I have never heard a single utterance of racism from this staffer nor do I believe him to have any racist tendencies. However, it is impossible to present the ideas and reforms we need in this country with this controversy present. Therefore I have accepted his resignation.
Yeah--posting a picture of a lynching victim on MLK's birthday and attaching a message that says "Happy Nigger Day" isn't racist at all. Now if he'd disinterred the body of James Byrd and dragged him down the road again, that might be something. Emphasis on "might."
UPDATE: A correction from comments:
In all fairness Mr. Coates, the staffer did not post the picture, nor did he attach the message "Happy N----- Day". One of the staffers' myspace friends posted it on his myspace account page. This would be the equivalent of someone posting a racist comment on your facebook page. Where the staffer erred was in associating with such a racist myspace friend, and not immedietly taking down the posted racist comment. Just wanted our objections to this staffers conduct to be based entirely in fact.
Yes. This is true. He didn't post it. He just left it on his page for a couple years. Still, it's a difference which I should have made clear.