A Tennessee commissioner is getting major backlash for his racist, homophobic rant caught on video.
According to WVLT, Commissioner Warren Hurst took to the floor at a Sevier County Commission meeting on Monday to talk about the group’s pending vote on becoming a gun sanctuary city.
“It’s time we wake up people, it’s time, it’s past time,” Hurst said. “We got a queer running for president, if that ain’t about as ugly as you can get. Look what we got running for president in the Democratic party. We can go over here to Hoss’ jail [Sevier County Sheriff] and get better people out of there than those running for democratic, to be President of the United States.”
Hurst didn’t stop there. He then went on to say white men were being stripped of their rights. “I’m not prejudiced, a white male in this country has very few rights and they’re getting took more every day,” said Hurst.
One woman, Sara Thompson, was so upset by Hurst’s tirade that she walked out of the meeting. “This is not professional,” she said as she left. “This is bullsh**.”
When WVLT caught up with Thompson, she explained further, “County commissioners need to remember that when they’re elected they need to represent everyone. This should serve as a reminder to all county commissioners to have more respect for each other and their constituents.”
Thompson, who serves as the chair for the Sevier County democrats, further said that officials “represent those who don’t love, look or vote like they do.” In regards to Hurst’s homophobic statements, Thompson said, “I was actually incensed. I think that was a very demeaning and nasty thing to even talk about.”
Hurst tried to defend his comments by telling WVLT his best friends were African America, however, he stands by his statements because he’s entitled to his opinion.
Another commissioner, Greg Haggard, said, “Commissioner Hurst’s comments do not speak for the rest of the county commission.”
The Tennessee Equality Project is demanding Hurst resign after his comments about the LGBTQ+ community. “He should apologize and yes he should consider resigning,” said a representative for TEP. “If there were some weird extenuating circumstances like he was having a medical issue, but right now it just looks like he made those remarks.”
The City of Sevierville also condemned Hurst’s remarks:
“On October 21, 2019, Sevier County Commissioner Warren Hurst made several offensive remarks during an open commission meeting that have produced much concern and rightful indignation, within our city and beyond. Although Sevier County government is separate from Sevierville City government, we realize that these remarks still impact all of us living and working in this area. The City of Sevierville Board of Mayor and Aldermen and City administration reject bigotry and prejudice towards any and all persons. As such, we strongly condemn the remarks of Commissioner Hurst.”
TEP are planning a protest at the next Sevier County Commission meeting on November 18 at 6 p.m.