Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R) is facing criticism after calling African-Americans “colored people” in a speech about education.
Fox 5 Atlanta reports the very poor choice of words happened last month (Oct. 3) at the Technical College System of Georgia when Deal was pushing Amendment 1, a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow failed city schools to be under control of a new state-run district. Deal says the change would affect minorities the most in low-performing schools. “The irony of some of the groups who are opposing doing something to help these minority children is beyond my logic,” he said. “If you want to advance the state of colored people, start with their children.” Footage of the speech was uncovered by the site on Wedsnday (Nov. 3).
Deal admitted he went off script, explaining he was referring to the civil rights organization, the NAACP. “Well, I think I misspoke in that I didn’t use the entire name of the organization,” he said. “I don’t think I misspoke in terms of where I think they should be on this issue…it’s in their name. It was in the organization’s name, I think my mistake was I didn’t use their whole name.” The NAACP has considered changing their name, with the inclusion of “colored people” being the most used terminology at the time of its fruition.
Deal’s biggest oppositions have come from both Democrats and Republicans as the amendment would step over partisan lines. The NAACP isn’t thrilled over the proposal. They also aren’t happy about Deal’s blunder, President Richard Rose of the Atlanta NAACP chapter said Thursday (Nov. 3). “Of course it is offensive, but I don’t expect anything else from this Governor, who talks about ghetto grandmothers and who is against the voting rights act. This is consistent with Governor Deal, this is who he is. It doesn’t surprise me.”
State Senator Vincent Fort requested an apology in a formal letter to Deal. “We think it is time for the Governor to make a formal unqualified apology and that’s what this letter requests,” Fort said.
Take a look at Deal’s speech below.