“I wanted to clarify my comments on ‘thugs.’ When you speak out of frustration and anger, one can say things in a way that you don’t mean,” Stephanie Rawlings-Blake tweeted Wednesday afternoon (April 29) in response to criticism from those who felt her use of the word “thug” was simply a way to replace the n-word.
The mayor’s apology stemmed from remarks she made Monday (April 26) at a press conference after the riots began in Baltimore. During the conference, Rawlings-Blake condemned the rioters, many of which were high school students.
“It is very clear that there’s a difference between what we saw last week between the peaceful protests and the thugs, who only want to incite violence and destroy our city,” she said. “I’m a life-long resident of Baltimore. Too many generations have spent their lives building up this city to have it destroyed by thugs, who, in a very senseless way, are trying to tear down what so many have fought for.”
Although Rawlings-Blake did damage control with her tweet, she found herself on the defense Wednesday as Fox News reporter Leland Vittert attempted to ask the mayor about allegations from a source that she ordered police to stand down during Monday’s civil unrest.
“Why can’t we ask questions?” Vittert asked repeatedly. “We can’t ask questions?”
Sharpton’s efforts to keep the peace with an assurance that Vittert would be able to ask his questions at an upcoming press conference, ultimately fell flat as the reporter refused to fall back.
“Then you’ll answer our questions?” Vittert continued while leaning in with his mic towards Rawlings-Blake and Sharpton, who by then had enough.
From there, the Post mentioned that the “PoliticsNation” host used his arm to push Vittert out of the way.
“Relax, relax,” Sharpton said.
To see Sharpton’s encounter with Vittert, check out the video below: