The head of the Missouri Republican Party said Tuesday that efforts to register voters in Ferguson, Missouri, were “disgusting” and unhelpful.
“If that’s not fanning the political flames, I don’t know what is,” Missouri RNC executive director Matt Wills told Breitbart News. “I think it’s not only disgusting but completely inappropriate.”
Wills was responding to reports that Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and other civil rights activists had set up voter registration booths following the death of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old unarmed black teenager who was killed by a Ferguson police officer.
“Five thousand new voters will transform the city from top to bottom,” Jackson said, according to the Daily Caller.
Former Ferguson resident Tommie Dale told the Boston Globe that going to the polls was “the only way we can make a change.”
Dale lived in Ferguson for 15 years, but left due to crime and police misconduct. She is now back in the city, and encouraging people to register to vote.
“People don’t understand. Looting and rioting aren’t going to get it,” she remarked.
But Wills accused civil rights activists of wrongly making the issue about race.
“This is not just a tragedy for the African American community this is a tragedy for the Missouri community as well as the community of what we call America,” he said. “Injecting race into this conversation and into this tragedy, not only is not helpful, but it doesn’t help a continued conversation of justice and peace.”