A South Carolina sheriff who lumped the NAACP and Ku Klux Klan together as “racist” groups told the Spartanburg Herald-Journal that his words were being taken “way out of context” in a Thursday interview.
Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright recently came under fire for saying that the “most racist people in American right now sometimes are minorities.” He made the comment earlier this month at a Greenville Spartanburg Republican Women meeting, where he was asked about the fatal police shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
“I feel like that (NAACP) is a racist group, as well as the KKK. I don’t care about them either,” he told attendees at the meeting, as quoted by the newspaper. “I don’t want to be a part of no group that’s got something to do just because of your color. I don’t think they’re right.”
Wright dismissed the controversy over his comments as “nothing more than political nonsense” in his interview with the Herald-Journal and said he harbored no racial animosity.
But he also continued to liken the NAACP, a civil rights organization focused on eliminating racial discrimination, to the KKK, a white supremacist group.
“If anybody thinks I don’t like somebody because of their race, yeah, that’s taken way out of context,” Wright told the newspaper. “It just seems to me that some of the most racist people are minorities. I don’t get into the NAACP or the KKK or any other group of people that doesn’t like somebody because of their color. Christ made us all the same.”
Michael Brown, president of the Spartanburg NAACP chapter and a county councilman, told the Herald-Journal that Wright’s comments were “short-sighted, racially insensitive and just ignorant.”