Rep. Jerry Carl (R-Ala.) disagreed with Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley’s assertion that America is not a racist country by declaring that everyone has some amount of racism in them.
Carl made the remarks in a GOP primary debate Wednesday night, according to NBC News.
“I used to work a lot with ministers, and I had some very private conversations. Everyone has some type of racist in them,” Carl said. “My mother, who [after] Pearl Harbor — she couldn’t stand the Japanese. She couldn’t stand them. And it used to just eat her from the inside out. So it’s there.”
Carl and another Alabama Republican congressman Rep. Barry Moore are running against each other in a March 5 primary. This comes after a federal court ordered last year that the state’s congressional map be redrawn to include a majority Black district.
The new map flipped Moore’s 2nd district from solid Republican to more Democratic and redraw Alabama’s 1st district, currently being represented by Carl, to include Moore’s home.
Carl tried to explain his comments in a statement to NBC News.
“What I said is there’s been racism in America, and we need to do everything we can to eradicate it and stand united regardless of skin color. The far left wants to divide us on race with ANTIFA and Black Lives Matter, and Barry Moore does it by voting to keep CRT [critical race theory] in our military,” he said.
“This district was drawn along racial lines, and I disagree with that because we need to look at people for who they are regardless of their skin color,” Carl added
Haley came under fire last week for claiming in a Fox News interview that America “has never been a racist country.”
Ironically, it was Haley who undermined that argument later in the same interview by saying, “I faced racism when I was growing up, but I can tell you today is a lot better than it was then.”