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State GOP Chair Says He’s No Racist: ‘I play basketball every Sunday with a black guy.’

by David Badash on November 15, 2012

in News,Politics

The Chairman of the Republican Party in Maine insists he’s not racist because he has a “great friend” who’s “a black guy” and they play basketball together every Sunday. Because, you know, that’s what “friends” do.

This all came about because Republican Charlie Webster believes there was voter fraud in the state of Maine, because “nobody in town knows anyone who’s black,” and yet, there they were, on Election Day, “dozens, dozens of black people,” somehow, “they” showed up.

“How did that happen? I don’t know. We’re going to find out,” Webster promises.

How? Well, “by sending thank you cards to voters, and seeing if they are returned to sender,” Think Progress reports.

Surprisingly (haha!) Chairman Webster now is, well, surprised he’s in a tad bit of hot water.

“There’s nothing about me that would be discriminatory. I know black people. I play basketball every Sunday with a black guy. He’s a great friend of mine. Nobody would ever accuse me of suggesting anything,” Talking Points Memo reports Webster said. “What I do suggest is that same-day voter registration without voter ID is pretty hard to police, and it’s odd that hundreds of people in a small town would show up.”

Webster thinks Maine is “the whitest state in the country. So if you go to the polls and see people who are black, it’s unusual. And when you see a lot of people who are black, like six or eight or ten people, you think, ‘Wow, where do they live?’ That was my point.”

Webster told TPM he heard from five individuals who were concerned by the number of minority voters casting ballots on Election Day.

“If you live in a town of a few hundred people and you go to the post office every day, if there’s someone who doesn’t look like you, you usually know that,” Webster said. “And that’s why when folks called me and said, ‘Where did this Chinese man come from? We don’t have any Chinese people here. Where did they come from?” Well, I don’t know! It’s a good point.”

Webster said he wasn’t racist and that he had several black friends.

No word on if he has any friends who are “Chinese people.”

Or Kenyans.


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