Favorite

Buncombe forever 

In North Carolina, a Republican told the truth and was fired for it. This is disappointing to those of us who'd hoped that other Republicans, including Arkansas's, would begin to lie less.

Don Yelton, a Republican official in Buncombe County, N.C., spoke with a television reporter about the state's new voter ID law, which is similar to the one in Arkansas that was approved earlier this year by a predominantly Republican legislature. Both states' laws are intended to make voting more difficult for groups that are likely to vote Democratic — minorities, the elderly, the young — although the laws' sponsors generally say they're meant to fight voter fraud (of a kind that's already non-existent).

But Yelton suffered an attack of honesty during his interview. Asked if he was a racist, he said "I've been called a bigot before." He repeatedly used a racial slur, and he said he favored the new law because "if it hurts the whites, so be it. If it hurts lazy black people that wants the government to give them everything, so be it." He also admitted the law was politically motivated: "The law is going to kick the Democrats in the butt."

For a Republican official to tell people the truth is news, and the Yelton interview went viral. He subsequently refused to apologize for his candor, standing behind his remarks. Buncombe County and state Republican officials demanded he resign, and so he did.

It now seems even less likely that Arkansas state Sen. Bryan King of Green Forest, chief sponsor of the Arkansas ID law, will admit that its main purpose is to hurt the Democrats. (Not that it was ever very likely King would be overcome by a fit of truthfulness. He resists it strongly.)

King and his fellow Republicans had to override a veto by Gov. Mike Beebe to get their law on the books. Beebe correctly called the proposal "an expensive solution in search of a problem."

Interestingly, Buncombe County is the source of the word "bunk," meaning "pretentious nonsense." In the early 19th century, a North Carolina congressman apologized to his colleagues for making a long, dull, irrelevant speech on the matter before them. His remarks were meant to placate his constituents, he said: "I'm speaking for Buncombe."

Over time, Buncombe became bunkum, then bunk. Appropriately so, it would seem. In Buncombe County, they still don't stand for straight talk.

Favorite

Speaking of Don Yelton, Bryan King

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Most Shared

Latest in Editorials

  • The end of an era

    We're sad to report that Doug Smith has decided to retire. Though he's been listed as an associate editor on our masthead for the last 22 years, he has in fact been the conscience of the Arkansas Times. He has written all but a handful of our unsigned editorials since we introduced an opinion page in 1992.
    • May 8, 2014
  • A stand for equality

    Last week, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel became the first elected statewide official to express support for same-sex marriage. His announcement came days before Circuit Judge Chris Piazza is expected to rule on a challenge to the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Soon after, a federal challenge of the law is expected to move forward. McDaniel has pledged to "zealously" defend the Arkansas Constitution but said he wanted the public to know where he stood.
    • May 8, 2014
  • Same old, same old

    Remarking as we were on the dreariness of this year's election campaigns, we failed to pay sufficient tribute to the NRA, one of the most unsavory and, in its predictability, dullest of the biennial participants in the passing political parade.
    • May 1, 2014
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

Jack Pearadin and Doug Nelsen found a 1.73-carat diamond after nearly a year of searching the park's field.

Event Calendar

« »

January

S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31  

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Putin and Trump

    • You signed yourself "silly," and you surely are.

    • on January 23, 2017
  • Re: Putin and Trump

    • Lyons doesn't have an ex-wife, silly.

    • on January 23, 2017
  • Re: Putin and Trump

    • What? That was all made up? Oh my. Well, let's hope he gets busy on…

    • on January 22, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation