Full statement from NAACP

"The NAACP condemns the statements of former South Carolina GOP activist and State Election Commission Chairman Rusty DePass linking First Lady Michelle Obama to an ape that recently escaped from a local zoo.  We demand a proper apology from Mr. DePass to Mrs. Obama and to the citizens of South Carolina who are terribly offended by his remarks.

"Mr. DePass' remarks are a chilling reminder of the pervasive nature of racial bias in South Carolina which readily infects all aspects of everyday life.  This unfortunate fact informs us that we must all work to eliminate such offensive references as they do influence our thoughts, our conversations, our choices, and our actions toward others.  It is mean-spirited, hateful comments such as those by Mr. DePass that also inform and encourage individuals like James von Brunn to turn their hate into action.

"The NAACP has spent more than a hundred years working to combat racial injustice.  We clearly have more work to do to ensure that the symbols and attitudes that we promote in our society respect the dignity of every American regardless of their race or ethnicity.