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'Daily Show' Segment Gets Sh*tbag, Racist Republican Fired From His Post

By Dustin Rowles | Videos | October 25, 2013 | Comments ()


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On Wednesday night, The Daily Show’s Aasif Mandvi visited Asheville, North Carolina to do a piece on voter suppression in the wake of the Supreme Court striking down a piece of the Civil Right Act. In the segment, Mandvi interviewed Don Yelton, a Republican activist and the Buncombe County Republican precinct chairman.

As is typical of these comedic segments, Mandvi elicited a few choice quotes from Yelton, but unlike most segments in which The Daily Show puts these quotes into a context meant to make a fool of the subject, Yelton did all the work himself. In fact, he said some things so blatantly racist that even Mandvi looked taken aback by what Yelton was saying, asking at one point, “You know we can hear you, right?”

Among those choice quotes:

“When I was a young man, you didn’t call a black a black — you called him a negra.” …

“I had a picture one time of Obama sitting on a stump as a witch doctor, and I posted that on Facebook … for your information I was making fun of my white half of Obama, not the black half.”

“And now you have a black person using the term ni**er this ni**er that and it’s okay for them to do it.”

And if that isn’t bad enough, Yelton actually said out loud, “As a matter of fact, one of my best friends is black.” Ultimately, the executive GOP committee member admitted that the law he was advocating was was designed to suppress Democratic votes and those “lazy blacks that want the government to give them everything.”

Thankfully, someone in North Carolina actually had the sense, after the segment aired, to fire Yelton. Buncombe GOP Chairman Henry Mitchell said there’s no place in the Republican party for guys like Yelton. From WRAL:

Mitchell called the remarks “offensive, uniformed and unacceptable of any member within the Republican Party.”

“Let me make it very clear, Mr. Yelton’s comments do not reflect the belief or feelings of Buncombe Republicans, nor do they mirror any core principle that our party is founded upon,” Mitchell said in a press release. “This mentality will not be supported or propagated within our party.”

According to the release, this isn’t the first time Yelton has clashed with local party leadership.

“Yelton was recently reprimanded and removed from his position as a precinct chair in Buncombe County for a period of time in 2012 through 2013 and was then re-elected to precinct chair by two votes (his wife and himself) at the 2013 convention, placing him back on the Buncombe County Executive Committee,” said the statement, which also noted that Yelton neither sought nor got approval to speak on behalf of the GOP.

Yelton stepped down from his post after Mitchell asked for his resignation.


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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not


  • Jiffylush

    "Buncombe GOP Chairman Henry Mitchell said there’s no place in the Republican party for guys like Yelton."

    So middle aged white males with racist tendencies are no longer welcome in the Republican party? I guess there are suddenly a lot less Republicans, looks like North Carolina is going to go Blue in the next election!

  • googergieger

    At my job there is a half black half German schizophrenic that memorized all of Hitler's speeches and constantly recites them in German loudly at passing cars. Even he'd ask this guy to tone it down.

  • GDI

    So it was ok to refer to all black people as "black women"? Golden age America was a weird era...

  • Deebos

    Obviously a hatchet job to discredit the GOP. This guy was removed but re-elected himself to the position then goes on to say obviously stupid statements. Seems like a media hound or somebody with a vendetta.

  • e jerry powell

    I mostly had to laugh because the whole thing was far too painful to do much else. At least until the gays rode in to the rescue, which induced even more laughter.

    As to the party's stand-aside: “Let me make it very clear, Mr. Yelton’s comments do not reflect the belief or feelings of Buncombe Republicans, nor do they mirror any core principle that our party is founded upon,” Mitchell said in a press release. “This mentality will not be supported or propagated within our party.”

    "As long as there are black people within earshot, anyway."

  • jja

    As a side note, this is the county that is responsible for the nineteenth century phrase "bunkum", which we have shortened to "bunk." As in, "what a load of bunk." Well, maybe not a side note after all.

  • bastich

    Yeah, but what have they done for us lately?

  • One additional comment, though: as backwards and deplorable as I find this good ol' boy, his characterizations, and any attempt to suppress the voting rights of ANY group... I'm not sure I see a problem with requiring a photo ID to vote, IF ample time, opportunity and access to obtain said ID are also provided. This is a right people have fought and died for; why would we not attach the same security-assurance to the process that we attach to writing a check at the grocery store?

