Utah rep’s comments about NAACP starts Twitter firestorm

SALT LAKE CITY — Just hours after Los Angeles Clipper owner Donald Sterling was fined and banned from professional basketball because of racist remarks, a Utah lawmaker is under fire for his response on Twitter.

Rep. David Lifferth, who represents Eagle Mountain, tweeted Tuesday afternoon, “we should`ve known Don Sterling was a racist when he gave money to National Association for Advancement of Colored People.”

One Twitter user pressed Lifferth saying, “so you’re saying the NAACP is racist?”

Lifferth responded, “Yes, any group that tries to advance specific people based of their race is by definition racist.”

The same online user wrote back saying, “@NAACP was founded in 1909 when there was much need for help in advancement of black ppl!”

Lifferth responded, “that may be true but today we need associations that advance all people regardless of skin color.”

The Utah lawmaker’s comments went viral and ignited a social media backlash with comments such as “you should be ashamed” and “you’re an embarrassment to our elected leadership of the state of Utah.”

Lifferth was the mayor of Eagle Mountain in 2005 and was elected to the Utah House in 2013. He’s stirred the pot on Twitter before over issues such as gay rights and climate change.

Even though he knew his comments would anger many people, Lifferth told FOX 13 he speaks his mind and isn’t backing down from his comments.

“I am truly not a bigot or a racist. I love all people regardless of the color of their skin. The reason I said what I said on Twitter today (Tuesday) is because the NAACP is based on the external color of someone’s skin and we should be beyond that,” Lifferth said in a phone interview Tuesday night.

Utah GOP chairman James Evans said he wanted to take a closer look at the tweets before giving a response.

Meanwhile, Jeanetta Williams, President of the NAACP Salt Lake Branch, denounced Lifferth’s tweets.

Williams said in a statement that she is “astonished by the lack of knowledge of someone in Rep. Lifferth’s position about the NAACP. We, the NAACP Salt Lake Branch publicly extend an invitation for Rep. Lifferth to attend one of our NAACP meetings where we can educate him about our volunteer work. “the principal objectives of the association shall be to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of all citizens; to achieve equality of rights and eliminate race prejudice among the citizens of the united states; to remove all barriers of racial discrimination through democratic processes; to seek enactment and enforcement of federal, state and local laws securing civil rights; to inform the public of the adverse effects of racial discrimination and to seek its elimination; to educate persons as to their constitutional rights and to take all lawful action to secure the exercise thereof, and to take any other lawful action in furtherance of these objectives, consistent with the NAACP’s articles of incorporation and this constitution. The NAACP was founded in 1909 and is the oldest civil rights organization in the country fighting for the rights of all Americans.”

13 comments

  • Ivan

    It is true we should be a color blind society. No one should be discriminated against because of their race but we should not give people advantages because of their race.

  • Lynn

    Lifferth the is right. If the NAACP was not racist then they would represent Japanese, Indian, Mexicans. Representing only one race and one race only to me is racist

  • Bob

    The US Supreme Court has just ruled on the side of common sense with regards to the practice of giving special consideration to enrollment in Michigan Colleges based on skin color.

    There are those amoung us that believe some people should get special considerations and benefits solely based on skin color. Is that not racist?

  • Utah Red

    Lifferth should have known the NAACP doesn’t have a sense of humor. Never has and never will. I got a chuckle out of it though. However, when Williams said “the principal objectives of the association shall be to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of all citizens” I just had to shake my head. I don’t recall that organization ever doing anything but for one particular segment of the society

  • Bob

    Quote by Al Sharpton: “White folks was in the caves while we [blacks] was building empires … We built pyramids before Donald Trump ever knew what architecture was … we taught philosophy and astrology and mathematics before Socrates and them Greek homos ever got around to it.”

    Al Sharpton proves that racists come in all colors.

  • Bob

    Quote by Mary Frances Berry: “Civil rights laws were not passed to protect the rights of white men and do not apply to them.”

    This former chairwoman of the United States Commission on Civil Rights proves that racists come in all colors.

  • Bob

    Quote from Julianne Malveaux, an African-American economist, author, liberal social and political commentator: “There’s no great, white bigot; there’s just about 200 million little white bigots out there.”

    Nuff said.

  • Ted

    I not only agree with Rep. Lifferth on this subject. I also believe that the NAACP is one of the reasons racism continues they feed it.

  • Dolores Riley

    NAACP does represent many people of all colors. I am a member and an American Indian. It is one of the organizations that keep us all knowledgable about racist remarks, and helps people of all colors and ethnicities. One does not need to be African American to join, there are all colors of people who belong because they CARE.

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