A state representative from North Carolina found himself misty-eyed after a constituent called him a racist over his support of flying the Confederate flag.
The News & Observer reports that state Rep. Mike Clampitt, a Republican from the western part of the state, was “on the verge of tears” after two voters confronted him with defense of Confederate memorabilia.
One woman, Mary Jane Curry, presented Clampitt with a photo of him standing with men holding a battle flag (one of whom, Western North Carolina newspaper The Mountaineer reported, was dressed in a Confederate uniform).
Clampitt, who the Smoky Mountain News describes as “involved with a Confederate history organization,” jumped to defend the Stars and Bars.
“I condemn all forms of racism and bigotry,” Clampitt said, and added that the rebel flag had been “hijacked” by racists who didn’t understand history and “has not always been associated with that.”
Another woman, Dorreen Carroll, said there’s no way her representative can improve his reputation.
“There is nothing you can say that is going to convince me you’re not racist.” Carroll said.
After that comment, “Clampitt took a deep breath, crossed his arms in front of his chest, bowed his head calmly and appeared to be on the verge of tears,” the Smoky Mountain News noted.
“I was very disappointed to hear that,” Clampitt told the paper. “I was also very disappointed to hear that nothing I could say would convince her otherwise.”
On his personal Facebook page, Clampitt posted photos of men who appear to be Confederate civil war reenactors, as well as photos of Confederate monuments. You can view some of those photos below.
NC State Rep. Mike Clampitt sure has some interesting photos on his fb, including a bunch of Civil War reenactors pic.twitter.com/OaBNyh1nfY
— noor al-sibai jiminez (@nooralsibai) September 15, 2017