    I'm genuinely asking your opinions, not being rhetorical: once the vote is made ACCESIBLE, is democracy strengthened or weakened by making the vote more convenient?

  • ZombieMrsSmith

    I'm totally in favor of Voter ID laws, IF we also make voting a legal requirement for all citizens, as it is in Australia. If you don't vote, you pay a fine.

  • Right there with you in spirit...except I fear compulsory voting would just clog the ballot boxes with the equivalent of "I picked C. I always pick C." Maybe it would be a wash, maybe it would tip the scales for better or worse. Don't know enough about Australia to have a valid opinion on its effect there. 'Fraid I'm stuck back at the age-old Idealist's Lament: you can lead a horse's ass to a library, but you can't make him think.

  • e jerry powell

    Phyllis Schlafly only knows that making voting more convenient makes it less and less likely for conservatives to win and hold office. This includes absentee/early voting, which makes it easier for "lazy people." Draw your own conclusions.

  • emmalita

    Or, you know, poor people who work.

  • e jerry powell

    In Phyllis Schlafly's world, people who work aren't poor.

  • emmalita

    Phyllis Schlafly is the first person I protested against. I was 9. I feel good about it.

  • Hollyg

    I find the idea of the government demanding photo ID for ONE situation in you civil life, while said government does not offer a specific service to provide you with this ID, quite preposterous. In countries where photo ID is required when voting (like mine), every single person has to have a "national register" card, and no one is insane not to have them at all times because we need it for many everyday things. You can use other official photo ID documents to vote (driver's license, passport, your professional id card, etc), but those are options. There are centers everywhere that issue your "national register", and they are, of course, free. It's a document that we actually need and use in our lives, and therefore demanding that we have it to proof our identity when we vote is not out of the ordinary.

  • Kate

    You need ID in Australia and we don't have a national register card or anything similar. If you don't have a license or passport you can use your birth certificate or citizenship papers, bills with your name on them, a stat dec saying you are who you claim you are...

  • e jerry powell

    Thing is, you can't work legally in the U.S. unless you have one of a very specific list of IDs to provide for your I-9 form, most of which also suffice for purposes of voting. So if you have a job for which you were legally hired, you most likely already have the ID you need to vote.

    Now for people who don't have jobs that require filing an I-9, it's a different matter.

  • And this is exactly the type of system I would call fair. I agree that requiring a document not freely and easily made available in order to vote is, essentially, a poll tax.

  • e jerry powell

    You're not wrong, but as I noted in a different reply, most times the same ID that would be acceptable for voting is actually required to be employed.

  • Cree83

    The problem is right in your paragraph: "IF ample time, opportunity, and access to obtain said ID are also provided." That doesn't really happen. If you are poor, and you can't afford a car, you might not bother to get a driver's license. If you work two jobs, and you get paid per hour rather than on salary, you might not have the time or ability to leave work and go to the DMV or passport office during the hours they are open in order to obtain an ID. The burden of these laws falls greater on the poor, a group that disproportionately overlaps with people of color. It doesn't seem to serve democracy to disenfranchise the very segments of society that already have trouble getting their voices heard.

  • e jerry powell

    Tiny quibble:

    If you work two jobs, and you get paid per hour rather than on salary, you might not have the time or ability to leave work and go to the DMV or passport office during the hours they are open in order to obtain an ID.

    If you have a job legally in the U.S., you had to fill out an I-9 when you were hired, and with that I-9 you have to provide proof of identification and proof of employment eligibility, so that's not a valid argument as that goes.

  • Cree83

    Does proof of ID always require a photo ID though? I had a job when I was 15 and I think I showed a birth certificate or something. Not sure how strict that particular employer was. I've also held several under the table type jobs when I was in college. I wouldn't be surprised if this was fairly common with young folks as well as poor folks.

  • e jerry is correct: In order to work now, you now have to prove two things: A) that you are who you say you are (valid photo ID); and B) that you're authorized to work in the U.S. (in other words, either a U.S. citizen or a work-authorized foreign national). This is the reason for the "Lists A, B and C" on government/employment forms: Column A docs (for example, U.S. passports) establish both identity and status, so you only need one. Your birth certificate proved citizenship, but not identity.

    POSTSCRIPT: Holy cameltoenails... witness the HR-iness of me. Talk among yourselves, I'll just be over here drain-snaking my ear with a hash pipe..

