GOP Sen. Tommy Tuberville is being chastised for claiming at a rally that Democrats support crime and want the US to pay reparations to descendants of enslaved people because “the people who do the crime are owed that.”
According to CBS News, the Alabama senator made those remarks during a weekend rally in Nevada hosted by former President Donald Trump. The rally was reportedly held to show support for Republican Party candidates running for seats on the party’s ticket in the November elections.
“They’re not soft on crime. They’re pro-crime. They want crime,” Tuberville said in reference to Democrats. “They want crime because they want to take over what you got. They want to control what you have. They want reparations because they think the people that do the crime are owed that. Bulls**t. They are not owed that.”
Tuberville’s comments were met with immediate condemnation. In a statement, NAACP President Derrick Johnson said the Alabama senator’s claims were “flat out racist, ignorant and utterly sickening.”
“His words promote a centuries-old lie about Black people that throughout history have resulted in the most dangerous policies and violent attacks on our community,” Johnson added. “We’ve seen this before from the far-right, and we’ve seen what they can do when they take power. Next time the senator wants to talk about crime, he should talk about Donald Trump’s hate-fueled rally on January 6, 2021, and the attacks that followed. Perhaps the real criminals are in his orbit.”
New York Democratic Representative Mondaire Jones also highlighted and condemned Tuberville’s comments when he shared a tweet about Kanye West. Both Instagram and Twitter have restricted the Black rapper and fashion designer’s accounts after he shared antisemitic posts.
“This defense of Kanye’s blatant anti-Semitism from the Indiana Attorney General, which follows deeply white supremacist comments from other high-ranking Republican officials like Senator Tommy Tuberville in recent days, tells you everything you need to know about the GOP in 2022,” Jones posted on Sunday.
Following the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, Tuberville was among the Republican lawmakers who stated that they would not formally accept the certification of the electoral votes declaring Joe Biden as president-elect, according to HuffPost. The 68-year-old lawmaker also voted against establishing an independent commission to investigate the infamous and deadly Capitol insurgency on January 6.
He also voted against extending the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act last year. This bill was introduced in response to an increase in attacks on Asian Americans. Tuberville was a successful college football coach before entering politics. The majority of the athletes in that sport are African-American.
In a tweet, the president of the National Urban League civil rights group, Marc Morial, wrote that Tuberville’s “racial views are even more heartbreaking in light of his decades of coaching Black athletes who entrusted their health, safety and futures to a man who clearly holds them in the lowest contempt.”