Baltimore City councilman Carl Stokes said Tuesday that Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and President Barack Obama should “just call” the rioters “niggers, not “thugs,” as protests continued in West Baltimore early in the evening.
Stokes made the comments during an interview with CNN’s Erin Burnett on the news network Tuesday night after both Obama and the Baltimore mayor used the term “thugs” to refer to those who destroyed property and parts of Baltimore Monday night.
ERIN BURNETT: Councilman, you know, it’s interesting because the mayor of Baltimore, who has come under a lot of criticism, scathing criticism, for her handling this, referred to the people who were doing this last night as thugs, and she got a lot of criticism about that. There were people I saw on Twitter who said why would you call them thugs? Now they’re not going to listen to you. President Obama also called them in his words ‘criminals’ and ‘thugs.’ He also carefully chose to use that word. Isn’t it the right word?
CARL STOKES: No, of course it’s not the right word to call our children thugs. These are children who have been set aside, marginalized, who have not been engaged by us. No. We don’t have to call them thugs.
BURNETT: How does that justify what they did? I mean, that’s a sense of right from wrong. They know it’s wrong to steal and burn down a CBS and an old person’s home. I mean, come on.
STOKES: Come on? So calling them thugs — just call them niggers. Just call them niggers. No. We don’t have to call them by names such as that. We don’t have to do that. That is exactly what we have set them to. No. When you say come on, come on what? You wouldn’t call your child a thug if they should do something that would not be what you would expect them to do.
BURNETT: Look, I respect your point of view. I hope I would call my son a thug if he ever did such a thing.