Alabama’s Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville described the Democratic Party as “pro-crime” and said the party supports reparations for “the people that do the crime” in a race-baiting screed during a rally for former President Donald Trump in Nevada on Saturday.
In the aftermath on Friday, Tuberville’s remarks were seen by many as overtly racist and false. The freshman U.S. senator from Alabama has not released a statement since the comments nor attempted to explain the bizarre tirade.
“[The Democrats] want reparations ’cause they think the people that do the crime are owed that — bullshit!” Tuberville said to cheers and applause from the crowd of Trump supporters. “They’re not owed that.”
Many national and state Democratic figures and leaders took to social media in the direct aftermath to voice their dismay with Tuberville’s comments.
“There is some bullshit here, but it isn’t what [Tommy Tuberville] thinks it is,” said former Alabama Democratic Party chairman and sitting state Rep. Chris England, D-Tuscaloosa, on Sunday in a post to Twitter. “The bullshit is that this guy is a United States senator in the first place.”
Alabama Democratic Party Vice Chair Tabitha Isner called out the Alabama Republican Party on Saturday: “Tuberville just equated Black Americans with ‘people that do the crime.'”
She asked what the party planned to do as a result.
“What’re you going to do about such blatant racism in your party’s leadership?” Isner said in a post on Twitter. “My money’s on NOTHING. But please, prove me wrong.”
Joe Scarborough, the anchor of MSNBC’s Morning Joe and a former Republican congressman from Florida, described Tuberville’s remarks as “an open appeal to racism” that would have made “George Wallace and Lester Maddox proud” in a Tweet on Sunday.
“You don’t have to be a Southerner like me to understand that ‘they’ is Tuberville’s substitute for a racial slur he can’t say behind a microphone in 2022,” Scarborough said.