GOP Sen. Tommy Tuberville is being condemned for claiming at a rally that Democrats support crime and also want the United States to pay reparations to descendants of enslaved people because they are of the view that “the people that do the crime are owed that.”
According to CBS News, the Alabama senator made those comments at a Nevada rally that was hosted by former President Donald Trump over the weekend. The rally was reportedly held to offer support for candidates who are vying for seats on the ticket of the Republican Party in November’s 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 part of the GOP lawmakers who announced they weren’t going to formally accept the certification of the electoral votes declaring Joe Biden as president-elect, HuffPost reported. The 68-year-old lawmaker did not also vote in favor of the creation of an independent commission to look into the infamous and deadly Capitol insurrection on January 6.
Last year, he also voted against the extension of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act. That bill was tabled following a surge in attacks on Asian Americans. And prior to entering politics, Tuberville was a seasoned college football coach. The majority of the athletes in that sport are Black.
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.”