Local Civil Rights Activists Condemn Comments From President Trump, GOP Official Cautious
"It is a shame that we have a president that we have to be ashamed of across this world," said Elder James Johnson with a frustrated tone about President Donald Trump.
As a state coordinator with National Action Network, he and other civil rights activists expressed anger and outrage while standing together outside the Charleston County Courthouse in downtown Charleston. They talked about their frustration over the president’s reportedly rude statement on people entering the country illegally.
"We think it’s insulting. Its derigerating (sp). And not only that but Trump should apologize," said Ed Bryant, president of the North Charleston branch of NAACP.
"I would ask people to be reluctant to take the word of the most partisan Democrat in the Senate," said Larry Kobrovsky, chairman of the Charleston County Republican Party.
He’s skeptical about the story of what the president said. He believes it was a misunderstanding.
"If he was referring to what the situation was and my family was there, he would not be inappropriate in the sense of it was a case of corruption, racism, and hatred of people like me," he said.
Kobrovsky says the immigration debate is personal to him. He wrote a book about his Jewish great-grandmother's legal emigration from Lithuania. Still, the Republican leader doesn't believe President Trump deliberately insulted those in dire need, like his descendants.
"I don't think he was referring to the people. He was referring to the country if that was accurate. There's a difference there. And for us it was a hellhole to get out of," Kobrovsky explained.
It’s a debate civil rights leaders are willing to confront.
"None of us are leaving, Mr. Trump. We're here for the duration. We're here to stay and we will stand," said Jacqualin Yeadon, state director of National Action Network.
Civil rights leaders are asking those taking part in Monday's Martin Luther King parade to join them afterward at Marion Square. They'll hold a public protest against President Trump.