A county commissioner in Tennessee was caught on video unleashing a racist, homophobic rant on Monday evening calling South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg “a queer running for president.”
“It’s time we wake up people, it’s time, it’s passed time,” Sevier Country Commissioner Warren Hurst said as he took the floor on Oct. 21 to speak about the commission’s pending vote on becoming a gun sanctuary city, according to WVLT News.
Even though the meeting was supposedly about guns, Hurst shifted his attention to Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, who is a married gay man.
“We got a queer running for president, if that ain’t about as ugly as you can get,” Hurst, who had a toothpick in his mouth, said to laughs and applause from the audience.
“Look what we got running for president in the Democratic party,” he continued. “We can go over here to Hoss’s jail [Sevier County Sheriff] and get better people out of there than those running for democratic to be President of the United States.”
A woman in the audience stood up and shouted: “Excuse me. This is not professional. This is [expletive].”
The woman left the meeting, and Hurst made another comment about the state of white male rights in the country, according to WVLT.
“I’m not prejudiced, a white male in this country has very few rights and they’re getting took more every day,” said Hurst.
Hurst told WVLT News over the phone that he stands by his comments because he’s entitled to his opinions.
He added that some of his best friends are African American.
After Hurst concluded his public comments, some members of the crowd applauded.
NEW: “We got a QUEER running for President… the white man has very few rights.”
Watch @SevierCounty Commissioner Warren Hurst’s homophobic, bigoted outburst Monday, telling folks to “wake up”.
Mayor’s office: 865-453-6136
— The Tennessee Holler (@TheTNHoller) October 22, 2019
Assistant to the Sevier County Mayor, Perrin Anderson denounced homophobic comments made at a commission meeting Monday evening.
“The statements made by Commissioner Hurst at the Sevier County Commission meeting of October 21, 2019, do not reflect the opinion or position of Sevier County administration,” Anderson said. “Sevier County is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or status in any other group protected by law.”