The Guilford County Republican Party has spoken. In a press release, carefully worded to make Republican Commissioner Billy Yow shake in his boots and to reassure the African American community that Guilford County's Republicans are not racist yahoos, the Party's Executive Board is unequivicable in its righteous indignation and scathing condemnation of the recent behavior of one of its own elected leaders...
... well not really:
"... The Guilford County Republican Party categorically rejects any attempt by any person or group to demean or denigrate any person or organization based on race, creed, sex, age or disability by the use of rhetoric or other actions designed to inflame ill will, limit constructive debate, or show disrespect to others.
The Guilford County Republican Party does not condone such actions by any of its members, officers, or elected officials, and we would encourage its members not to support persons who do not further the principles of the U.S. Constitution, democracy, common decency and the Republican Party...."
Nowhere in the statement does it even mention Yow. And what's up with "and we would encourage its members not to support persons who do not further the principals.."? Well then why don't you? The statement comes off to me like "... and we would encourage our members not to support persons who hold racist views if we were so inclined... but we are not quite there yet." In addition, it would have been a great idea to have added "sexual orientation" to the list of groups that members of my Party should not "demean or denigrate".
The only way one can tell that the statement might have been promted by Yow's racist attitudes toward and total disrespect of the NAACP is because it invokes ol' Abe Lincoln as being one of us... how much more condescending could they get?
Overall, as condemnations go... I give it a "D-" Here's how I would have written it:
The Guilford County Republican Party is aware that the recent actions of one of our members has caused decent people to wonder if racist attitudes are a prevailing Republican trait. They are not.
The Guilford County Republican Party condemns the actions and statements of County Commissioner Billy Yow concerning the NAACP. The Executive Committee has met with Mr. Yow and asked him to resign his office immediately for the good of the Party, but he has refused our request.
Therefore we urge the citizens of District 5 to not support Mr. Yow in the upcoming election. Instead we have recruited a candidate who will challenge Mr. Yow in the July primary. This candidate was carefully screened by our Executive Committee for his/her suitablily as a representative of our Party's ideals and goals. We are proud of this candidate's record of public service and community involvement and hope you will support him/ner, both in July and in the general election in November.
Would such a statement have been so hard to make? Where do I go now? UA I suppose, or... do I stay and try to balance the Party? I said I would change affiliations unless my party called for Yow's censure and resignation... they did neither. Damn.
Update: I was alerted to the press release by a Republican candidate for County Commissioner via e-mail which stated, "... Unless an individual was aware this was posted today in response to the Yo Yow, they would have absolutely no reason to know this was not a general statement. Our wonderful "leader" and executive committee is a bunch of spineless wimps that go out of the way to put down Mary Rakestraw and don't even mention Billy Yow's name." - Carl Allen (with his permission)