira Hansen serve as speaker in 2015, due to his numerous racial remarks.
Hansen reportedly made offensive remarks about people of color, gays and women, according to the weekly Reno News & Review. Some of his remarks include:
“The relationship of Negroes and Democrats is truly a master-slave relationship, with the benevolent master knowing what’s best for his simple minded drakes” and “The lack of gratitude and the deliberate ignoring of white history in relation to eliminating slavery is a disgrace that Negro leaders should own up to.”
Hansen “has beaten the drum of intolerance for decades,” Reno-Sparks NAACP President Jeffrey Blanck said on Thursday. “Mr. Hansen has long been an unyielding opponent of everything the NAACP supports.”
In response, Hansen said in a statement late Thursday that the column he started writing in the Tribune nearly 20 years ago that contained most of these offensive comments was “meant to be purposely provocative, ” but he was “deeply sorry that comments I have made in the past have offended many Nevadans.”
Apparently, not all of Hansen’s cohort’s share his beliefs.
Republican Gov. Brian Sandova said Hansen “will have to answer questions regarding his previous statements himself. I wholeheartedly disagree with Assemblyman Hansen’s past public statements on race, religion, gender, and sexual orientation. This abhorrent kind of speech is unacceptable,” in a statement.
Hansen’s statements aren’t the only thing that the local NAACP chapter is having problems with. Hansen’s appointment of Republican Assemblyman James Wheeler as chairman of the Assembly Transportation Committee is also troubling as Wheeler reportedly said that he would vote to bring back slavery if that’s what his constituency wanted, according to the Huffington Post.
Despite Hansen’s blatant disrespect and bigotry, Wheeler told the Reno Gazette-Journal that he thinks Hansen deserves a chance.
“He is really trying to do something right here, and this kind of thing is so counterproductive,” Wheeler said. “Give us a chance.”