An Alabama Republican who is campaigning for the U.S. Senate referred to Native American and Asian people as “reds and yellows” in a campaign speech that appealed for unity.
Roy Moore, who previously sat on the state Supreme Court, used the derogatory language as he spoke about racial divisions in footage uploaded on September 18 and shared by The Hill.
“We were torn apart in the Civil War; brother against brother, North against South, party against party. What changed?” Moore told the crowd.
“Now we have blacks and whites fighting, reds and yellows fighting, Democrats and Republicans fighting, men and women fighting. What’s going to unite us? What’s going to bring us back together? A president? A Congress? No. It’s going to be God,” he added.
The footage, which was shared on Youtube, has prompted a backlash, with many people questioning why the GOP has allowed someone who uses such divisive language to continue standing as a candidate.
In the five-minute clip, Moore, who has the endorsement of the Tea Party, also suggests people “need to turn back to God” and hits out at abortion, murders, shootings, “perverse sexual behavior,” sodomy, road rage and corruption in public office.
His comments come at a time when politicians’ attitudes toward race have been highlighted following violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August, after which President Donald Trump faced criticism for failing to immediately condemn racism.
The president in one press conference said there was blame “on both sides” for the violence that broke out at the rally, at which one counter-protester was killed after a car rammed into the group she was demonstrating with.
At the time, many believed Trump’s comments were an attempt to placate white supremacists who support him, although he has since insisted that he abhors racism.
Moore did not immediately respond to Newsweek’s request for comment.
The Alabama Republican is running for the Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions, who serves as Trump's attorney general. The president is campaigning for Moore's adversary in a GOP runoff vote, Luther Strange.
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