NBCC head Harry C. Alford took strong exception to Boxer having referenced an NAACP report favoring climate change legislation during a hearing of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, of which Boxer is the chairwoman.
"Madam chair, that is condescending to me," Alford said. "I'm the National Black Chamber of Commerce, and you're trying to put up some other black group to pit against me."
Boxer defended including the report, however, saying the report reflects a "diversity" of support behind climate change legislation facing the Senate.
"If this gentleman were here, he would be proud he's being quoted," Boxer said in defense of the NAACP support.
Alford, however, struck back against Boxer, accusing her of "getting racial" in the climate change debate.
"All that's condescending, and I don't like it. It's racial. I take offense to it. As an African-American and a veteran of this country, I take offense to that," he said. "You're quoting some other black man -- why don't you quote some other Asian or some other... You're getting racial here."
"You're speaking on behalf of the black community?" Alford asked. "Why are you doing the colored people association's study with the black Chamber of Commerce?"
He finally concluded:
"We've been looking at energy policy since 1996. And we are referring to the experts, regardless of their color. And for someone to tell me, an African-American, college-education veteran of the United States Army, that I must contend with some other "black group" and put aside everything else in here -- This has NOTHING to do with the NAACP, and really has nothing to do with the National Black Chamber of Commerce. We're talking about energy. And that -- that road the chair went down, I think is God awful."
You can view the exchange -- starting at about 18:00 minutes into the video -- here.