  • Cree83

    The link I found has things like school ID listed as acceptable. This would not be good enough to vote in areas that require a government issued photo ID. Regardless, over 3 million people apparently do NOT have government issued photo IDs (at least, according to NPR), and I see no reason why they should be disenfranchised. http://www.npr.org/2012/01/28/...

  • Sarah Weissman

    There are people who didn't go to school/left at a young age, too. (But overall, we agree.)

  • e jerry powell

    Depends on the specific document. Green cards and passports have pictures (though green cards don't confer voting rights), An EAD card must have a picture on it. Certain foreign passports don't have to have them, but people who carry those aren't concerned with voting in the U.S.. State-issued driver's licenses/ID cards have photos. There are special exceptions for people under 18 and people with disabilities as far as proof of identity goes.

  • Agreed, hence the "IF ample time..." caveat. If a photo ID is going to be a voter requirement, then we need to ensure that everyone has means to get one, whether that involves making them no-fee, providing transportation, etc. However, I still come back to one sticking point: elections aren't every week. Truly, in two to four years, can one not find time to do this? I've worked two jobs before. Even then, it did not account for 24 hours of my day. Yeah, I probably wouldn't want to spend my ONE day of rest at the DMV waiting for a pic... but if my ability to vote depended upon it, I might make the sacrifice.

    Admittedly, my issue is less with people who are genuinely struggling with the basics, and more with people who hope to put voting on televisions, PC's, phone apps, etc. I don't especially WANT to be governed by those who WOULDN'T have voted except that they could do so without missing a minute of Real Housewives. And yet, the question stands: where does the line fall between "accessible" and "convenient"?

  • Etaoin_Sherdlu

    What is the purpose of showing an ID? To prevent voter fraud? As the video states, and as records show, fraud is not a significant problem.

    The point here is that ANY attempt to restrict a citizen's right to vote (and requiring ID is a restriction) overwhelmingly impacts poor and minority groups. Who benefits from disenfranchising these people? You know who.

  • Point taken. Again, I have no desire to disenfranchise - OR provide an advantage - to any particular group. If there were a way to raise the hurdles for the affluent and mobile, I'd be all for that, too.

    So I guess in the end that what I really want is an electorate that treats democracy as a responsibility as much as it's a right - as something deserving of engagement and effort and yes, even a little hardship. It comes from growing up on so many well-meaning get-out-the-vote campaigns that tout voting as an inherent social "good" independent of the engagement (or lack thereof) behind it.

    Unfortunately, as you point out, we don't seem to be able to regulate the process in a way that affects people equally.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    There does have to be some level of engagement, though, in that you must register in advance. And there is time for government to vet your registration and conclude that it is legal. Your proof of ID is signing the registrar. I don't think, on the whole, that someone wishing to commit voter fraud would have too much of a harder time forging a license than forging a signature.

    Most forms of personal ID expire after a while - and though on some level I think that voter ID is common sense, I've come through reading to learn about the people for whom it is a hardship to get a new ID. If our bureauocratic systems were kinder, maybe that wouldn't be the case, but alas, they are. We also have to get away from thinking that voting is something that happens only every two-four years, or even once a year. There are local issues voted on at various times throughout the year.

  • Etaoin_Sherdlu

    I think we're in agreement: it'd be great if Americans were responsible and engaged voters in the same way as many citizens of other countries. Sadly, too many have become disillusioned and detached from the process, and there are plenty of entities eager to encourage this. So now we have agencies who struggle to simply enfranchise as many people as possible and try to inspire them to get involved and hope things turn out for the better.

  • jettcity

    Talibanican party ideology spoilers in this article.

  • Guest

    That segment was BRILLANT (not just for the plain old stupid bigotry). I loved it when Asvif pointed to the picture of younger Lewis with King and said they would be ashamed.

    "This is why you people need IDs, because we can't tell you apart. I mean civil right's leaders."

    "Is that Denzel Washington?"

  • bastich

    I'll just let this guy speak for me:

  • EDIT - Upon re-reading this, I realized I got lost somewhere and missed my own point. Sorry. Too many things about this guy pissed me off.

    I'm continually dismayed by the way various GOP leaders, pundits and "rising stars" harp on the same refrain about needing to get over better and "rebrand" themselves in order to win elections. Aside from the delusion that they lost in 2012 because people DIDN'T understand their message, there's the blatant, off-putting cynicism of admitting - trumpeting, even - that your purpose has nothing to do with the country and everything to do with the consolidation and perpetuation of your own power.

