HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Alabama U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville made a series of public comments at a recent Trump-sponsored rally in Nevada that some Alabama leaders are calling “racist” and “divisive.” Some are asking Tuberville to apologize and acknowledge the racial component of his remarks.
In his speech, Tuberville said, with their majority in Congress, Democrats could stop crime, like drugs coming across the border. He said members of the party want crime, drawing a comparison between minority groups and criminals and claiming that Democrats believe reparations are owed to minorities.
Alabama House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels was angered by the remarks but said the statements Tuberville made are not representative of all Alabama leaders and the state as a whole.
“Silence is complicit, and anyone who defends that type of ignorance is also complicit,” Daniels said.
Daniels said, while Tuberville was vocal on Saturday, he has been quiet since.
“There’s no apology from the senator,” Daniels said. “There’s not a peep. It’s like he’s in a bunker just waiting, just hiding right now. I think that if the senator truly regrets the statements that he made, he needs to come out and say it was taken out of context or what have you.”
Daniels said he is disappointed but not surprised by Tuberville’s comments.
“He’s shown us this time and time again,” Daniels said.
At the Saturday rally in Nevada, Tuberville said that the statement ‘Democrats are soft on crime’ is not correct.
“No, they’re not soft on crime,” Tuberville said at the rally. “They’re pro-crime. 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. They’re not owed that.”
Daniels said he is concerned about the impact statements like this may have on people considering moving to Alabama, bringing industry, and contributing to the growth of the state.
“When you have folks like myself and leaders in North Alabama and leaders across the state that are focusing on economic development and opportunity, how is that going to help NASA and our defense industry, the DOD, and our defense contractors that are moving into North Alabama and across the state,” Daniels said. “How is it going to help them retain talent or attract talent to be on the front lines working for their companies and corporations?”
Daniels said Tuberville’s comments are ignorant and, he said, those who do not speak up against them are complicit in that ignorance.
“My first reaction was the response that I put out there that if the senator truly believes what he said about reparations, it’s time for him to be put on concussion protocol and taken off the playing field because no one in their right mind would make such an insane statement, especially a U.S. Senator,” Daniels said.
Former U.S. Sen. Doug Jones also called out Tuberville’s comments on social media. He said he believes the statements stem from racism and ignorance, and they harken back to a “really dark time.”
News 19 reached out to Tuberville’s office for comment but did not receive a response.