Latinx leaders slammed Senator Tillis yesterday for “racist” comments he made earlier this week blaming the “Hispanic population” for not socially distancing, without offering any evidence or noting that the Latinx community in North Carolina is more likely to be essential workers or that Latinx populations reportedly social distance and wear masks at a higher rate than other communities.
These weren’t the first breathtakingly tone-deaf and racially divisive comments from Senator Tillis.
In 2012, Tillis revealed he “doesn’t think of African-Americans and Latinos as being, well, real North Carolinians, or Americans for that matter” when he singled out the African Americans and the Latinx community and implied they were not part of the “traditional population of North Carolina,” which he lamented is “not growing” while minority communities are.
He was widely “panned” for his racially divisive comments, with one commentator asking Tillis, “How long does it take for a black [or Latinx] North Carolinian to become a ‘traditional North Carolinian’?” (He was also just plain “wrong on the data.”)
On top of that, Tillis said he wanted to “divide and conquer” people on government assistance, engineered some of the most racist political maps in U.S. history, and passed a racist voter suppression package that was struck down for targeting African American communities “with almost surgical precision.”
“Thom Tillis keeps reminding North Carolinians who he is — and North Carolinians are listening,” NCDP spokesperson Robert Howard said. “From targeting African American communities with ‘almost surgical precision’ to saying we need to ‘divide and conquer’ our own citizens and claiming Latinx and African Americans aren’t part of ‘traditional’ North Carolina, Thom Tillis has tried to divide us by race his entire time in office. It’s shameful and wrong, but it’s who Thom Tillis is.”
Read more about Tillis’ most recent controversy – and his long history of racially divisive comments:
- Washington Post: ‘Respect the people that feed America’: GOP senator slammed for suggesting Hispanics don’t wear masks or social distance
- Talking Points Memo: NC GOPer: Unlike Blacks Or Hispanics, ‘Traditional’ Population Isn’t Growing
- News & Record: Tillis panned for remarks made in ’12