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.
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