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Alabama Sen. Tuberville equates descendants of enslaved people to criminals

U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) speaks during a campaign rally at Minden-Tahoe Airport on Saturday in Minden, Nevada.
Justin Sullivan
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U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) speaks during a campaign rally at Minden-Tahoe Airport on Saturday in Minden, Nevada.

Updated October 10, 2022 at 5:12 PM ET

Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., compared descendants of enslaved people to criminals on Saturday at a rally for former President Donald Trump, drawing intense backlash for promoting a racist narrative.

In front of an overwhelmingly white crowd in Minden, Nevada, Tuberville criticized Democrats for being "pro-crime."

"They want crime because they want to take over what you got. They want to control what you have. They want reparations because they think the people that do the crime are owed that," Tuberville added. "Bull****! They are not owed that."

In a press statement, NAACP President Derrick Johnson called Tuberville's comments "flat out racist, ignorant and utterly sickening."

"His words promote a centuries-old lie about Black people that throughout history has resulted in the most dangerous policies and violent attacks on our community," Johnson added.

Tuberville's office did not immediately respond to NPR's request for comment.

Over the years, there's been growing support to offer reparations for Black Americans whose ancestors were enslaved as a way to address the lingering effects of slavery.

Last spring, a bill to study reparations for slavery had the support of more than 170 Democratic co-sponsors. A House committee voted to advance the legislation but it has yet to be considered by the full House of Representatives.

Democrats do not have an explicit policy surrounding reparations, though some prominent party members have advocated for the idea.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Juliana Kim
Juliana Kim is a weekend reporter for Digital News, where she adds context to the news of the day and brings her enterprise skills to NPR's signature journalism.

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