Plea to Vet Audra Shay Further

July 6, 2009 by  
Filed under News

We received this in a comment and felt it should be shared.  Thanks to Cassie for allowing us to post this.

Members of the National Committee,

I am sorry to take your time with another email, but I feel I can add a fresh firsthand perspective to this situation and want to make sure everyone is fully informed as it is extremely important. If we do not thoroughly vet this situation it reflects very poorly upon Young Republicans (if you are not familiar with what I’m referring to, please see: http://www.arktimes.com/blogs/arkansasblog/2009/07/race_and_young_repubs.aspx). Audra Shay’s response to several media articles and blog posts which expressed concern regarding her remarks on Facebook have troubled me. Audra’s response claims that she was “responding to the first post, to continue the fight against big government spending.” This is one of the worst attempted cover ups I have ever seen. Let me tell you why:

Firstly, Eric Piker’s first post, as you can see by this screen shot http://www.arktimes.com/assets/documents/audrashayfacebook.jpg, is not about big government spending. Secondly, Audra made her comments eight minutes after Eric’s racist comment, saying, “You tell em Eric! lol”. Also if Audra really did find these remarks to be “outright disgusting,” then why was her response to immediately de-friend those who made statements against Eric’s blatant racism? I was blocked for stating that Eric’s racist comment was “NOT OKAY. And it is not funny.” Please take a moment look at the entire screenshot linked above, and ask yourself: which comment would lead you to de-friend someone, mine, or Eric’s?

If you look at the screenshot posted on HipHopRepublican.com, http://hiphoprepublican.com/wp-content/uploads/audrashayfacebook-21.jpg, you will see that more than twelve hours later, long after she removed me as a friend, Eric Piker was STILL posting racists remarks saying “…if your ass is black don’t let the sun set on it in a southern town…” Even that comment didn’t cause Audra to remove Eric Piker as a friend. It seems it was only after the media started calling the next day that she knew she HAD to remove him.

I also want to address one other very serious accusation in Audra’s statement. She told the media that this was a “desperate” attempt by her opponent and painted herself as a victim. I can set the record straight firsthand, and this is why I felt the responsibility to email you. What happened did not come from Rachel Hoff or anyone on her ticket. The comments came from me and other offended people who were Audra’s Facebook friends. No one told me to comment, nor did anyone force Audra to make her comments. I saw something that was morally wrong, and as a conservative I took it upon myself as an individual to stand up, and I do not regret it at all. I was attacked for wanting better for Young Republicans – in my lifetime of work for the Republican Party I have never been accused of being a “RINO”, until now, by Audra’s supporters.

I continue to hold that stating “You go get ‘em” and “LOL” to racist remarks are not acceptable for YRs. Her continued inappropriate responses to the situation and utter lack of an apology are quite disconcerting. I do not want to see infighting as we are all on the same team ultimately, but this is unacceptable especially from any of our elected officers. Even despite the red flags of spin pointed out above, and giving Audra the benefit of the doubt regarding racism, at the very best this was extremely poorly handled by turning it into a political attack on people completely uninvolved and by showing allegiance to those making racist statements while choosing to squarely turn her back on those speaking against racism.

All in all, this is a plea to my fellow National Committee Members to look at how this was handled and decide in your own heart and mind if this was appropriate, and if this is how we want to be represented to our country.

Thanks for your time,

Cassie Wallender
National Committeewoman
Washington Young Republican Federation

Related Articles:
Race Bites Another Republican Leader
Audra Shay Responds to Race Allegations

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  • Matt

    I wanted to say this again as a Young Republican in my late 20’s and an observer of this situation: I have lived my entire life in South Carolina, my family is from the South and I can tell you that there are plenty of Southerners of my generation who do not know what the term “co*n” refers to. I never heard it used growing up by members of my own family, my friends never used it, and there are plenty of people even in the South who do not know that is a racially derogatory term, just as not everyone knows all the slang terms used to describe Hispanics, Italian-Americans, Jewish people, etc. etc.

    • Lola

      If you choose to use a word, not knowing what it means, that’s ignorant. Especially when the word is used to describe a particular race or group of people. While its true you might not know all the slang words, err on the side of safety and prudence and don’t comment when someone else uses those words. Also, you’re in your late 20’s. She’s older and grew up in the south. The argument is stronger for you not to know the word coon (it’s a very dated racial slur) than for her not to know it.

  • Sonia

    It’s really up to the Young Republicans to decide how the country will view the up and coming generation that will lead the party. Electing Shay would send a very strong message. Is it a good one for people to have when they think of YR?

    • karen

      That depends. Do you want to advertise that there’s a whole new generation of ignorant, bigoted Republicans on the way up?

  • http://www.andrewdorsey.com Andrew Dorsey

    Good analysis of the situation. Facebook will claim many a politician in the 21st century.

