Member of House leadership team continues use of hateful language

A few weeks ago, one of House Speaker Thom Tillis’s top lieutenants, Rules Committee Co-chair Rep. Stephen LaRoque of Lenoir County made waves by publicly calling the North Carolina NAACP and its President, Rev. William Barber, “racist” on WRAL.com. 

It is now clear, however, that this was not an isolated incident in which LaRoque simply got carried away and used language that Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger described at the time as “not helpful.”

It turns out, in fact, that calling the NAACP and other people with whom he disagrees “racist” is something that LaRoque does on a regular basis.

By all appearances, LaRoque has been posting hundreds of comments (at all hours of the day and night) on the news stories that appear on the website of the Kinston Free Press under the pseudonym “goodneighbors.” Some of them are in direct response to the stories and many are in response to other commenters. There are multiple such comments in which “goodneighbors” makes clear his identity; here’s one that was posted on July 11 at 6:59 am:

“outcast…You are wrong as usual. I don’t make a killing off public money unless you consider my $13, 951 salary at the General Assembly making a killing. Do you ever actually do any research before writing your idiotic statements on here?”

In comment after comment, he terms his opponents “racist.”

Here are some typical examples from just yesterday:

“truthfighter…Anyone who supports a Racist Hate group like the NAACP is a Racist. Thugs Racists like William Barber and his “crew” are shameful and they owe an apology to every citizen of this state. The NAACP does not do any good in our community or any other. They make racist statements and race bait at every opportunity in order to get money and gain influence. The truth hurts sometimes and the NAACP Racists will be called out. The NAACP days are numbered and their Racist leaders are going to be named and shamed.”
 And this one…
“Calling NAACP leaders Racist is telling the truth. The NAACP has been calling white people Racist for decades without consequence or justification. It’s a new day. NAACP is a Racist Hate group and their supporters are Racist.”
For years, it appears, LaRoque has been posting comments and replies at a remarkable clip — many of them similar to the hateful ones above.
It should be interesting to see how long he keeps it up and whether, at some point, his boss — Speaker of the House Thom Tills — tells him to knock it off.


  1. Rob Schofield

    July 13, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    Another weird thing is that LaRoque seems to like to spell the word “racist” with a capital “R” whenever he uses it. Not sure what the heck that’s about.

  2. Jack

    July 14, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    Interesting moniker – “truthfighter”. Is it that Mr. LaRogue is fighting for truth or against truth? I guess it’s a matter of perspective – like asking if a set of stairs go up or down. It’s a matter of perspective. Escalators don’t count.

    Rob: I thinks Mr. LaRougue just likes upper case Rs.

  3. Em

    July 14, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    Did someone say NC is a modern state? Seems pretty retrograde lately.

    We understand that Patrick McHenry started out with a modest bank account but it has grown bountifully over the few years he’s been in elected office. Anyone know how Mr. LaRoque’s bank acccount has grown? It could indicate a ‘killing.’ Hard to believe any elected Republican is not getting his share of the bonanza from Raleigh. Salary is tokenism. The real profits come from ‘campaign contributions’ and so on.
    Repubs are really good at projecting their own tastes, desires, attitudes, and hatreds on their opponents.
    Does this guy give himself away with his racist rhetoric. Can’t see any ‘black’ indicators in his photo, but think I do recognize the native American epicanthic fold in his eyelids. Sure wish i could see into his heart and learn the truth. His anger is too evident and not healthy….for him or for his constituents.

  4. Tee

    July 15, 2011 at 9:50 am

    Come on LaRoque, enough of the “good ole boy” rhetoric. Unless you have some constructive ideas about the growth and success of the city of Kinston then maybe you should just simply be quiet. People really dont have time to engage in 1940’s and 50’s brotherhood crap, we are moving forward and you are stuck in the past. Everyone that looks different than you are not “racist”. That is basically the only evidence that you have presented during your storm. Again, lets tackle some real and tough issues that exist. My eight year old granddaughter can scream racism and not have an idea what it means and certainly no evidence. (sound familiar?) We will look forward to your suggestions about how to tackle crime, employment, infrastructure, etc.

  5. Sylvia

    July 17, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    I have wondered that myself? LaRoque stays on kinston.com making racist statements with full support of the Free Press. Great article, BTW.

Check Also

Supreme Court rejects final GOP effort to limit count of absentee ballots in NC

In case you missed it, the U.S. Supreme ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

Obsolete laws allow big campaign spenders to hide their identities until after Nov. 3 WASHINGTON — A [...]

Just off I-85, on the way into Kings Mountain, there’s a truck stop on Dixon School Road. Driving th [...]

One month after Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died, having argued that the nation needs [...]

Recent rejection of proposed Wake charter reveals a system that can get messy, contentious and perso [...]

Americans can be a selfish lot. Not everybody, of course. But too many people couldn’t care less abo [...]

“Just make it end!” That’s what many Americans are thinking and saying right now about a lot of thin [...]

With North Carolinians on track to cast eye-popping numbers of votes in advance of Election Day, Nov [...]

In the rush to replace Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the U.S. Supreme Court, we’ve heard [...]