The NAACP demanded an apology Friday from the founder of Overstock.com, who said Utah minorities who don't graduate from high school might as well be burned or thrown away.So what would you do when caught on tape saying something racist? First, you pull the video off YouTube, then blame the internets.
Patrick Byrne's comments were posted on YouTube. The video clip was from a debate Tuesday at the University of Utah law school, where he was speaking in favor of vouchers, public aid for families sending kids to private schools.
On YouTube, he says: "Right now, 40 percent of Utah minorities are not graduating from high school. You may as well burn those kids. ... If they do not get a high school education, you might as just throw the kids away."
Byrne said he had no intention of apologizing and claimed his comments were taken out of context.This is the face of the voucher movement. His hundreds of thousands he gave to PCE is the biggest local donor to the cause. He was one of two people who came to debate at the law school on the subject. If he didn't speak for voucher supporters, they have a funny way of letting him speak for them.
"These folks have been selective in their editing," he told The Associated Press. "I very clearly said the system is throwing away 40 percent of the minority kids because they're not graduating. I'm saying that I'm against throwing kids away.
Williams noted that Byrne didn't mention white children who don't graduate. Utah is 83.5 percent white, 11 percent Hispanic and 1 percent black.Maybe he got so upset and called people bigots because of his own bigotry he is trying to hide.
"It says he's not sympathetic to the minority community and he means exactly what he said," Williams said of Byrne's lack of an apology.