'Discrimination exists': Rep. Al Green fires back after C-SPAN caller lectures about 'pimps and gangbangers'
Al Green appears on C-SPAN (screen grab)

Texas Congressman Al Green (D) on Thursday responded to a man from North Carolina who lectured him about the threat of "pimps and gangbangers."


During a discussion about systemic racism on C-SPAN's Washington Journal program, a Republican named Terry called in from North Carolina.

"You're the person I really want to talk [to] about this," Terry said. "I want to use my city of Asheville, NC as a starting block. It's not racism that the children here in Lee-Walker Heights have to get up every morning and walk out to the school bus and step across dirty hypodermics and used condoms. It's not racism that the children in Hill Crest that get up and go out this morning that have to deal with the winos, the crackheads and the heroin dealers. It's not racism that the children that get up and walk to school have to deal with the hookers, the pimps and the gangbangers."

"It's people like you, Al, that have failed those children," the white caller added. "Barack Obama is a grand example of this. He got to where he was because his rich white grandparents took care of him, while his deadbeat black dad abandoned him."

Green kept his cool while responding.

"A lot of what I do is because I love my country, in spite of my history in the country and how my ancestors were treated," the congressman explained. "Because we helped to build it. We made cotton king, America great. We did a lot to become founding fathers and mothers who have not been acknowledged."

"Now, what he said about the various paraphernalia, needles -- I don't agree with that," Green continued. "You can find that in certain areas where white people are disposing of needles. I've been to skid row and you should go there. And you can see persons of many hues who are really down and out and need a lot of help."

"But what I do say to you is this," Green said. "If you examine the empirical evidence, you find that insidious discrimination exists in health care, it exists in walks of life where we are not ordinarily bringing it to the forefront discussing it. I don't mind all of the slings and arrow that are thrown at me, but someone has to speak truthfully about what's happening to African-Americans in this country."

Green noted that even though he wears a suit and tie, "I, too, have been a victim of police misconduct."

"These things happen to us," he observed. "Thank god for the body cameras. The cameras are revealing what we have been saying."

Watch the video below from C-SPAN.