COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – The National Action Network is calling on U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham to apologize after he made what NAN calls a “dangerous comment” during last Friday’s Senate Forum with challenger Jaime Harrison.
It came when asked about civil unrest across the country and in South Carolina following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed African American man who died while in police custody.
Floyd’s death sparked protests and riots across the country in May, many of which have continued to happen in cities across the U.S.
“To young people out there, of color, and young immigrants, this is a great state. One thing that I can say without any doubt; you can be an African American and go to the Senate. You just have to share the values of our state,” said Graham in his response.
He went on to say, “(Tim) Scott is in the Senate. He’s the only African American Republican in the country. Nikki Haley is a daughter of Indian immigrants raised in Denmark, South Carolina – she became our Governor. In South Carolina, it’s not about the color of your skin or where you came from, it’s about your ideals.”
“I care about everybody. If you’re a young African American, an immigrant, you can go anywhere in this state you just need to be conservative, not liberal,” he said.
Several members of the National Action Network from across the state met in Columbia for a press conference where they call on Sen. Graham to apologize for those comments.
“This comment is offensive. It’s even more egregious because it’s uttered by a United States Senator, who by oath of his office affirmed that he will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic,” said Rev. Nelson B. Rivers, III.
Senator Graham’s office said the comment in question was taken out of context to be “used against Sen. Graham.”