Far-right Republican Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville—a close ally of former Republican President Donald Trump—is under fire after defending White nationalists during a recent interview.
A chorus of top Democrats condemned Tuberville for his comments, which he delivered while speaking with CNN's Kaitlan Collins during a discussion about whether White nationalists are racists and should be barred from serving in the military.
They are, of course. Their core value is the notion America is a nation where White people should be superior to all others is inherently racist.
Tuberville disagreed, however.
He told Collins that in his opinion, White nationalists are simply "Americans" and the notion of them being racist is simply a matter of opinion.
See his comments below.
Using typical Republican double-speak, Tuberville said he is "totally against" racism. But he called the notion of whether White nationalists are racist a matter of opinion, telling Collins:
"My opinion of a White nationalist … to me, is an American."
When Collins pushed back that White nationalists are by definition racist, Tuberville again insisted "that's your opinion." He also claimed that if "all white people" were to be barred from the military there would be no one left to serve.
That is of course a willful mischaracterization of both Collins' question and the situation, unless Tuberville himself believes most White military members to be White nationalists.
The military does indeed have a well-known and very dire White nationalism problem that the Pentagon itself has acknowledged.
Tuberville's comments drew a chorus of condemnation from Democrats, including top Senator Chuck Schumer.
Addressing the issue on the Senate floor, Schumer said:
“For a member of the United States Senate to speculate about what white nationalism means as if it’s some benign little thought experiment is deeply and terribly disturbing."
"I urge my Republican colleagues to impress upon the senator from Alabama the destructive impact of his words and urge him to apologize.”
Georgia Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock, one of only three Black members of the Senate, also spoke out against Tuberville, saying:
“White nationalism is racism, by definition. It’s not a matter of opinion."
"For the senator to play games with this is dangerous stuff. He should apologize and change course.”
On social media, scores of people were equally appalled by Tuberville's comments, even if many were unsurprised by them.
Tuberville has since sort of recanted his comments after being hounded to account for them, giving a half-hearted assent to the idea that White nationalists are in fact racist while also calling it the Democrats' definition.
And according to The Washington Post, Tuberville did finally "relent" and concede:
"White nationalists are racists."
Took you long enough, Senator.