Corey Stewart: ‘People are sick and tired of talking about race all the time’

Corey Stewart: ‘People are sick and tired of talking about race all the time’
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Virginia Senate candidate Corey Stewart (R) said that Americans are tired of the media’s focus on race and instead want to hear conversations about economic and immigration policy.

“I know you brought me on your show because you want to talk about the one-year anniversary of the horrible events in Charlottesville last year,” Stewart said in an interview Sunday with MSNBC’s Al Sharpton. “But you know I meet with voters every single day, the residents of Virginia, and there’s one thing that’s very, very clear, and that is people are sick and tired of talking about race all the time."

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Stewart said that Americans care more about economic and immigration policy, issues that he thinks affect all Americans regardless of race.

Though Stewart agreed there is still racism in America, he argued that “the problems that we have in this country are not due to race." Instead, he argued, they are principally related to jobs, health care, education and immigration, all of which he believes negatively affect Americans regardless of their ethnicity.

Stewart said the media focuses its coverage unduly on race and that the focus is not productive.

“And as long as we continue to divide Americans by race and you’ve made a career out of dividing people by race, you’ve been a race hustler your entire career, you’ve made a lot of money at it, you haven’t even bothered to pay your taxes at it, and all you do is divide Americans by race and frankly people are tired of it,” Stewart told Sharpton, who began the interview by asking if Stewart considered himself “the candidate for White Nationalists in Virginia.”

Stewart answered, “No, of course not.”

Stewart has garnered controversy with his defense of Confederate monuments. He also told Hill.TV earlier this year that he didn't believe the Civil War was about slavery, but rather about states' rights.

He also delivered a speech last year in which he praised Virginia as “the state of Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and JEB Stuart.”

In that same speech, Stewart compared the Revolutionary War to Virginia’s secession from the Union in the Civil War, lauding his state’s rebelliousness.

When Sharpton played those comments back to Stewart, the Senate candidate’s response was that modern issues mattered more than “what happened 150 years ago.”

“And far as I can tell, taking down a confederate monument has never educated a single child, it’s never provided health care insurance for a single person in this country, it’s never built a road, it’s never solved or created a single job.”

Stewart cast blame on the left for “deliberately trying to divide Americans by race.”

“As long as you all keep doing that, we’re never going to be able to address the problems that we have.”