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Rapert defends 'minorities’ remark in speech

By The Associated Press

This article was originally published February 4, 2013 at 10:16 a.m. Updated February 4, 2013 at 12:12 p.m.

— An Arkansas lawmaker proposing to ban most abortions in the state says he wasn’t referring to race when he told an audience in 2011 that he didn’t want “minorities to run roughshod” over their beliefs.

Republican state Sen. Jason Rapert of Conway on Monday defended the remarks that he made at a Tea Party rally in front of the Capitol and said footage of the speech was being selectively used to portray him as racially biased.

The Nation first reported Rapert’s comments Friday.

In the speech, Rapert says: “We’re going to try to take this country back for conservatism, and we’re not going to allow minorities to run roughshod over what you people believe in.”

Rapert told reporters that he wasn’t referring to racial minorities, and noted he had earlier used the term “minority interests” earlier in the speech when criticizing a state Supreme Court decision that struck down a voter-initiated act that banned unmarried couples from adopting or fostering children.

“I was talking about minority political interests, as you do with the majority opinion or the minority opinion,” Rapert said.

Rapert is the chief sponsor of legislation that would ban most abortions if a fetal heartbeat is detected, a move that would prohibit the procedure as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.

The Senate last week approved the measure, and it’s now pending before a House committee.


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Displaying 1 - 9 of 9 total comments

djigoo says... February 4, 2013 at 10:24 a.m.


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Populist says... February 4, 2013 at 10:37 a.m.

The tape is available on Youtube--one of many featuring him so everybody can judge for themselves what he meant. It is said in the context of slamming the President and referring to him as part of "you people." He is becoming quite popular with those who want to make fun of Arkansas.

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funk50 says... February 4, 2013 at 11:47 a.m.

Someone tell the Republiklans in the Arkansas legislature this is 2013, not the 1860's ( the last time they held majority ). The lame excuse that his comments were "taken out of context" is an insult to intelligence!

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punk47 says... February 4, 2013 at 11:52 a.m.

Jason you are right on man,the pres is trying to cran the health thing down our throats,hope the catholic church beats him into the ground and while they with it hobby lobby too these other 3 post you must have step on their toes.

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djigoo says... February 4, 2013 at 12:04 p.m.


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rainbowharold55 says... February 4, 2013 at 12:44 p.m.

So homophobia is better than racism, Jason?

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Nate says... February 4, 2013 at 1:01 p.m.

I'm just curious as to how long it's going to take for some people to open their eyes and minds to a few simple facts both here in Arkansas and across the nation with some of these politicians and the media? Unfortunately, the things most of them fall for are code words like; them, those people, minorities, take our country back while covering most things with a "conservative" connotation. Blacks make up about 11% of the State's population and about 13% of the Nation's. The country is about 237 years old and got its first Black President a little over 4-years ago, there are only 4m people actually receiving welfare benefits (guess what group makes up over 80%), no federal money can be used for an abortion, the greater proportion of the state's Black population live basically in the Delta from Blytheville to Eudora and Pulaski County. All of our Consitutional Officers are White males to include our Congressional delegation (while three of four districts split the northeast and southeast portion of the state three different ways), their are barely five (5) Black heading State Agencies and maybe five (5) Black Superintendents in our over 300 school districts. So, we need to take WHAT back from WHOM?

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Capitalist12 says... February 4, 2013 at 1:55 p.m.

Liberals do not see people; they see only race, gender, class, sexual orientation, etc. Naturally, they thnk "minority" means one of these categories, instead of the more obvious politcal meaning at a political speech. Small minds think in small ways.

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djigoo says... February 4, 2013 at 9:43 p.m.

Again...what is a "Captialist?"

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