Newly elected state lawmaker apologizes for calling Tennessee ‘racist’ and GOP voters ‘uneducated’

A newly elected state lawmaker from Tennessee apologized Monday after receiving criticism for posting a now-deleted video where she called the state racist and said GOP voters were uneducated. 

State Rep. London Lamar (D), representing the Memphis area, posted the video shortly after last week's midterm elections, according to WREG.

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"Tennessee's racist," she said in the video. "Period. Period. Like, Tennessee is racist."

At another point in the video, Lamar said that "most of the Tennesseeans who voted Republican are uneducated."

On Monday, Lamar apologized for the blanket statements.

"We want to make sure we don't over-generalize groups of people," she said. "For that, we sincerely apologize.

However, Lamar did not retract her point about racial motivations for voters.

"What we have seen is that many of the folks who voted Republican based their judgement on racially-charged rhetoric that was coming down from the White House," she said.

When WREG pressed Lamar about her claim that Tennessee is racist, she focused on racist voters in the state rather than the state itself being racist.

"I think Tennessee has people who may identify with rhetoric that leans towards that way and I think we are a very racially polarized state," she explained.

In March, the Tennessee legislature killed a measure that would have explicitly condemned neo-Nazis and white nationalists. 

In July, The Tennessean reported that a record number of people in the state are driving with Confederate license plates. The number reportedly spiked following the 2015 white supremacist shooting in Charleston, S.C., that left nine African-American parishioners dead.