Saturday, December 5, 2009

NAACP confronts Kansas Representative Bill Otto over his "redneck rap" and the issue of dog whistle politics


Reposted from KTKA.com

"I'm sorry that I offended you, I wish that I had made some choices of different things," says State Representative Bill Otto of LeRoy.

The NAACP has a little piece of mind after confronting Rep. Otto.

Glenda Overstreet; Vice President of the NAACP Kansas State Conference says Kansans aren't the only people who were offend by his You Tube post. She says, "people outside of the state saying you know, you have a state representative that would voice these opinions. So people clearly were offended, not only in the state of Kansas, but around the state of Kansas in the regional area."

Otto used the term redneck in his rap and wore a hat that said "Opossum the other dark meat." Choices that he would later regret. " I wish I had chosen a different hat, I wish I had called it hillbilly instead of redneck," Otto says.

Retired member of the U.S. Army Lt. Colonel William Richards felt it was important to attend the forum. He says after fighting and giving up so much for his country he wants his son and grand kids to have the same freedoms he served for.

Richards says, "the nation is going back to the fundamental principals provided by our founding fathers and this is basically what I'm concerned about. Equal opportunity, equal respect."

Otto says he's thankful for the opportunity to meet with the NAACP. "There's many issues that I have cared about and worked for that I would like this organization to continue to be with me and to continue to be supportive and try to get some common goals accomplished," he said.

Otto feels both parties have finally reached an understanding. He says he intends to leave up his You Tube post. He also feels that if he had chosen to use the word Hillbilly instead of Redneck there would have been no controversy.

This effort was led by the Topeka Branch Branch NAACP. On behalf of the Kansas State Conference of NAACP Branches, we would like to acknowledge and applaud President Ben Scott and the members of the Topeka Branch NAACP for their leadership and vigilance on this effort...

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