Newly-elected Tennessee State Rep. London Lamar, D-Memphis, said she merely summed up the thoughts and feelings of her constituents when she scolded white Tennessee Republicans as supposedly racist and uneducated.
As The Tennessee Star reported, Lamar livestreamed her remarks during a 15-minute Facebook video last week. She removed the video from Facebook a few days later after it got attention she apparently didn’t want.
The Star broke this story past weekend. The story has since gone viral worldwide, with Newsweek citing The Star’s work. FOX News, The British Daily Mail, CBS News, and The Washington Post, among many others, also did their own follow-ups.
“What was called a rant is actually a statistical analysis of the midterm elections based on my numerous years of political experience. After a review of the numbers after the midterm election, I felt the need to record a Facebook live video to discuss the numbers from both Tennessee and nationwide,” Lamar said.
“My comments did not intend to make a generalization about every white person who voted Republican. The truth about a large number of those who responded with their vote for Republican candidates this election cycle is, they voted in response to the racially charged rhetoric that has come from our President.”
Lamar said as an elected official she is the voice of her community, whom she described as mostly poor, black, and female.
Most of the people who commented on her two posts said they concurred with Lamar’s statement.
“I stand with you London. You told the truth,” said John Jackson, listed as a resident of Atlanta, Ga., although he is not one of Lamar’s constituents.
Marcquesa Bufkin, whose city or town of residence was unlisted, told Lamar there was “No need to apologize about facts!”
Memphis City Council member Myron Lowery, meanwhile told Lamar “Its your responsibility to represent your constituents!”
In her Facebook posts, however, Lamar apologized for what she called “an overgeneralization of white people.”
“However, we must not discount the election day data,” Lamar said.
“We live in a state that is very racially polarized. When you look at the needs of rural west, middle and east, the democratic values speaks to their needs. I sincerely desire for the great state of Tennessee to give the democratic values a chance to work for all people.”
According to The Washington Times, when asked if she truly believes Tennessee is racist, Lamar said this:
“I think Tennessee has people who may identify with rhetoric that leans towards that way and I think we are a very racially polarized state.”
Last week’s video was apparently published on London’s Facebook page last Wednesday morning, and taken down on Friday after the first Star story was published. The Star retrieved the video, however, and published a story, still up, that contains the video on Saturday.
“Looking here at Tennessee, let’s just call a spade a spade,” Lamar said in the video, beginning at the 2:01 mark.
“Tennessee is racist, period. Period. And if you for one moment thought that white people in Tennessee were going to leave their own to jump over here and give us more access, they just told you last night it’s not happening,” Lamar continued. (emphasis added)
Lamar went on to say more than 60 to 70 percent of white Tennessee men voted Republican in last week’s election.
“Obviously, that is a particular base of people who believe in superiority. They don’t believe in sharing their wealth. They don’t believe in sharing resources. They believe that you need to work for your own, and they went to the polls and voted,” Lamar added.
Later in the video, at the 5:10 mark, Lamar said “most of the people in Tennessee who voted Republican are uneducated.”
“This is no different than 1968. The only difference is they can’t necessarily, like, hang us by a noose or outwardly kick us out of restaurants or things like that, but they are still exercising their right to vote and they are still supporting candidates who openly express they will suppress our community,” Lamar continued.
As reported, on the video, Lamar, among other things, reprimanded white men for wanting to keep more of the money they earn. Lamar also suggested allowing felons to vote will help elect more Democrats.