Councilman apologizes for calling protesters ‘uneducated’
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) — A northeastern Indiana county councilman has apologized for calling Black Lives Matter protesters “uneducated” and lamenting that they “breed.”
Republican Allen County Councilman Larry Brown made the comments Thursday during a council meeting during which members discussed whether they should issue a statement regarding the protests.
“As uneducated as they are, obviously, on local government, they do vote and unfortunately, they also breed,” Brown said. “But, they do vote, and they’re going to be an uneducated voter.”
In a statement to The Journal Gazette, Brown apologized for his comments.
“My remarks ... were totally inappropriate and out of place,” he said. “I sincerely apologize for it. It’s out there and I can’t take it back, but I totally apologize for it.”
Brown’s comments were captured by video cameras and broadcast via Facebook Live.
Other council members criticized Brown’s remarks but no significant rebuke was offered during the meeting. Republican Council President Joel Benz said the meeting was “not the forum to address that” before quickly adjourning the meeting.
Councilwoman Sheila Curry Campbell, a Democrat president of the local chapter of the NAACP, suggested Brown might benefit from diversity training.
Republican Councilman Kyle Kerley said “the comment made me very uncomfortable as I shook my head in disbelief.”
“I hope that council uses this as (an) opportunity to have constructive dialogue with all affected parties as we work to find ways to unite our community,” Kerley said.
Misti Meehan, chairwoman of the Allen County Democratic Party, also condemned Brown’s comments and called for him to resign.