PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – A Portsmouth City Council member wrote that he’s “really tired of hearing the term people of color” in a series of tweets that criticize Democratic congresswomen for statements they’ve made regarding President Donald Trump and policy on immigration at the United States’ southern border.
“I am really tired of hearing the term people of color,” Portsmouth City Council Member Bill Moody tweeted on Wednesday night. “Martin King said ‘I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. Apparently the ‘Squad’ doesn’t agree.”
Moody’s use of the word “Squad” references four Democratic Congresswomen — Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, N.Y., Rep. Rashida Tlaib, Mich., Rep. Ilhan Omar, Minn., and Rep. Ayanna Pressley, Mass. — who are at the center of a series of controversial tweets sent out by Trump on Sunday.
In his tweets, Trump references unnamed, “Progressive Democrat Congresswomen” as having “originally came [sic] from countries whose governments are complete and total catastrophe [sic], the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world.”
“Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came,” Trump tweeted.
Although Trump didn’t name the specific congresswomen he was referring to in the tweets, Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib, Omar, and Pressley have openly criticized the president over many of his policies, including those at the southern border. The four congresswomen held a press conference Monday to address Trump’s tweets, calling the remarks bigoted and referring to themselves as the “Squad.”
Three of the congresswomen are U.S. born citizens, and the fourth — Omar — immigrated to America from Somalia when she was 10 and became a citizen as a teenager, according to CBS.
Moody sent out several tweets that showed support for Trump’s remarks about the congresswomen and addressing their allegations that the President’s tweets were racist. The tweet Moody wrote referring to ‘people of color’ was sent out among others that referred to the four Congresswomen as part of the “socialist Squad” and criticizing the media, including WAVY.
“What’s racist about if you don’t like this Country get out? Good for Trump putting the socialist Squad in their place for attacking our Country,” Moody tweeted. “Silence means concurrence. It’s about time we had a president to defend our Country instead of apologising [sic].”
10 On Your Side reached out to Moody about his Tweets — and specifically asked questions about the one where he said he was “tired of hearing the term people of color.” Moody has been a city councilman since 1998 in Portsmouth — a locality where about 60 percent of the population is made up of people of color, according to a 2015 demographic study published by the city.
When asked specifically about the “people of color” tweet and his representation in a city that has a majority non-white population, Moody turned the conversation to national politics.
“My remarks were in response to people who are saying that criticism of these four for disparaging our country is racist,” Moody told 10 On Your Side. “If you or I go into a restaurant and we tell the chef that we don’t like the food and we don’t like the service, and we go back again and we say the same thing over and over, the chef is going to probably tell you, you should try another restaurant.”
In a phone interview Thursday, Moody specifically criticized remarks made by Ocasio-Cortez on Twitter where she’s compared conditions on the U.S. southern border to “concentration camps.”
“I’m a veteran and quite frankly, I’ve gotten tired of these four in particular just running our country down,” Moody said. “I can see that they have a right to do that, but I also have a right to defend our country and speak against the country that they’re describing.”
The Portsmouth NAACP chapter held a press conference condemning Moody’s tweets on Thursday, and called for all local elected officials to condemn his remarks.
“The rhetoric that’s come out of the white house the last days is offensive and racist and to have a councilman affiliate himself with those comments is deplorable,” said James Boyd, chapter president. “It’s sick and should not be allowed…today the Portsmouth NAACP is calling on all elected officials to condemn the statements of Councilman Bill Moody. ”
You can watch the full press conference:
This isn’t the first time tweets have gotten the longtime council member in trouble.
In 2016, Moody apologized after posting a tweet that called Black Lives Matter protesters ‘thugs.’