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April 2nd, 2009

NAACP: Hatch Must Face The Consequences Of His Actions…Well Maybe

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Written by: Craig Robinson

hatchThe racial incident that Democrat leaders in the House and Senate thought they had swept under the rug last week has now erupted into a raging fire.

Last week, State Senator Jack Hatch told Rep. Abdul-Samad, member of the House Human Resources committee, that Democratic statehouse leaders were treating them like, “[N words], like master and slaves.” Knowing that the incident would create chaos and another round of bad news coverage for Hatch and Iowa Democrats, legislative leaders were able to prevent the Register from reporting on the story until Saturday, a day when very few people read the paper.

While their tactics initially worked as they had planned, the story is now on the front burner. On Monday, Sen. Hatch apologized to his colleagues in the Senate and sent the following email to all legislators and staff.

Dear colleagues and legislative staff,

I am writing to apologize for a comment I made last week. As legislators, our comments reflect on everyone, and last Wednesday I made an inappropriate reference. It was wrong and inexcusable. We are to reflect Iowa values, and Iowans are a tolerant group. Our values embrace diversity and legislators need to reflect our highest standards. Last Wednesday, I failed that standard and for that, I am sorry. It will never happen again.

If you want to discuss this with me, please seek me out.


Apparently, Rep. Abdul-Samad and Rep. Wayne Ford took Sen. Hatch up on his offer for further discussion. The two Representatives and other African-American leaders met privately with Senator Hatch on Monday night to discuss the incident further.

Sen. Hatch apologized to the group that night, but Linda Carter-Lewis, president of the Des Moines chapter of the NAACP said, “Words, once spoken, cannot be retracted or erased. Senator Hatch will suffer the consequences for his actions.” Thus far, besides some public embarrassment, Senator Hatch has not had to deal with any real consequences for his self-described despicable remarks.

There are a lot of people who are still upset with Hatch’s comments. Our post on the subject has generated over nearly 2000 unique page views, containing over forty comments. According to his legislative assistant, Sen. Hatch has received over 2800 emails about the subject, and the longest serving African-American in the legislature, Rep. Wayne Ford, isn’t sure if his relationship with Hatch will ever be the same.

So why hasn’t there been ANY official sanction from the House or Senate condemning Hatch’s comments?

The reactions by Rep. Abdul-Samad, and Rep. Wayne Ford are justified, and since the occurrence took place in the House chamber, the House should offer a non-binding resolution condemning Sen. Hatch’s behavior. The House cannot censure a non-member, but at least it would send a clear message to all Iowans that such language will not be tolerated. Even if the House does pass a resolution, the Senate should also take official action against Hatch by censuring him.

It seems as if those in the legislature think this is just an internal issue that needs to be dealt with behind closed doors. They need to realize that, by not officially condemning Hatch’s comment, they are sending a terrible message to all Iowans that says what happens in Des Moines, stays in Des Moines.

Sen. Hatch apologizing to his collogues and meeting with a few select African-American leaders was the appropriate thing to do. But as Linda Carter-Lewis said, Hatch must deal with the consequences of his actions. Censuring Sen. Hatch sends the message that Iowans will not tolerate racist behavior. Just letting him apologize to a few select people sends the opposite message, especially to our youth.

About the Author

Craig Robinson
Craig Robinson is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a political news and commentary site he launched in March of 2009. Robinson’s political analysis is respected across party lines, which has allowed him to build a good rapport with journalist across the country. Robinson has also been featured on Iowa Public Television’s Iowa Press, ABC’s This Week, and other local television and radio programs. Campaign’s & Elections Magazine recognized Robinson as one of the top influencers of the 2012 Iowa Caucuses. A 2013 Politico article sited Robinson and as the “premier example” of Republican operatives across the country starting up their own political news sites. His website has been repeatedly praised as the best political blog in Iowa by the Washington Post, and in January of 2015, Politico included him on the list of local reporters that matter in the early presidential states. Robinson got his first taste of Iowa politics in 1999 while serving as Steve Forbes’ southeast Iowa field coordinator where he was responsible for organizing 27 Iowa counties. In 2007, Robinson served as the Political Director of the Republican Party of Iowa where he was responsible for organizing the 2007 Iowa Straw Poll and the 2008 First-in-the-Nation Iowa Caucuses. Following the caucuses, he created his own political news and commentary site, Robinson is also the President of Global Intermediate, a national mail and political communications firm with offices in West Des Moines, Iowa, and Washington, D.C. Robinson utilizes his fundraising and communications background to service Global’s growing client roster with digital and print marketing. Robinson is a native of Goose Lake, Iowa, and a 1999 graduate of St. Ambrose University in Davenport, where he earned degrees in history and political science. Robinson lives in Ankeny, Iowa, with his wife, Amanda, and son, Luke. He is an active member of the Lutheran Church of Hope.

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