"North Carolina Republican apologises for ‘thinly-veiled racial’ attack
‘Would you have not been able to achieve these if you were not an athlete or a minority?’
It was an appalling moment that occurred during official proceedings and led to the white Republican who made the remarks, Jeff McNeely, walking them back only a few hours later.
The remarks in question were directed at state Rep Abraham Jones, a Democrat who has represented Wake County, North Carolina, since 2021. Mr Jones is a graduate of both Harvard’s undergraduate program as well as the university’s law school.
"Would you have not been able to achieve these if you were not an athlete or a minority?" Mr McNeely asked Mr Jones on Wednesday.
Mr Jones responded by noting his student rank at Harvard, the second-highest out of five, before commenting calmly in response: “I earned my place, and I did well.”
Mr McNeely was reportedly suspended from speaking further during the proceedings at hand and later issued an apology.
“I respect Representative Jones. I think he’s a great legislator. I think he’s a great man. What I tried to ask or say did not come out right. That happens a lot, and I apologize,” said Mr McNeely, according to statehouse reporter Bryan Anderson.
North Carolina’s legislature is home to a supermajority of Republican lawmakers, thanks to a recent surprise defection of a Democratic lawmaker who blamed the mistreatment supposedly coming from her colleagues for her shift in ideology.
But the state also is presided over by a Democratic governor and is often a purple state in presidential elections.
Mr McNeely’s statements were condemned by Democrats in the state legislature, including Mr Jones himself who described the “thinly-veiled racial aspect” of the encounter in his statement.
He added separately: “I worked hard to get where I am today. It is disappointing that another member of our chamber would imply that I have been successful simply because of the color of my skin, or because I am an athlete. I appreciate the member apologizing for his remarks.”
North Carolina Republican apologises for ‘thinly-veiled racial’ attack | The Independent
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