Moral Low Ground

US Government

Top Nevada Republican Lawmaker Ira Hansen Called Blacks ‘Simple-Minded Darkies’

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The Nevada lawmaker selected as Assembly speaker candidate by the new Republican majority has a long history of racist and homophobic statements, including calling blacks “simple-minded darkies” and falsely linking homosexuality to child molestation.

The Reno News & Review pored over 13 years of Sparks Tribune columns authored by state Assembly speaker-designate Ira Hansen. It dug up a long trail of racist, anti-gay, sexist and other bigoted or discriminatory screeds, leaving many observers wondering why Republicans would go out of their way to choose an open and seemingly proud bigot to stand for election to the highest legislative post in the state.

Here’s what the News & Review found:

Racism: Hansen, who often calls blacks “negroes,” believes many African Americans are ungrateful to whites for ending slavery — after nearly 250 years of enslaving them.

“The lack of gratitude and the deliberate ignoring of white history in relation to eliminating slavery is a disgrace that Negro leaders should own up to,” he wrote.

Hansen calls the relationship between blacks and the Democrats “truly a master-slave relationship, with the benevolent master knowing what’s best for his simple-minded darkies.”

Speaking of slavery, Hansen proudly keeps a Confederate battle flag on his wall. “I fly it proudly in honor and in memory of a great cause and my brave ancestors who fought for that cause,” he wrote, referring to the 1861-1865 Southern rebellion against the United States, a secession largely based on the South’s desire to preserve slavery.

It’s not just blacks who have been the target of Hansen’s racist vitriol. He has compared Latinos to criminals and gangsters and has slammed Chicano students for “flaunting their Mexican heritage” by displaying Mexican flags.

Homophobia: Hansen repeatedly labeled men who abuse boys as “homosexual,” even though most such abuse is committed by heterosexuals.

“Male homosexuals are grossly disproportionate in child molestation cases, and the youth orientation of male homosexuality drives this trend,” he wrote. “Many of these pederasts are not the least bit ashamed of their vile behavior and have adopted the militancy now so common with their fellow homosexuals.”

Hansen further falsely alleged that “roughly half of all molestations involve homosexual men preying on boys.”

Sexism: Hansen has written that women are unfit to serve in the military. “Today, when Army men look at women in the ranks with ‘longing in their eyes’ it very well may constitute ‘sexual harassment.’ The truth is, women do not belong in the Army or Navy or Marine Corps, except in certain limited fields.”

Hansen has always been a controversial political figure. Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against the United States, he was firedfrom his job as a radio talk show host on KKOH, allegedly for speaking critically about Israel and the US-Israeli relationship.

Speaking about his teenage son, Hansen said that “the last thing I want to see is that kid fighting in some hellhole in Afghanistan because of our country’s blind relationship with Israel.”

Curiously, Hansen seems to harbor no prejudice against Muslims, who he describes as getting a raw deal from the United States and Israel.

“Israel totally abuses the rights of the indigenous people that live in that area and forces Jewish settlements into places that aren’t legally part of Israel,” he said, as previously reported by the News & Review. “It’s a horrible injustice against these people, and it has not been rectified.”

Israel’s Jews-only settler colonies, built on Palestinian land, are illegal under international law and were called “a form of ethnic cleansing” by former United Nations human rights official Richard Falk, an American Jew.

“After [the] terrorist attack, I listened to talk radio extensively and was appalled by the sentiments being expressed, especially by syndicated KKOH host Mike Savage,” Hansen wrote. “Savage, who is Jewish, was calling for all-out war against all Islamic and Arab nations in the Middle East, openly naming Libya, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and several others. He was totally in earnest, speaking of the need to, in effect, wipe all Muslims off the Earth. … I was disgusted, and when my Saturday [radio] show came up, my entire focus was on combating this blind and vengeful hatred against all Muslims and Arabs.”

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