The Democratic congressman, Bennie Thompson, refused to apologize for calling Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas an “Uncle Tom” and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell a racist, saying he has license to speak because he’s black.
U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., was asked by CNN’s Dana Bash if he stood by his claims that Thomas “doesn’t like black people, he doesn’t like being black.”
“Well if you look at his decisions on the court, they have been adverse to the minority community, and the people I represent have a real issue with an African-American not being sensitive to those issues,” Thompson told Bash.
Bash asked if his language was a racially charged.
“For some, it is, but to others, it’s the truth,” Thompson responded.
“Such language wouldn’t be acceptable coming from a white person”, Bash pointed out. Thompson didn’t flinch.
“But I’m black,” he said.
Thompson was on a New Nation of Islam radio program when he made his original, controversial comments, according to BuzzFeed, which reported that Thompson said:
“I’ve been in Washington. I saw three presidents now. I never saw George Bush treated like this. I never saw Bill Clinton treated like this with such disrespect,” Thompson said. “That Mitch McConnell would have the audacity to tell the president of the United States — not the chief executive, but the commander-in-chief — that ‘I don’t care what you come up with we’re going to be against it.’ Now if that’s not a racist statement I don’t know what is.”
In CNN’s follow-up interview, Bash noted Thompson’s double standard, asking whether being black “makes it OK” to make racially charged comments.
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Thompson responded that some decisions, like voter ID, affirmative action and the Affordable Care Act, are important to African-Americans and should be to Thomas. He added that McConnell and other Republicans oppose President Obama and his policies because he’s black.
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