New York Democratic Congressman Charlie Rangel sat down for a wide-ranging interview with Huffington Post Live, during which he defended his earlier use of the term ‘white crackers’ as a “term of endearment.”
Rangel began by standing by his earlier comments that the Southern GOP believes that “slavery isn’t over,” and that they won the Civil War. “Take a look and see, what are the symbols that the majority of slave-holding states, if they identify with the tea party, and if they do, where are the warriors of the Civil War, the Confederates?” he said, “They’re all over these states and even today are denying it!” (RELATED: Rangel: Southern GOP Still Believes In Slavery, ‘Racial Superiority’)
But host Marc Lamont Hill then pushed Rangel on comments he made in 2013, calling the Tea Party “white crackers.” “I thought that was a term of endearment,” he explained.
Even Hill laughed out loud at that. “You thought ‘cracker’ was a term of endearment?”
Rangel then preceded to give perhaps the most backhanded apology of all time: “They’re so proud of their heritage and all the things they believe in. I can tell you this: with all of the feelings I have against the people, that have been against justice, fair play and equality, and the freedoms as we know it. If I offended them for calling them a ‘white cracker,’ I apologize. For the rest of it, there’s a lot that has to be done here.” (RELATED: MSNBC Calls GOP Ebola Criticism ‘Not Even Thinly-Veiled Racism’)
“With the names I’ve been called, I never really put ‘cracker’ in that category,” he continued. “But I certainly would like to have dinner with some of the people I’ve offended…”
You can tell how sorry Rangel was by the fact that he immediately accused the tea party of lynching and bombing people: “I’m glad that you raised it, because it shows how ridiculous it is. A guy from Lennox Avenue who’s in the Congress calls mean-spirited people, that bomb and kill people, set dogs on them, lynch people, and still refuse to admit that we’re suffering the pain from this, and they can say, ‘That guy made a lot of sense, but he had no business calling us a white cracker.'”
Watch the full interview here: