Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Republican Racism Example #11: Young Republican Head Thinks The Word "Coon" Is Funny

In July 2009 Audra Shay, the Vice Chair of the Young Republicans, as she was running for the national national leadership of the organization, posted on her Facebook page that Walmart had "just signed a death warrant" by "endorsing Obama's healthcare plan."  Shortly afterwards one of her Facebook buddies, Eric Piker, posted a sub-literate response that "Obama Bin Lauden is the new terrorist . . . Muslim is on there side . . . need to take the country back from all of these mad coons . . . and illegals."

One would hope that an aspiring national leader of the Republican organization would object to the racist term "coons,"" let alone the crude characterization of the president as a "terrorist." Yet Shay's only response was "You tell them Eric! lol."

Audra Shay, the 38-year-old leader of the Young Republicans, posted "lol" when a Facebook friend called President Obama a "coon." (Photo taken from the Huffington Post.)

Shay, a close ally of Bobby Jindal the Republican governor of Louisiana, later made the lame excuse that her "LOL" post was in response to an earlier post by Piker, not the "coon" comment. When Piker's racism was pointed out by other Facebook friends, Shay defriended them, but not Piker.  Another friend defended the racist remarks, saying, "this is still America . . . freedom of speech and thought is still allowed . . ." Only gradually did Shay say her friend's remarks were "disgusting." Shay later won the post as Young Republicans chair.

For more, read: 





In September, 2011, Shay dropped out of the St. Tammany Parish council race in Louisiana after she was arrested for DWI and resisting arrest.  She was quicker to regret over this than she had been to apologize for laughing at a racial slur/.  "I am sincerely remorseful , and apologize to all who were affected - including my family, friends, supporters, and especially the law enforcement personnel who were involved.  I am truly and deeply sorry."  

For more, see here:


Michael Phillips has authored the following:

White Metropolis: Race, Ethnicity and Religion in Dallas, Texas, 1841-2001 (Austin:  University of Texas Press, 2006)

(with Patrick L. Cox) The House Will Come to Order: How the Texas Speaker Became a Power in State and National Politics. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2010)

“Why Is Big Tex Still a White Cowboy? Race, Gender, and the ‘Other Texans’” in Walter Buenger and Arnoldo de León, eds., Beyond Texas Through Time: Breaking Away From Past Interpretations (College Station: Texas A&M Press, 2011)

“The Current is Stronger’: Images of Racial Oppression and Resistance in North Texas Black Art During the 1920s and 1930s ”  in Bruce A. Glasrud and Cary D. Wintz, eds., The Harlem Renaissance in the West: The New Negroes’ Western Experience (New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 2011)

“Dallas, 1989-2011,” in Richardson Dilworth, ed. Cities in American Political History (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2011)

(With John Anthony Moretta, Keith J. Volonto, Austin Allen, Doug Cantrell and Norwood Andrews), Keith J. Volonto and Michael Phillips. eds., The American Challenge: A New History of the United States, Volume I.   (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2012).

(With John Anthony Moretta and Keith J. Volanto), Keith J. Volonto and Michael Phillips, eds., The American Challenge: A New History of the United States, Volume II. (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2012).

(With John Anthony Moretta and Carl J. Luna), Imperial Presidents: The Rise of Executive Power from Roosevelt to Obama  (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2013). 

“Texan by Color: The Racialization of the Lone Star State,” in David Cullen and Kyle Wilkison, eds., The Radical Origins of the Texas Right (College Station: University of Texas Press, 2013).

He is currently collaborating, with longtime journalist Betsy Friauf, on a history of African American culture, politics and black intellectuals in the Lone Star State called God Carved in Night: Black Intellectuals in Texas and the World They Made.

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