After racist post, official must go

From an editorial in Wednesday’s Winston-Salem Journal:

Free speech is the foundation of our business. But it doesn’t mean there are no consequences.

That’s the case with Malcolm “Mac” Butner, who was sworn in as chairman of the Rowan County Board of Elections last month. Last year, news surfaced that he made some racially-tinged Facebook posts, The Associated Press reported, including one in which he posted a photo of a Moral Monday event in Raleigh protesting the policies of the state’s Republican leaders. “Gee they are all black,” he wrote. “I guess the white folk could not get off because they were too busy being productive good citizens.”

The leadership of the state party has urged him to resign, but Butner refuses.

North Carolina GOP Press Secretary Kara Carter said last week that party officials were unaware of the posts, even though they received national media attention a year ago when they first went online. She also stated that his nomination was the “result of a clerical error” – that he shouldn’t have been nominated in the first place. But that doesn’t wash. He was nominated by the state’s party chairman and unanimously approved by the state election board.

That said, it’s good the party does want Butner out now. The GOP doesn’t need this and neither do voters.