    I'm not suggesting that Democrats are less interested in winning (insert obvious snarky comment here), but they seem at least to recognize that political power is properly a means to an end - that end being a stronger, most just and sustainable republic - and not the end itself.

    That the GOP's focus is so much on "us vs. them" and "beating Democrats" is bad enough, but the fact that they're so transparent about it... I can't decide if this is cluelessness or contempt.

    Guess what I'm saying is, if you're going to lie to me anyway, at least do me the courtesy of telling a good one. This clownshow just degrades us both.

  • John G.

    Reminds me of Paula Deen.

    "have you used the N word?"
    "of course"

    I think they think they're toning it down for the camera. If this is their public image, can you imagine what they say in their southern towns when cameras aren't rolling?

  • e jerry powell

    In fairness to Dean's racism, that was a taped deposition for the lawsuit. She may not have been fully aware that such depositions become part of the public record.

    Meh. I don't even believe that as I type it. She has TV shows, she knows what cameras do.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    hee hee. I almost typed this same comment, then decided that regardless, "of course" is a different answer than "yes."

  • Jezzer

    From the dressing down he got later while being fired: "YOU'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO SAY THIS STUFF OUT LOUD."

  • John G.

    If the Daily Show segments get people fired, won't it be harder to get these kooks to come on and be kooky?

  • Never underestimate the seductive power of attention.

  • e jerry powell

    And TV cameras.

  • NateMan

    You'd think so, but they don't seem to learn.

  • TK

    Yeah, his firing brings me no satisfaction. This affects no real change. Because what it does is mask the fact that he's actually telling the truth about the way the party thinks and about the law's intent. Firing him is a smokescreen. It's the party trying to show that they give a fuck about poor minorities, when in fact they designed the law to deliberately disenfranchise them.

    I don't give a shit about Yeltin losing his job. I give a shit about people losing their rights, and firing this halfwit shitbag redneck does nothing to resolve that problem.

  • lowercase_see

    Now poor Mr. Mitchell is going to be labeled a RINO and promptly lose his job.

  • BlackRabbit

    It's RINO's all the way down.

  • NateMan

    "Let me be clear: we're firing this guy not for his views, which a lot of us share, but because he was dumb enough to say it out loud."

    There. Translated that for you.

  • e jerry powell

    Exactly.

  • Maguita NYC

    Well done! And however they may try to explain his behavior ("Mr. Yelton’s comments do not reflect the belief or feelings of Buncombe Republicans"), truth remains, these words may not reflect the belief or feeling or Buncombe Republicans specifically, but they sure as hell reflect the feeling and recorded words of quite a substantial number of GOP in the House, Mayoral or even Sheriff emblematic!

  • e jerry powell

    Or the 53% of people who don't want stuff.

  • anon

    What a douchetastic racisthole amirite

  • karen

    douchetastic has now been added to my lexicon of douchisims

  • Mrs. Julien

    I need to hear more about the douchisms lexicon.

  • karen

    unfortunately it is not as great as it could be - perhaps you can assist? We have: DOOOOSHBAG, (i'm from Boston so accent is a must) Douchenozzel, Douchehat, Mother's Douche, Douchecanoe and douchetastic

  • You had me at Douchecanoe. It's like I've teleported to the middle of an Adirondack lake on a crisp fall morning.... except, I don't know....douchier. Well done.

    If I may make a modest donation: ArchdoucheFranzFerdinand is reserved in my house for exceptionally vinegar-scented behavior.

  • karen

    and Oh my flucking God - ArchdoucheFranzFerdinand is my husband's new name...I mean I shall never use this name in vain...

  • karen

    I must confess I think Douchecanoe may have come from a fellow Pajibian...ahh the Adirondack lakes, if I were to be teleported, i fondly recall Party Barges. I don't know if Douchebarge has the same flair...

  • lowercase_ryan

    Bullshit. This guy got fired because he was dumb enough to not lie about the law. He was very honest and correct about the aim of the law. The people that fired him just can't allow people to go around pointing that out though. There is a95% chance this guy gets replaced with a smarter bigot with tighter lips.

  • DeaconG

    And this idiot will probably end up in Florida.

  • e jerry powell
  • Kind of amazing when the "fake" news can affect real change.

  • Sarah Weissman

    The power of art&entertainment combined with humor can be incredible.

