Erika Harold in 2002
Photo: Jacob Silberberg (Getty Images)

Question: What does a Republican call a black woman who graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Illinois, finished Harvard Law School, won the Miss America Pageant and became a successful attorney?

Answer: A “lesbo” and a “nigger.”

That’s what Republican candidate for Illinois Attorney General Erika Harold found out recently when one of her fellow party members, Illinois Legislature candidate Burt Minor, used the homophobic slur and the Big Joker of all racial epithets during a conversation with the beauty pageant winner-turned-lawyer.


According to Politico, the controversy stems from a conversation between Minor and Harold in Minor’s capacity as chairman of Winfield Township, Ill. During a meeting between the two Republicans, Minor began asking Harold questions about her sexuality and her marital status, asking, “Are you a lesbo?” multiple times. The conversation reportedly turned heated when Minor “used the full n-word.”

In a letter to state Republicans, Illinois House leader Peter Breen wrote that Minor confirmed the details of the conversation and his use of the slurs to Breen. To be fair, though, Breen says that Minor claims he had a good reason:

At an in-person meeting that Mr. Minor requested with me, with a witness present, Mr. Minor confirmed that he had asked Ms. Harold if she was a lesbian and that he had used the full n-word in her and her assistant’s presence. He explained this away by claiming that Ms. Harold “wanted him to ask the question” about her sexual orientation and claiming that Ms. Harold asked him to say the full n-word. Suffice it to say, this is not how the other participants to the meeting heard or understood the statements, nor how they reported those statements to others both immediately after the meeting occurred and consistently in the months since.


Politico confirmed the conversation with multiple sources, saying that Minor asked the questions so he could “get it on the record,” and while Minor would not comment to Politico, he earlier insisted that he did not use the “full n-word” because he and Harold are friends.

Which brings up a great point:

What the hell is “the full n-word”? It is repeatedly mentioned by the people in this controversy, but I have no idea what it is. Did the town chairman simply emphasize the “r” at the end of the word, or it possible that there is a longer, more detestable version of “nigger” that white people have been keeping secret all these years?


Did Burt Minor call Erika Harold a “niggerilla”?

Illinois Republicans are now rescinding their endorsements from Minor because, while Republicans have no problem passing racist, homophobic legislation and injecting it into their political agenda, they can’t have a party member walking around using the full n-word.

Which brings up a greater point:

If you’re a black Republican, shouldn’t you expect to be called the n-word? It’s like hiring Bill Cosby to bartend at a slumber party or asking R. Kelly to chaperone a junior high school dance—you know what’s going to happen. Michael Steele was chairman of the Republican National Committee—or, as they officially referred to the position, the Token Black Guy—and you saw how they treated him.


Plus, do you know the quantity of evil that must reside in a man’s heart to casually double-slur a woman to her face? I mean ... damn, Burt! Despite his disputes with Obama, Omarosa and Oprah (wait, I’m beginning to sense a pattern here), even Donald Trump hasn’t used the full n-word ...