Texas Democrat tells MSNBC: Racists here 'are out and proud with it'
Texas Democratic Party official Sarah Slavin [MSNBC]

A Texas city council member's remarks blaming "those blacks" for local issues fit in with a larger pattern of Republican efforts to stifle Black constituencies, a Democratic Party official told MSNBC host Michael Eric Dyson.

"Racism isn't limited to Texas -- we're just more out and proud with it," Sarah Slamen, field director for her party's offices in Fort Bend County, told Dyson. "We just don't segregate and live apart from each other like they do in the Northeast. In the South, we're open with it."

As The Raw Story reported earlier this week, officials in La Marque censured council member Connie Strube after she was caught on tape saying the city's school system would not improve "until you get those blacks off the school board."

Strube has refused to resign and defended her remarks as evidence of her "honest opinion," prompting the rest of the council to commission an outside investigation. But while residents have criticized the use of city funds for that kind of probe, Slamen denounced it as unnecessary.

"It's stage dressing to protect all the racists that are around her," she said. "I think everyone can look at this situation and see that Connie Trube needs to be out on her butt, immediately. The 13,000 people or so living in La Marque deserve better than Connie Trube."

Dyson pointed out that the state Republican party's platform -- which has already generated criticism for advocating discredited "reparative" therapy against homosexuality -- also states that the "Voter Rights Act of 1965" be repealed.

"They meant to reference the Voting Rights Act," Dyson said. "The Texas GOP can't even correctly identify one of the most important pieces of legislation to come out of the civil rights movement. That's because the Texas GOP doesn't believe we need protections against racial discrimination. The reality is, racism is alive and well in Texas."

Watch Dyson's interview with Slamen, as aired on Thursday, below.