Baltimore Pastor Jamal Bryant, who delivered the eulogy at Freddie Gray’s funeral, accused President Obama and Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake of committing “black-on-black crime” by calling rioters “thugs.”
“You’ve got some of the same organizers now going back into these communities to try to clean up in the aftermath after a handful of criminals and thugs who tore up the place,” Obama said at a news conference Tuesday about the riots in Baltimore the night before.
Speaking to the press Monday night, Rawlings-Blake commented on “thugs… trying to tear down” the city.
And while the mayor later took back her comments, choosing instead to refer to those who were looting and setting fires as “misguided youth,” the White House doubled down on Obama’s remarks.
Appearing on Fox News’ “The Kelly File,” Bryant was asked to respond to the use of the word “thug.”
“I think that misguided police officers who break the spine of an uncharged black man, that could be considered a thug,” he replied.
The contentious pastor went on to say “we have colorized the word thug,” prompting Kelly to point out that both Obama and Rawlings-Blake used the term.
“They have committed black on black crime by using that word against people who look just like them,” he said. “Absolutely.”
“I don’t know, I might be wrong, but I see Barack Obama, and he doesn’t strike me as a racist guy,” Kelly said, finding herself in the unexpected position of defending the president.
Bryant then chastised Kelly for being “smug about it and not see the seriousness of the offense.”
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