    In the age of Facebook, Twitter, etc… everything we say will be judged for our entire lives, no matter what the age. I’m sure I’ve said things that disqualify me from public service, even when I was 16 years old on old BB and AIM conversations in the 90s. I advise everyone with interest in serving their country, live the standards to which you hold your leaders.

    About this situation. It’s one thing for people to post racial comments on your Facebook page, it’s another thing entirely for Audra to brush over them as if they didn’t matter.

    This is a BIG black mark against an Audra administration. The black market dealings and threatening phone calls from the Rachel Hoff ticket shows that back biting politics will always be the accepted Norm for Republicans for the foreseeable future.

    Republicans nationwide be warned, the leaders we are grooming for the future are, right now, not any better than we saw in the 20th century. They just live in a world where text is more easily transferred to public portals for interested eyes to see.

    Andrew Dorsey
    Vice-President
    Tampa Bay Young Republicans

  • bushwhacked

    The arrogance of Republican leaders to tolerate and endorse this blatant,bigoted behavior is appalling. Open your eyes there is a whole new America out there. No matter how many racist jokes or comments you make online or in private will not change the demographics in this country or the world. If you continue to live in the racist past, your party will become defunct.

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  • mr. joe nobody

    Cassie –
    Congrats on perpetuating the myth that polititians cannot be trusted. You are a blowhard, opportunist attention whore. You have proven that even without a shred of proof, you will drop an association in a moments notice if it might make your day easier, or benefits you somehow. If I were to use your meter, you are quilty by association and must be racist for having followed your ex-friend’s page in the first place. Oh, and your claim that you ‘saw something that was morally wrong, and as a conservative I took it upon myself as an individual to stand up, and I do not regret it at all’ ??? You didn’t ‘stand up’, idiot. You typed something on a keyboard. Leave it to a budding polititian to think that saying or writing something is actually productive. You are counter-productive, to say the least. I on the other hand, am well aware that posting this message will benefit nobody. I just had some free time, and you were the first idiot that popped up on the news wire……

    • Cassie Wallender

      Mr. Joe,

      Standing up is not meant literally, it is a metaphor for putting your name on a statement, rather than hiding behind the cowardly veil of internet anonymity.

      Furthermore, politicians cannot be trusted, and that’s no myth.

      Regarding questions of loyalty, may I remind you that I was the one defriended. To say I’ve benefited from this mess is delusional, a good chunk of the YRs probably hate me now. I am not running for YRNF anything and have no plans to, to say I’m a budding politician is a huge assumption – I am a concerned member of an organization I want to see go in a positive direction.

      Proof is all I have, and all I present, and I leave it to the voters to come to their conclusion regarding the screenshots and information I’ve provided.

      Cassie

      • http://www.andrewdorsey.com Andrew Dorsey

        I’m with you Cassie,

        These “Joe Nobody” politicians who comment on sites like this clearly are too afraid that if they used their real name, they might be viewed as “disloyal” to someone out there in the political spectrum.

        Joe, grow up and start using the intelligence God gave you and make solid political arguments instead of your amateur insults. You ask Cassie to stand up and don’t even give her the courtesy of using your proper name.

        Say who you are, state what you mean, and defend why you believe your way should be chosen by all.

  • Dee Williams

    Wow, it’s 2009 and some people still can not except that minorities are and forever will be a part of this country. I am also a Vet and this woman, and the complete racist she was writing to, Eric Piker, are what is the scum of this country.

    And the GOP wonders why they can not get more minority support.

    Eric and Audra, your white sheets are ready!

  • http://foodforblog.webs.com/ Young Republican

    If you think Audra Shay is bad, you should see her opponent Rachel Hoff:
    http://foodforblog.webs.com/

    • Jay

      The Republican Party is bad because they still have religion-inspired bigotry in their national platform. That’s bad for Democracy.

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  • Paw-Paw
  • Aaron

    I LOVE it! I am a 50+ man and just received my invitation to join AARP this week. So I am clearly not a “young” republican. No, I am old enought to know that the party has been radically schizophrenic since the days when George Wallace had Richard Nixon running scared. Philosophically I have been and always will be a Republican. However, to be perfectly honest, I stopped voting in national elections with the ascendence of GHW Bush. I have no doubt that Ms. Shay will win today, and it is (in a perverse way) a good thing. It will hasten our fall to the bottom and finally allow us to embrace the humility and forthrightness that are the cornerstone of a true conservatism.

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  • http://www.yrnf.com Pat Henry

    It’s concerning to me that people who are elected officials, who should know better, decided to continue to support Audra, even after she made these racist statements.

    People that not only supported her but continued to run on Audra Shay’s Ticket such as:
    Audra Shay’s Treasurer Candidate – Kelly Arnold, County Clerk – Sedgwick County, Kansas
    Audra Shay’s Auditor Candidate – Dennis Cook, President, Consolidated District 230 Board of Education – Illinois (who is thinking of running for Statewide Office in Illinois)

    I think it is unacceptable to have these elected officials continue to get elected after their support of such behavior from Mrs. Shay. They should resign along with Mrs. Shay.

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