That was the 84-year-old Democratic congressman’s excuse when confronted with remarks he made about the Tea Party in 2013. “It is the same group we faced in the South, with those white crackers and the dogs and the police,” he said at the time.
The Huffington Post’s Marc Lamont Hill asked Rangel about that description, which many viewed as a racial slur, during an interview on Monday. “I thought that was a term of endearment,” he said, baffling Hill. “[The tea party is] so proud of their heritage and all the things they believe . . . I can tell you this. With all of the feelings I have against these people who have been against justice, fair play, equality, and the freedoms as we know it, if I offended them by calling them a white cracker, for that I apologize. For the rest of it, there’s a lot that has to be done here.”
Contrary to the New York lawmaker’s repeated implications, the Tea Party is a national political movement not connected to a particular region — or, for that matter, any kind of racial politics.
Rangel followed up his dubious apology with more attacks on tea partiers, whom he compared to pro-segregation terrorists. “This shows how ridiculous this is,” he said. “A guy . . . in Congress calls mean-spirited people that bomb and kill people, set dogs on them, lynch people, and still refuse to believe that we’re suffering the pain from this — they can say, ‘That guy makes a lot of sense, but he had no business calling us a white cracker.’”
Watch the full interview here:
via the Washington Times