Lawmaker’s abort-black-babies comment likely won’t hurt re-election bid

By Johnny Kampis | Watchdog.org

CULLMAN, Ala. — The Alabama GOP went on the attack after a Democratic representative used racially charged comments on the House floor, but a political pundit says the cross words should have little bearing on the lawmaker’s re-election bid.

During a debate Wednesday over a bill that would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, state Rep. Mary Sue McClurkin, R-Indian Springs, compared her legislation to Brown v. the Board of Education.

That soon prompted a more incendiary response from state Rep. Alvin Holmes, D-Montgomery, who’s not known for subtlety.

HOLMES: Said white people are against abortions unless their daughters are impregnated by black men.

“Ninety-nine percent of all of the white people in here are going to raise their hand that they are against abortion,” he said. “On the other hand, 99 percent of the whites who are sitting in here now, if their daughter got pregnant by a black man, they are going to make their daughter have an abortion.”

ALGOP Chairman Bill Armistead released a statement that said Holmes “continues to spout racist and derogatory language.”

“Most people in his district are God-fearing folks and oppose abortion; it is an insult to their intelligence to have their representative ranting racial comments like he has done repeatedly during his political career,” Armistead said.

The GOP also used the opportunity to tout its candidate in the District 78 race against Holmes this November, Tijuanna Adetunji.

“Too many of our youth are falling through the cracks while Mr. Holmes seems to only want to divide people by continually making racial slurs on the House floor,” Adetunji said in a statement released alongside Armistead’s.

To what degree will Holmes’ comments affect that race? Very little, said William Stewart, professor emeritus of political science at the University of Alabama.

Stewart described Holmes, who’s been serving in the lower chamber of the Alabama Legislature for 40 years — the longest of any lawmaker — as “dean of the House.”

“I think Holmes has established himself solidly in his district over multiple terms,” Stewart told Watchdog.org.

Racially charged comments aren’t uncommon in the state Legislature, Stewart added.

“He’s used the race card, but so have white people,” he said.

Holmes is certainly no stranger to controversy. He called U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas an “Uncle Tom” on the floor of the Alabama House last month, repeating that comment when interviewed on the Fox News program “Hannity.”

“I think Justice Clarence Thomas on the United States Supreme Court is an Uncle Tom, a black man allowing himself to be used to carry the message of a white man, which is against the interest of black people in America. In my opinion, that’s an Uncle Tom,” he told interviewed David Webb.

Contact Kampis at johnny.kampis@franklincenterhq.org

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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