Democratic strategist Jimmy Williams did not mince words in an interview with MSNBC host Al Sharpton regarding the man photographed at a Tea Party protest on Sunday waving the Confederate flag side-by-side with the Marine Corps flag, calling it one of the most offensive things he has ever seen.
“That guy, in my opinion, is trailer trash,” Williams, a South Carolinian, told Sharpton. “I don’t know where he’s from, but he needs to go back. He can fly his flag at his house, that’s fine.”
For protester Michael Ashmore to fly that flag in front of the White House where the first Black president lives, Williams argued, was patently offensive.
“It has zero to do with Southern ancestors and Southern pride,” Williams said. “I have ancestors that fought in the Civil War. They died for their cause. Guess what? They lost. I’m over it, the South needs to get over it, and that, to me is one of the most awful things I’ve seen in the five-and-a-half years of Barack Obama’s presidency.”
For his part, Sharpton said the protest — which has been criticized by a veterans’ advocacy group for what they described as an intrusion by Republican lawmakers — was actually the latest iteration of Lee Atwater’s infamous “Southern Strategy.”
“This sort of resentment has been stoked by the right for decades,” Sharpton said. “All the talk about ‘Welfare queens’ or ‘Makers vs. Takers,’ ‘states’ rights.’ It’s that resentment that has led Republicans to question the president’s citizenship, to reject his healthcare law, to try and gut the safety net. And it inspired the ugliness we saw this weekend in front of the White House.”
Watch the discussion, as aired on Tuesday, below.