A modest crowd attended a town hall meeting that N.C. Rep. Mike Clampitt held last week in Haywood County, but the snug setting didn’t keep some people from speaking freely.
One woman in the audience called the Republican from Bryson City a racist, The Mountaineer reported.
The woman confronted Clampitt about his views on displaying the Confederate flag at the Canton Labor Day Parade, even breaking out a photo of Clampitt standing with men holding the flags and one of them wearing a Confederate uniform, according to The Mountaineer.
Clampitt maintained that he condemns racism, and that the Confederate flag “has not always been associated with that.” He went on to tell a story of how years ago as a fire captain in Charlotte he denied one of his superior’s demands to unfairly discipline a black firefighter, according to the Smoky Mountain News.
That led another woman, Doreen Carroll, to tell Clampitt, “There is nothing you can say that is going to convince me you’re not racist.”
Clampitt has openly opposed removing and relocating Confederate monuments.
“May we respect and honor the Confederate soldiers, their courage, their sacrifices, and that they too, were Americans,” Clampitt wrote in an Aug. 17 Facebook post.
But Carroll’s remark led Clampitt to take a deep breath and left him on the verge of tears, the Smoky Mountain News reported.
“I was very disappointed to hear that,” Clampitt later told the Smoky Mountain News. “I was also very disappointed to hear that nothing I could say would convince her otherwise.”