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Utah politician sparks Twitter rage with NAACP racism comments

Published April 30, 2014 3:15 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

How'd we miss the warning signs that deposed L.A. Clippers owner Don Sterling was a racist? The most obvious, says state Rep. David Lifferth, were his contributions to racist organizations — like the NAACP.

The Eagle Mountain Republican, a prolific and polarizing presence on Twitter, chimed in Tuesday evening tweeting his thoughts on Sterling:

What did he mean by that? After being challenged over the comment, Lifferth didn't hesitate to explain that the NAACP and groups like it are inherently racist:

"Yes, any group that tries to advance specific people based of their race is by definition racist."

And subsequently said that "today we need associations that advance ALL people regardless of skin color."

Jeanetta Williams, longtime president of the Salt Lake Chapter of the NAACP, said comments like Lifferth's "shows his ignorance of the history of the NAACP."

Williams said anyone can join the NAACP, and the group seeks to help people who believe they've been discriminated against, regardless of their skin color.

"I'm just surprised that someone who is an elected official here in the State of Utah would make such a statement," she said. "As far as his ranting, it's totally unfounded, and it proves that he doesn't know anything about the NAACP."

Williams invited Lifferth to come to a meeting of the organization "so we can school him exactly what the NAACP is all about."

Lifferth is prone to ignite Twitter firestorms, having branded gay-rights advocates the "Gaystapo" and frequently calling climate change science a fraud.

Robert Gehrke

Twitter: @RobertGehrke