In the wake of a meeting yesterday with Delta Country Republican Chair Linda Sorenson, who shared a Facebook meme comparing Obama to a Chimp, Colorado GOP Chairman Steve House promised racial-sensitivity training for party leaders, but he would not say whether Sorenson will resign, according to a story today by the Grand Junction Sentinel’s Charles Ashby.
Sorenson will “take responsibility” for the Post, House told Ashby, who also reported that House said that [Sorenson’s] backing of [GOP Senate candidate Darryl] Glenn, who is black, shows that Sorenson isn’t a racist, but was being racially insensitive.”
House said the situation has prompted a number of changes he plans to institute, not the least of which is to provide training on the difference between racism and being racially insensitive, adding that there is no room in the GOP for either.
He also said the state party will provide training on how to handle social media, including on how to make things private.
“Saying that you were wrong can come from two bases,” House said. “One is that you were willfully wrong, and the other is that you were ignorant and wrong. In this particular case it’s more ignorance than willful. So when you become racially insensitive, it needs to be used to educate.
“If you label somebody’s who’s a racist who’s not, then all you do is create an environment where you have discontent and more stress,” he said. “Republican or Democrat, decades of racism in this country and racial divide and an inability to educate and move ourselves forward is a real problem that we’ve got to solve. This situation gives us the ability to work with the NAACP and other groups out there and say, ‘All right, we’re not as racially sensitive about some things as you are, so let’s do some education.”
In addition to the Chimp meme, Sorenson shared or liked a handful of posts in the same vein last year. See them here.
U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton (R-CO) told the Colorado Statesman through a spokesperson Friday that racism has “no place” in the GOP. But he did not call for Sorenson’s resignation. Neither did GOP U.S. Senate candidate Jack Graham, who also condemned the meme.
Delta County Republicans will hold a public meeting at 7 p.m. tonight at the Surface Creek Community Church in Austin to discuss the issue–and other alleged lapses by Sorenson.