NAACP upset over comments made by man chosen to lead Nevada Assembly

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NEVADA -- The man chosen by republicans to lead the Nevada State Assembly is trying to explain what he has written about race, religion and homosexuality, and the head of the regional NAACP is angry that he is slated to hold such a position of influence.

Ira Hansen made the comments as a columnist for the Sparks Review.

Among the quotes reported by the Reno News and Review are:

“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.”

In another column, Hansen wrote: "locally, gangs and their associated criminal activity are obviously dominated by immigrants, especially Hispanic immigrants."

Jeanetta Williams, who heads up the NAACP Tri-State Conference of Idaho, Nevada and Utah responded.

“There is no excuse to reward Hansen for his many years and history of insensitivity on race, religion, gender, and sexual orientation,” she said. “… a person with such insensitivity and bigoted views, in no way should have a leadership role to serve as speaker."

Hansen has since apologized, but Williams calls his remarks "appalling and reprehensible.”

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