Shortly after last week’s midterm elections, Tennessee state Representative-elect London Lamar (D) posted a video in which she said, "Tennessee's racist," and added, "Period. Period. Like, Tennessee is racist." Elsewhere in the now-deleted video, Lamar said that "most of the Tennesseans who voted Republican are uneducated." She is slated to take office in January. Lamar is a black woman and a veteran of Democrat politics.
“When we look at some of the numbers last night, white men voted Republican well over 60 or 70 percent,” said Lamar, who will represent a district in Memphis. “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, Lamar said, “I also think we need to stop acting like we’re in post-racial America, people. We are not. Tennessee is racist. Like these people–I don’t want to say these white people– in Tennessee, have voted against you. And not just a little bit, but a lot of bit. So I think you all need to realize that, who’s your real enemy here?” she asked.
“I think that, as an African-American community, and this is what I’ve been preaching, we need to come up with a policy platform, a concise policy platform that we’re going to push because, right now, 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 went on to say.
Lamar apologized for the statements on Monday. “We want to make sure we don't over-generalize groups of people," she said to WREG television news. "For that, we sincerely apologize.” She went on to say, "What we have seen is that many of the folks who voted Republican based their judgement on racially-charged rhetoric that was coming down from the White House."
Lamar did not retract her statement that asserted that voters are motivated by racism. "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," she explained.