  • e jerry powell

    Troo dat. Even more amazing when the subject is too dense to realize what's happening through the whole incident.

    When Mandvi said "you know we can hear you, right?" and the guy didn't even bat an eyelash at THE CAMERA THAT WAS TAPING HIM...

  • Jiffylush

    The problem isn't that he didn't know he was being recorded, the problem is that he didn't think that he was saying anything that would be seen as a problem by anyone that mattered.

  • IngridToday

    I would love to meet this anonymous one man who is the "black friend" of all these horrible racist people.

  • cgthegeek

    He probably works for him.

  • googergieger

    It's Boehner. That's close enough to black for these guys.

  • e jerry powell

    Wanda Sykes was right. Anything darker than khaki...

  • e jerry powell

    Actually, it could be my eldest cousin, Phyllis Berry Myers, Friend of Clarence and sworn denier of Anita Hill.

  • emmalita

    I know lots of white people like that. They have a best friend who is *awkward pause* black. But that *awkward pause* black best friend is usually someone who works for them or who they see regularly who smiles and nods instead of knocking their block off.

  • e jerry powell

    I AM THE AWKWARD PAUSE!

    MUAHAHAHAHAHA

  • emmalita

    Well, let's test that. I feel free to comment on *e jerry powell* lesbianism because some of my best friends are *e jerry powell* lesbians. You're right. I would totally have used a more offensive phrase or been unable to form the word at all without you.

  • You have to love the inherent narcissism... that somehow, your cordiality is such a validation for your "friend."

  • e jerry powell

    Is "cordiality" even the right word for what's essentially tokenism?

  • Maguita NYC

    It is the same as saying you are friends with a gay man, yet consistently vote for laws and lawmakers that belittle his station, and make sure he is not considered an equal citizen as everyone else.

    Newsflash: You are no friend.

  • emmalita

    You forgot to add the awkward pause.

  • Maguita NYC

    Ah, let me give it another shot then.

    You cannot say you are friends with *awkward pause* women, and you are *awkward pause* for equality, yet consistently vote for laws and lawmakers that belittle *awkward pause* your women friends, and make sure they're not considered equal citizens with equal rights.

    Newsflash: You are no friend. Better? :D

  • emmalita

    Getting there. The awkward pause goes in front of the word they don't want to say, or that they have to think of the right word for. You know, I usually say 'x' but the politically correct word is 'gay.' That's where the awkward pause goes.

  • Maguita NYC

    So... Awkward pauses before women, equality and friends?

    Damn it Obama!

  • emmalita

    He is the worst.

  • NateMan

    You've seen him on TV plenty of times: Herman Cain.

    Admittedly, it could also be Clarence Thomas.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Michael Steele?

  • As a proud former resident of Maryland, I need to tell you that I cracked up at that. He was Lt Governor for a while and was mainly inactive. Then he headed up the RNC and became a next-level clown.

    In terms of national politics, we Marylanders have given you all Michael Steele and the mega-corrupt Spiro Agnew. You're welcome, everyone!

  • Sara_Tonin00

    I miss the Michael Steele muppet on The Daily Show, though.

    And I didn't know he was from Maryland, even though 2 of my sisters live there...

  • Me too! It made me weirdly proud. As for knowing about that, he was such a non-entity who worked for a non-entity governor (Ehrlich) and he didn't become a notable figure until he left Maryland to lead the RNC, so it makes sense that he flew under the radar till then. I think this was during the era when the Republicans were emphasizing Steele and Bobby Jindal to see if they could create their own Obama. What a success!

  • NateMan

    Also likely. Good Lord, at this rate we'll fill up an entire hand of possibilities.

  • Nail Polish Color

    cue Fox News meltdown in 3....2....1.....

  • "How dare they fire a white man for daring to speak his mind about the evils that Obama is bringing to America?! Why, we all know that all he's done is ensure his black people get as much free of the backs of hardworking, Christian white men!"

    "Now, we turn to sports. Is Tiger Woods the greatest golfer ever?"

  • e jerry powell

    Or lots and lots about LeBron vs. Kobe. Or, right now, David Ortiz. Or Cam Newton. Or Michael Vick. Or RG3 and how the Redskins aren't changing their team name because one white dude says that Native Americans aren't offended.

  • Naye

    Lol the Play Video ad underneath the screencap for this post says "watch Dreams Come True" on my computer. Puurrrrrfect

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