North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson didn’t like being portrayed in a political cartoon wearing Ku Klux Klan robes and he wasn’t shy about stating his displeasure.
Robinson, who is North Carolina’s first black lieutenant governor, held a press conference on Wednesday, Feb. 3 to express his concerns about a cartoon on the WRAL website that depicted the Republican members of the North Carolina Board of Education as a Klansman.
Robinson said, “That cartoon doesn’t really bother me. What bothers me is the hypocrisy behind it. That bothers me. That you would portray a black man just because he is in the GOP as a Klansman.”
He called the cartoon “vile” and noted that not only was he portrayed as a Klansman, but that Olivia Oxendine, a native American woman, was also portrayed as a member of the Klan simply because they are Republicans.
He said, “It wasn’t anybody in the GOP that promoted Ku Klux Klan and the ideas there of.”
Robinson said, “Depicting the first black lieutenant governor as a Ku Klux Klansman is something we cannot stand for folks. It’s something I’m not going to stand for.”
Robinson said that it was particularly egregious coming on the second day of Black History Month.
He said that the cartoon, “proves you to be a hypocrite and a liar and we won’t stand silent for it.”
In answer to several question Robinson once again said that systemic racism didn’t exist and explained that didn’t mean that racism didn’t exist as he has been quoted as saying. Robinson went into some historical detail about why systemic racism didn’t exist in the US government which appeared to halt that line of questioning.
The cartoon was in response to the new social studies standards that the State Board of Education is considering. Robinson and other Republicans on the board object to the emphasis on systemic racism in the proposed standards favored by the Democrats.
Robinson has said that the very fact that he was elected lieutenant governor and the country twice elected a black man president is evidence that systemic racism doesn’t exist.