White supremacist wingnut Virginia Senate candidate Corey Stewart went on the attack against MSNBS's Al Sharpton rather than defend his remarks praising Virginia's decision to secede from the Union.
August 12, 2018

Trump-loving, racist, white supremacist Virginia senate candidate Corey Stewart made an appearance on MSNBC's Politics Nation this Sunday and was asked by host Al Sharpton about his remarks during a speech last year where he praised southern secession in a Facebook video posted during his failed 2017 gubernatorial run.

Here's what Stewart said in the video, which Sharpton played for him this Sunday:

"When you say you're from Virginia, when you travel outside of this state and somebody asks where you're from, you say with pride, 'I am from Virginia. I'm very, very proud of it,'" Stewart said. "You're very, very proud of it. And why is it? It's because of our history, folks. It's because of our history. This is the state of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison and James Monroe. It's a state of the founders. It's the state of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

"But it's also the state of Robert E. Lee, and Stonewall Jackson, and J.E.B. Stuart. Because, at the base of it, Virginians, we think for ourselves," he continued. "And if the established order is wrong, we rebel. We did that in the Revolution, we did it in the Civil War, and we're doing it today. We're doing it today because they're trying to rob us of everything that we hold dear: our history, our heritage, our culture."

Stewart, whose defense of Confederate symbols became a staple of his unsuccessful gubernatorial campaign, defined the established order earlier in the speech as the mainstream media, liberals, Democrats and establishment Republicans "trying to convince us that there's something wrong with our heritage in Virginia."

In response to a comment request from CNN, Stewart released the following statement: "Unlike Wimpy Tim Kaine, Virginians have a warrior spirit and a rebel heart."

When Sharpton asked Stewart if he considered himself "the candidate for white nationalists in the state of Virginia," here's how Stewart responded:

STEWART: No, of course not, Reverend. Here's the thing is that i know you brought me on your show because you want to talk about the one year anniversary of the horrible events in Charlottesville last year. But, you know, I meet with voters every single day, the residents of Virginia, and there is one thing that is very, very clear and that is people are sick and tired of talking about race all the time, they're tired of it, they want to move on, the people of Charlottesville want to move on, the people of Virginia want to move on. They have a lot more important issues to talk about than race on a constant basis, which is what we get out of you and the rest of the media on a daily basis.

Yes, nothing to see here. Let's all just move along and talk about more "important issues." After Sharpton played the recording of Stewart's remarks, rather than defend them, Stewart went on the attack against Sharpton and never did directly defend his remarks for the remainder of the interview.

Here's a portion of the exchange, and it didn't get any better for Stewart the longer it went on:

STEWART: You know, why is it that you on the left are so obsessed with what happened 150 years ago?

SHARPTON: No, no, I'm talking about you last year, I'm not talking about -- I'm talking about Corey Stewart running for governor last year, that's what you said, you went back 150 years ago. I'm talking about what you said, explain to me your statement in light of what you're saying now.

STEWART: Reverend, let me explain this. People don't care what happened 150 years ago. Historians love this stuff. I love history. But the end of the day, we need to look at what the problems are are today, and you mentioned that it was only people of a certain race who were facing these challenges, with their education, their health care, their jobs, everything else. That's just simply not true.

There are Americans of every single race, of every single religion, of every single ethnicity that are struggling with the same things. And as long as we continue to divide Americans by race, and you've made a career out of dividing people by race, you've been a race-hustler your entire career, you've made a lot of money at it, you haven't even bothered to pay your taxes, and all you do is divide Americans by race.

SHARPTON: Mr. Stewart, I'm not going for the bait. This is not about me. Everybody knows --

STEWART: Neither am I.

SHARPTON: I'll defend myself standing up for racial justice. I'm gong to give you an opportunity again to defend your statement, defending and praising Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, not 150 years ago, a year ago, you're running for senate now. I'm asking you about what you said a year ago. You can call me whatever name you want, that's fine. You're saying that you're running for senate, you're saying that we shouldn't go back 150 years, you went back 150 years, a year ago. Explain to me your statement, your feelings about me, believe me, is not something that I'm going to worry about the rest of the day.

STEWART: Good. I'm glad you feel that way.

SHARPTON: -- and I want you to explain to the citizens of Virginia how you could praise stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee and offer yourself to all the citizens of the state. Explain that.

STEWART: I wasn't even born in Virginia, but I always loved Virginia, because Virginians have the heart of a warrior, and they have the heart of a rebel. This is a great state. It is the state of the revolution. And yes, it was a state of the Civil War and so forth.

But what I love about the state is the fact that people are willing to stand up and when they know that something is wrong, they're willing to go forward and willing to change it. That's the great thing about Virginia.

And we got a lot of problems. And, you know, when people start talking about slavery from 150 years ago, we have to understand, we have modern day slavery going on in the United States today in terms of sex trafficking, and that's all fed because we have an open border. And nobody on the left is willing to do anything about it, they're willing to turn a blind eye --

SHARPTON: Will you address the statements? No one would argue with you, you're absolutely right, we should be against sex trafficking. You're absolutely right about issues of today.

But you were the one that praised people whose only historic significance was they supported slavery and secession. How do you fight what you claim are slavery issues of today and praise and defend statues for people whose only place in history is they fought and killed American Union soldiers to defend slaveries of yesterday.

So, what makes it relevant today is you, because you praised it, you, you support erecting statues that we have to pay for the ground protection and the servicing of those statues today. You make it relevant, Mr. Stewart.

STEWART: You know, I love history, but at the end of the day, that's not what people want us here for. I love our history. I love the history of Virginia. It is the history of America. You can't change it. That's the way it is. And these monuments were erected because people wanted to remember those, in many cases, 15 or 16-year-old sons who died in the war and they wanted to remember those.

I thought it was wrong to be removing historical monuments that were placed there by prior generations. We need to be focused instead on the problems that we're facing today and the challenges that we are facing today, regardless of race. Because people are so tired, Reverend, I'm telling you this, because i speak to people every day, of all races, all ethnicity ethnicities, and I've been governing for ten years, one of the largest, most successful, one of the most diverse localities in the entire country, and I've been elected and re-elected four times because people know i know how to fix problems, i know how to focus in on problems and not focus in on things like race that simply divide people, something that you've been doing your entire career.

Here's to Tim Kaine handily defeating this guy in November. Let's hope he is a drag on his fellow Republican candidates in the rest of the state as well.

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